A vast amount of weapons and manpower were needed in World War Two. Figures for industrial production were massive in any of the main protagonists in the war. The total number of people called up during the war ran into tens of millions worldwide. The figures given below are some indication as to what was meant by ‘total war’ – when everything in a country was directed towards the war effort. Ironically, when the bombing of Germany was all but at its peak, her industrial output was at its highest – the same was true for Japan in 1944.

Tanks produced 1940 to 1945:

Great BritainUSAUSSRGermanyJapan
19401,4003002,8001,600not known
19414,8004,1006,4003,8001,000
19428,60025,00024,7006,3001,200
19437,50029,50024,00012,100800
19444,60017,60029,00019,000300
1945not known12,00015,4003,900100
Total20,15088,500102,30046,7003,400


Total tanks produced Allied forces = 210,950 tanks
Total tanks produced Axis forces = 50,400 tanks

Warships produced by total tonnage 1940 to 1945:

Great BritainUSAUSSRGermanyJapan
1940263,20052,600not known23,800*94,700
1941437,200219,300not known147,000*225,000
1942481,400859,500not known193,000*254,000
1943609,6002,667,400not known211,400*230,000
1944583,4003,176,800not known275,300*468,400
1945312,8001,190,000not known54,900*66,700
Total2,687,6008,165,600905,400*1,338,800

* = submarines only. Germany produced very few surface vessels between 1940 and 1945

Total warship production Allied forces = 10,853,200 tons
Total warship production Axis forces = 2,244,200 tonsĀ 


Merchant ships produced by total tonnage 1940 to 1945:

Great BritainUSAUSSRGermanyJapan
1940810,000444,700not knownnot known293,600
19411,156,000749,100not knownnot known210,400
19421,301,0005,392,800not knownnot known260,100
19431,204,00012,485,600not knownnot known769,100
19441,014,00011,403,200not knownnot known1,699,200
1945856,0007,614,900not knownnot known559,600
Total6,341,00038,090,3003,792,000

Total merchant ship production Allied forces = 44,431,300 tons
Total merchant ship production Axis forces = 3,792,000 tons
Germany produced very few surface vessels between 1940 and 1945

Warplanes produced 1940 to 1945:

Great BritainUSAUSSRGermanyJapan
194015,0006,1007,00010,2004,800
194120,10019,40012,50011,0005,100
194223,60047,80026,00014,2008,900
194326,20085,90037,00025,20016,700
194426,50096,30040,00039,60028,200
194512,10046,00035,000not known11,100
Total123,500301,500157,500100,20074,000

Total warplane production Allied forces: 582,500
Total warplane production Axis forces: 174,200

Combined military manpower 1940 to 1945:

Great BritainUSAUSSRGermanyJapan
19402,212,000458,3002,500,0005,600,0001,723,200
19413,278,0001,795,0004,207,0007,200,0002,411,400
19423,784,0003,844,5009,000,0008,600,0002,829,400
19434,300,0008,918,60010,000,0009,500,0003,808,200
19444,500,00011,241,20012,400,0009,100,0005,365,000
19454,653,00011,858,50010,800,000not known7,193,200
Total22,727,00038,116,10048,907,00040,000,00021,160,400

Total used combined manpower in World War Two Allied forces: 109,750,100
Total used combined manpower in World War Two Axis forces: 61,160,400

Summary of total Allied forces 1940 to 1945:

Tanks210,950
Merchant shipping44,431,300
Warships10,853,200
War planes582,500
Total Manpower109,750,100

Summary of total Axis forces 1940 to 1945:

Tanks50,400
Merchant shipping3,792,000
Warships2,244,200
War planes174,200
Total manpower61,160,400

Note: in places the figures are slanted. The figures for the Axis powers does not include Italy and shipping figures for the USSR are not known – hence their impact on the total Allied shipping figure.

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