German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery


Tanks of the German Panzerwaffe



- light tank armed with 2 machine guns

- 169 photos


- coming soon


- medium tank armed with 37 / 50 mm gun

- 278 photos


- coming soon


- medium tank armed with 75 mm gun

- 144 photos


- heavy tank armed with 88 mm gun

- 194 photos


- heavy tank armed with 88 mm gun

- 199 photos

PANZER 35(t)

- coming soon

PANZER 38(t)

- coming soon


- Prototype of super-heavy tank

- 57 photos



German army definitely wasn`t the one, who took the initiative in tanks development. Germans started their own tank projects as a reaction to the successful deployment of first tanks by the British and French in 1916. Several different designs were created in Germany during 1917 but just one of them was actualy produced in a small batch and deployed in combat. This was the A7V tank. A7V`s design was rather primitive. It was basically just a huge metal box on tracks. It was slow and clumsy, produced too late and in too small numbers to have any actual efect on the fighting. The most promising of German WW I designs was the LK-II light tank. However only 2 prototypes were finished before the end of the war.

The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1918, definitely ended further development of German tanks. However, German army soon started to break the restrictions and secretly worked on new tanks in cooperation with Soviet union. Prototypes of two new types (heavy Grosstraktor and light Leichttraktor) were built and tested already during 1920s.

Nevertheless the actual history of the famous German Panzerwaffe started at the beginning of 1930s. Lieutenant-Colonel Heinz Guderian, the chief of staff to the Inspectorate of Motorized Troops, created the general concept of future German tank units. It was based on 2 main types of tanks - a heavier vehicle to fight the enemy strongpoints and a lighter vehicle to destroy enemy AFVs (later on these two materialised in Panzer IV and Panzer III). However the German army needed something to start with and learn how to actually use tanks in large numbers. Two types of light tanks were developed for this purpose - Panzer I and Panzer II.

After the outbreak of WWII in 1939, and especially after the invasion of Soviet union in 1941, speedy development of new heavier tanks was started to overcome the quantitative (and sometimes also qualitative) superiority of the Soviet army. This was when the famous Panther, Tiger and Tiger II tanks appeared... but as we know, even this was not enough to beat the "russian bear".