Originally posted by Anders E.Frankson:
Changes in production
German armoured Vehicles Production in tonnes
1940 - 37 235
1941 - 83 188 increase by 223%
1942 - 140 454 increase by 169%
1943 - 369 416 increase by 263%
1944 - 622 322 increase by 168%
Thus in weight the Production 1940 amounts to 6% of the Production 1944.
But regarding the industrial “demobilization” one should not look on the production of armoured vehicles as after Poland and France the Panzertruppe had become the weapon of the future. Several new Panzerdivisions as Rich wrote were formed.
A more interesting aspect is the production of shells for the artillery.
1940 – 20 290 000
1941 – 9 400 000 a decrease of 54%
1942 – 32 500 000
1943 – 56 000 000
1944– 67 600 000
Same applies to ammunition-production to small-arms, 1940 - 2 952 500 000 rounds while 1941 – 1 343 700 000. And the ammunition-production for tankguns and AT-guns was cut with 50% 1941 compared to 1940. The exception was ammunition for heavy AA-guns which rose with 420%.
Anders, this is all very true, but one reason I focused on the expansion of the AFV production program was because it's initial growth spurt was at least partly responsible for the decrease in ammunition production. In other words, they robbed Peter to pay Paul, largely due to continuing restrictions in the production of raw steel. This effect is discussed to some length in "Consumption of Ammunition by Land Forces Since 1939" the Bundeswehr study from 1986. In 1940 it was decided at the highest levels (likely the OKW Fuehrungsstab) to shift raw materiel priorities from ammunition production to production of armaments (i.e., guns, tanks, submarines, and aircraft), even though the OKH and especially 6 Abteilung/General Stabes des Heeres recommended against it (the Army had not acheived its pre-war planning stockpile of 4 combat months - 40 combat days - of ammunition), and even though the OKW's own WiRustAmt in July 1940, ordered a reexamination of ammunition production requirements be done based upon the experience of the French Campaign! This was completed and published in a memo of 28 August 1940, which declared the intention was to develop a 12-month stockpile (i.e. at least 4 times the existing stockpile!) for a 180 division field army and the equivalent of 20 divisions in the replacement army - in other words, a larger army - and to have it all done by 1 April 1941. Of course that proved to be impossible, so the army went into the Russian Campaign with stockpiles that were proportionately slightly smaller than those available at the start of the French Campaign.
Complicating all of this was that the pre-war expectation was that most ammunition production would be done by small factories throughout Germany, as had happened in World War I. They then rationalized that this meant that modern facilities and machinery were not required for the wartime expansion of ammunition production - despite numerous memos from the technical staffs that said exactly the opposite.
So what does this tell us? Quite possibly the most important thing may be that it highlights just how poor the German military, political and economic leadership was at long-term strategic (or even mid-term operational) planning. And just how bad they were at interservice (and it appears even intraservice and intradepartmental) planning coordination. It appears that this may have been the one area that Speer's appointement and the "carte blanche" he was given over industrial coodination did have an impact.
quoted from the above link