The secret armament plans that Germany had since 1923 meant that a lot of WW1 era weapons were part of that 1940 inventory. Not to mention some captured material from Austria and Czecholovakia (Skoda 15cm hows eg).stg 44 wrote: ↑31 Oct 2021 20:17Several thousand pieces 7 years later is rather large for a country that only had equipment for 20 divisions in 1932 and a very limited military industry relative to rivals. You might disagree on the use of the word 'huge' but that is a semantics argument rather than a serious counter argument to the point that they invested in artillery just as much as anything else. It was simply a problem of lack of sufficient productive capacity to produce larger numbers than countries who didn't disarm after WW1, especially given that the war happened 3 years before rearmament was slated to be complete.Richard Anderson wrote: ↑31 Oct 2021 02:57Huge? Really?
At the "start of the war", well France 1940, the Heer committed to the west fielded 4,316 leFH, 1,723 sFH, 484 10cm sK, 45 15cm sK, and 171 17cm sK and 21cm Mrs. For effectively 114 divisions or 59.1 field pieces per division. Then, in June 1941, they "increasingly expanded" it to 5,890 leFH (an expansion of 27%), 2,204 sFH (an increase of 22%), 516 10cm sK (an expansion of 6%), 90 15cm sK (an increase of 50%), and 357 17cm sK and 21cm Mrs (an increase of 52%). For effectively 145 divisions or 62.4 field pieces per division (an increase of 5%).
Are you factoring in all the massive losses in equipment between 1941-45? Or the impact of bombing on production as well as the loss of raw material sources? Since you're obviously not it is a pointless comparison you're making. Clearly the use of captured artillery by this point was driven by all of the above constraining factors rather than the choice to skimp on artillery production. By your logic we can also claim that the Germans didn't focus on aircraft production because they had a massive reduction in number of airframes by 1945 compared to 1940.Richard Anderson wrote: ↑31 Oct 2021 02:57Then let's jump forward to January 1945. The Heer fielded 6,022 leFH, an increase from just the Ostheer to the total Heer of 2%. 2,079 sFH, an increase of 17%, 537 10cm sK, an increase of 4%, 31 15cm sK, a decrease of 66%, and 280 17cm sK and 21cm Mrs, a decrease of 27%. With nominally about 285 divisions that was just 31.4 field pieces per division. However, the shortfall was "made up" by a massive increase in the number of captured pieces - 276 leFH, 884 sFH, 661 10cm sK, 249 15cm sK, and 106 21cm Mrs - and large numbers of 7.5cm leFK, 1,069 repurposed 7.5cm Pak and aging nA 16, plus 6,022 others captured from the French, Belgians, Soviets, Norwegians, and others. Then there were the 979 mountain guns and howitzers, so all told the number of pieces per division was closer to 67.4 pieces per division, an increase of 7% since summer 1941...and never mind of course the issues with ammunition supply and maintenance of the mass of captured and antique weapons.
Those numbers included some elderly weapons. In 1940 the Wehrmacht had some 1000 leFH16s in use (mixed in the data with leFH 18s), a number that had miraculously grown during the 1930s when the secret stocks were made available. I have my books in storage, but this quote covers it well: "In 1933 there were 28 in use with 24 artillery batteries. As the army re-armed after the Nazi's came to power that increased to 496 in 1934, 568 in 1936, 728 in 1936 and 980 in 1937." From: http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/we ... FH_16.html
Similar situation for sFH13, that was still in use and had been restocked during the 1930s (as well as several dozen 10,5cm K17, still used in 1940).
The 15cm heavy gun park was mainly K16, another WW1 vintage weapon.
Nothing wrong with that, as the Allies still fielded lots of French 75mm, 18pdrs, 155mm howitzers, etc. in the same year.