Military hardware is also one of the key success factors of an army. On these pages I will describe various waepon systems of the German Army in the Second World War. As for innovation the German used an step by step approach: they used existing systems as a certain type of tank and in time modified the existing model. In organisational terms this is incremental innovation. Sometimes, as for a new generation of tanks as the Panther and Tiger, they formulated specifications and the various producers could build prototypes based on these specifcations.


Maybe most important, innovation were always driven by the demands of the soldiers in the field. For instance, the specification for a new tank that would become the Tiger tank, were based on intensive talks with commanders and men in the frontline in the Soviet Union by the General Stab, designers, technicians and managers of the main armement producers in late 1941. And the Germans were very keen to know if everything did work out as planned: for instance Speer, as minister of Armament and Ammunition, was at least one week in the month near the front, talking with the crew of tanks on how the new gear box of the Panther held in the field or if the modified halftracks of the enigeneers performed as specified. If defects were found word imstantly went out to the producers to fix it.