Guderian had planned for two main tanks: the Panzer III and the Panzer IV, with production starting in 1936 and 1937 respectively. The design work for the Panzer IV had begun in 1935 and trials of prototypes were undertaken in 1937, but by the time of the invasion of Poland only a few hundred 'troop trial' models were available.
- Development and uses
- Overview per tank
- See also
Heinz Guderian in the Battle of France with the 'Enigma' machine
The German tank force was an amazing success due to tactical innovation more than tank quality. Many of their tanks outclassed allied armor, delivered more casualties than they took in most engagements due to the impressive training the German soldiers received, and the excellent tactics used by the German forces.
(Only tanks that were built in significant numbers are listed.)
Main article: Panzer I
German armoured fighting vehicles of World War II
Military technology during World War II
Glossary of German World War II military terms
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Early German tanks were no different from any of the other major nations. Panzer tanks were initially equipped with the machine gun armed Panzer Mk. I and these were supported by slightly bigger Panzer Mk. II mounting a 20mm canon. By 1939 they had a couple of medium tanks which mounted 37mm (Panzer Mk. III) and 75mm low velocity guns (Panzer Mk.
- Heavy Tanks
- Panzerkampfwagen III
- Panzerkampfwagen IV
- Panzerkampfwagen V
- Panzerkampfwagen II
- Other Light Tanks
- Assault Guns
- Tank Destroyers
- Artillery Spgs
- Panzer I
- Panzer II
- Panzer IV
- Czech-Made Panzers
When World War 2 started the German army had nearly 1500 Panzer I tanks. They participated in the Blitzkrieg invasion of Poland in 1939, although it was known that they are not suitable for front line fighting because of their lack of firepower and very thin armor. In the Blitzkrieg invasion of France in 1940 only 500 of them participated. The othe...
The Panzer II was also the basis for several special tank types: a fast recon tank, an amphibious tank, equipped with a propeller, developed for the intended invasion of England in 1940, and a flamethrower tank ( called Flammpanzer II ) equipped with two flamethrowers (100 were in service by 1942). When the Panzer II tank became obsolete, it was co...
9,000 Panzer IV's were produced, and more would have been produced as Guderian recommended, if it was not for Hitler's obsession for complex and very expensive advanced weapons, the Panther, Tiger, and King Tiger heavy tanks in that case, which reduced the production of the Panzer IV even before they were fully developed and tested.
The problems were later fixed, and the Panther is considered the best German tank of the war.The Panther tank initially fought in the battle of Kursk in July 1943, the greatest tank battle of the war, and served in all fronts until the end of the war. It was widely used in Normandy after D-Day . Variants of the Panther included a mobile observation...
So a year later, when Germany invaded France, three full German Panzer divisions were equipped with Czech tanks. One division was equipped with the Czech type 35 light tank (10 tons) which was renamed Panzer 35, and two divisions were equipped with the type 38 light tank (10 tons) which was renamed Panzer 38. The Panzer 35 had a crew of four and ca...
excluding czech-built tanks, on 1 september 1939 the invasion of poland was undertaken with the german armoured force of 3,195 tanks evenly split between the pz i training tank and the pz ii light tank; of the main battle tanks, only 98 pz iiis were in service during the invasion of poland, along with 211 pz ivs, with 215 tanks of various models …
From the snowy steppes of Russia to the soaky jungles of New Guinea, from the sands of Egypt to the grassy plains of Western Europe, the tanks were wherever soldiers were to be seen. They fought in most battles of the Second World War, some of these have become legendary like Kursk, one of the largest armoured clashes in the history of mankind.