WW2 Aircraft Production-some numbers

  • The following is the aircraft production of the US compared with the of Germany and Japan for the years 1941 to 1944.  I hope that you will find them interesting.

    AIRCRAFT PRODUCTION:  Does not take into effect the differences in airframe weight and number of engines.

    1941:  Japan=5,088,  Germany=11, 766,  United States=19,433
    1942  Japan=8,861,  Germany=15,556,    United States=49,445
    1943  Japan=16,693,  Germany=25,527,    United States=92,196
    1944  Japan=28,180,  Germany=39,807,    United States=100,752

    Four Year Totals:  Japan=58,822, Germany=92,656, the United States=261,826

    By 1943 and 1944, a large portion of both Japanese and German production was single-engine fighters.  The United States was producing large numbers of two- and four-engine bombers, including the B-17, the B-24, and the B-29, as well as the twin-engine C-46 and C-47 transports, and the four-engine C-54 transport.  Therefore the disparity in production based on airframe weight and engines produced was far greater.

    The above data was taken from Rene Francillon’s JAPANESE AIRCRAFT OF THE PACIFIC WAR, and was in turn taken from the United States Strategic Bombing Survey

    Now, in 1941, Germany and Japan were both at war, and had engaged in serious industrial mobilization. The US, on the other hand, was still gearing up, and was putting into production a Two-Ocean Navy, the Liberty and Victory class of merchant ships, was just really starting up tank and artillery production, and was re-equipping the army with a new semiautomatic rifle, the M-1.  We were also producing an enormous number of trucks both for our army, and the armies of the UK and Russia.  Simply put, the US in 1941 was already superior to Germany and Japan combined in industrial production.

  • I apologize for the slight delay in responding to your thread.

    I’m glad you raised this subject. During WWII, military aircraft production was a reasonably good proxy for overall military production. You are correct to state that American aircraft production numbers understate the scale of industrial capacity deployed. Throughout the war, both Germany and Japan were focused first and foremost on building single engine aircraft, with a few two engine medium bombers thrown in here and there. The production of four engine aircraft was very rare for Axis nations throughout the entire war.

    There are trends in these numbers I find interesting. Begin by looking at the production data for 1942.

    United States: 48,000
    Germany: 15,000
    Japan: 9,000

    Below are the same data for 1944:

    United States: 96,000
    Germany: 41,000
    Japan: 28,000

    Ratio of U.S. to Axis in 1942: 2:1
    Ratio of U.S. to Axis in 1944: 3:2

    From 1942 - 1944, American military aircraft production doubled, while Axis aircraft production tripled.

    Industrialization is an ongoing process. Back in the 1940s, the U.S. was significantly ahead of Axis nations in that process. In December 1941, Japan had 10% as much industrial capacity as did the United States. Japan industrialized as the war progressed, which is why its 1944 production figures are much higher than those observed in 1942.

    One of the most glaring inaccuracies in most WWII games is that large scale production increases–such as those seen above–are typically ignored. Production in round 1 of the game is the same as production in round 10. Another glaring inaccuracy is the fact technological advances are ignored. In the real war, a perfectly good aircraft in 1942 would have been hopelessly obsolete by 1944.

  • No need to apologize KurtGodel7.
    Timeover will not be reading your response as a member any time soon.
    This topic will submerge like a Tanker hit by a German Submarine.

  • LOL 8 year Nacrothread revival!

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Timer-Over is his name - must be fate lol.

  • Timerover 51- what happened this former member.

    He posted some great threads.

  • aequitas wrote:

    No need to apologize KurtGodel7.

    My theory–and I could be wrong about this–is that timerover has been diligently checking his thread every morning, for the past eight years! Immediately before checking, he is always filled with a sense of hope–almost certainty–that he will get a reply. Maybe he felt deep down inside that I was especially likely to reply to his thread, and was therefore hoping for and expecting a reply from me.

    Assuming all this is true, I’ve given him eight consecutive years of daily disappointment. :( For that I definitely owe him an apology.

    You might ask if he was all that diligent about checking his own thread, why has he not replied now that there’s a little action? My theory there is that he gave up hope just a few weeks before people started responding.

    What makes me think that he’s been checking this thread every day for the past eight years, instead of having forgotten about it eight years ago? I admit I don’t have any solid evidence for my theory. It’s just a gut feeling. :)

  • Dear Kurt Godel7,

    feel free to reread what I wrote.


    No need to apologize KurtGodel7.
    Timeover will not be reading your response as a member any time soon.
    This topic will submerge like a Tanker hit by a German Submarine.

    As you can clearly read, I wrote that timeover will not response to this as a member.
    What makes me sure of this??

    The Fact that his name is black.
    No assumption.

    Keep it laconial  :wink:

  • aequitas et veritas wrote:

    As you can clearly read, I wrote that timeover will not response to this as a member.

    You are right. And that merely reinforces my theory. After eight straight years of checking this thread, awaiting my response, he finally grew disillusioned and disappointed. So much so that he canceled his membership to this forum. :(

    Now, one could reasonably ask, “Why would he have been awaiting my response for eight straight years when I haven’t even been here that long?” Well you see, on some level he sensed that I should be here, and that I’d be showing up here sooner or later. He evidently felt that “sooner” was more likely than “later,” so that I could respond to his thread. Which, let the record reflect, I did. Eventually. Better late than never, right? :)

    This topic will submerge like a Tanker hit by a German Submarine.

    Ah, but like a Type XXI U-boat, this topic emerged after having been submerged eight straight years! :o Maybe it will submerge again, only to surface in another eight years. :D

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