In the winter and spring of 1943, after their terrible defeat in Stalingrad, clearly outnumbered and losing the initiative in the eastern front, Hitler and the German High Command were asking themselves what to do next, in the summer of 1943.
The situation was bad not only in the war front. While Russian tank production increased to unbelievable levels, the German obsession for complex new super weapons, like the advanced but then immature Panther and Tiger tanks, largely reduced German tank production. General Guderian, the best German armor expert and commander, said "As interesting as these designs were, the practical result was just a reduced production of the Panzer 4, our only efficient tank then, to a very modest level.". Shortly before the battle of Kursk Guderian added, about the Panther and its crews, "They are simply not ready yet for the front". In early 1943 the Germans were about to destroy their own tank production rates by terminating Panzer 4 production in return for a production of just 25 new Tigers per month, but at a moment of reason Hitler gave control of tank production to Guderian who stopped this idea.