During World War II, the Allies recorded the serial numbers of captured German tanks' gearboxes. Why?

to track the movement of tanks
to identify the tanks re-captured by Germans
to estimate total tanks production
to take part in the "Top tank killer" contest
The allies found out, that the gearbox numbers fell in two unbroken sequences, so large production resulted in influx of large serial numbers. Today, the problem of estimating the maximum of a discrete uniform distribution from sampling without replacement, is known - in the English-speaking world - as the German tank problem.
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Answers by country

to track the movement of tanks
to identify the tanks re-captured by Germans
to estimate total tanks production
to take part in the "Top tank killer" contest
answers
flagSweden
0%
7%
78%
14%
14
flagthe Netherlands
0%
20%
74%
2%
35
flagFrance
0%
22%
72%
4%
22
flagRepublic of Ireland
5%
11%
70%
11%
34
flagGermany
4%
13%
68%
9%
82
flagPoland
7%
19%
65%
5%
27366
flagthe United Kingdom
8%
15%
64%
6%
329
flagNorway
0%
21%
63%
5%
19
flagMalaysia
17%
11%
58%
5%
17
flagthe United States
14%
19%
57%
4%
1026
flagAustralia
19%
20%
55%
2%
77
flagGreece
22%
16%
55%
5%
18
flagNew Zealand
16%
22%
55%
0%
18
flagUnknown
19%
16%
54%
9%
42
flagCanada
12%
20%
52%
5%
78
flagIsrael
0%
35%
50%
0%
14
flagSouth Africa
0%
35%
50%
0%
14
flagIndia
18%
27%
37%
9%
201
flagPakistan
31%
18%
37%
12%
16
flagthe Philippines
24%
29%
19%
24%
41