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

To estimate total tanks pro­duc­tion. 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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