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
flagRepublic of Ireland
4%
9%
77%
9%
44
flagthe Netherlands
0%
18%
76%
2%
38
flagSweden
0%
13%
73%
13%
15
flagFrance
0%
29%
66%
4%
24
flagPoland
7%
19%
65%
5%
27956
flagGermany
6%
16%
65%
8%
98
flagthe United Kingdom
8%
15%
64%
6%
365
flagNorway
0%
21%
63%
5%
19
flagAustralia
17%
18%
60%
2%
85
flagthe United States
14%
18%
58%
4%
1054
flagGreece
22%
16%
55%
5%
18
flagNew Zealand
16%
22%
55%
0%
18
flagMalaysia
16%
16%
55%
5%
18
flagCanada
12%
19%
54%
4%
81
flagUnknown
19%
16%
54%
9%
42
flagIsrael
0%
37%
50%
0%
16
flagSouth Africa
6%
33%
46%
0%
15
flagIndia
19%
27%
38%
9%
213
flagPakistan
35%
17%
35%
11%
17
flagthe Philippines
22%
29%
20%
25%
44