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WWII German Weapons Used in Combat!
German flag German German flag

WWII German Tanks and Armor

German tanks used in the TV series Combat! were actually contemporary American tanks painted with German symbols.

The stock war footage used in the show often features Panzers. Germany developed four versions of the Panzer.

Once Hitler came to power, there was a flurry of tank development in Germany. The German Army first used the Panzer I in 1933. The Panzer II was released in 1934. The original 1933 version weighed 7.2 tons, and had a 20 mm cannon and a machine gun in the turret. After many modifications, the Panzer II went into mass production in 1937. By that time the tank weighed 9.5 tons.

Both the Panzer III and Panzer IV were released in 1937. The IV became the backbone of Germany's Panzer force and the power behind the Blitzkrieg. The Panzer IV was manufactured by Krupp. The armor protection ranged from 8 mm to 30 mm in thickness.

Krieg und Kunst
Krieg und Kunst Tank Poster

In battle conditions in Poland, 1939, the inadequate armor plating for the Panzer I proved fatal. The reliable models II and III were better protected, but outgunned. The Panzer IV ruled the battlefield with its mix of speed, agility, firepower, and reliability. Germany produced over 9,000 of these tanks, more than any other WWII model.

The Panzer IV continued to do well as Hitler over-ran Europe and Africa. But the tank met serious resistance during the invasion of Russia in 1942. This lead Germany to develop the Panther tank. Its 75mm gun could penetrate Soviet tanks. Other features included sloped armour to deflect shot, torsion-bar suspension, and interleaved road wheels. The armor was 80mm thick.

Another model released in 1942 was the Tiger Tank, produced by Henschel. It had armor between 25 mm and 100 mm in thickness. The Tiger tended to overheat in battle and suffered problems with the suspension. It was replaced by the Tiger II, also known as King Tiger.


Model Crew Engine Weight Max Speed Weapons
Panzer I 3 130 hp     20 mm cannon and machine gun
Panzer II 3 140 hp 7.2 – 9.5 tons 25 mph 20 mm cannon and machine gun
Panzer III 5 230 hp 15 tons   37 mm cannon and machine gun
Panzer IV 5 230 hp 17.3 tons 18 mph short 75 mm gun and 2 machine guns
Panther   650 hp   28 mph 75 mm gun
Tiger   700 hp 55 tons 23 mph 88 mm gun
Tiger II or
King Tiger
    70 tons   128 mm gun
German tank: Tiger
PzKpfw VI - I
German tank: King Tiger
PzKpfw VI - II
King Tiger
German tank: Panther
PzKpfw V
German tank: Panther IV
PzKpfw IV
German tank: Panther III
PzKpfw III
German tank: Pather Elephant Jagdpanzer

Flag and tank icons created by Mario Paesani.

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For the Serious Researcher:

German Tanks of World War II in Color
Developed during the 1930s in contravention to the Treaty of Versailles, German tanks, along with the panzer units that operated them, were counted among the most feared conventional weapons of World War II. The story of German tank evolution, firsthand accounts of savage tank battles, tank comparisons, explanations of roles, and detailed armor and armament specifications combine with modern and rare period color photography to reveal the stories behind Germany's light armored support vehicles, light and medium Panzer tanks, and the behemoth Tiger tanks. At just 96 pages, this small book packs an incredible amount of information into an affordable overview. Plus spectacular color photos throughout! Incredible eye candy for the re-enactor, modeler, or general Combat! fan.

Germany's Tiger Tanks : Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics by Thomas L. Jentz Covers the complete combat history of the Tigers I and II, and includes the operational characteristics, organization, tactics, issue to combat units operational strength reports, and after-action-accounts. Author Tom Jentz conducted over 20 years exhaustive research for surviving records of the design/assembly firms (including Henschel, Krupp, Nibelungenwerk, Porsche, and Wemann), the Heereswaffenamt, the D656 series of manuals on the Tiger, and the war diaries and operations reports from the German units. The written records were supplemented by examing thousands of photos. On-sight research into almost all the surviving Tigers provided details that could only be obtained from actual specimens. New information was found on the evolution of the heavy tank series, the key decisions on the design of the Tigers, the significant modifications made during the production runs, production statistics, the Tigers characteristics and tactical capabilities, an exact accounting of the issue of the Tigers to the combat units, and combat accounts written directly after the actions. Over 130 b/w photographs, 50 charts and drawings, 9" x 12" Learn more... Tom Jentz is also the author of: Germany's Panther Tank: Quest for Combat Supremacy and Panzertruppen 1943-1945.

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two
Book Description 1,000 b/w illustrations! A complete illustrated directory is finally available that shows and describes nearly 300 types of German battle tanks, armored cars, self-propelled guns, and semi-tracked vehicles manufactured and put into service from 1933 to 1945. Only recently have the records of the manufacturers been made public, so never before could you know just how many of each model were available, along with accurate dates of their production and mobilization. Historic photos identify features of each vehicle type, including uncommon variants. Captions are packed with accurate details on designations given by the German Army General Staff: alternative designations, manufacturing and development history, chassis numbers, engine capacity, fuel, coolants, gearbox performance, speed and range, armament, armor material and thickness, and service record. Trim size: 8 3/4 x 11.

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More German Weapons:
WWII German tanks
WWII German Rifles
Luger Pistol - WWII German Handguns
Walther P38 Pistol - WWII German Handguns
German Machine Pistols (MP44, MP40, MP38)
WWII German Machine Guns - MG34 and MG40
Panzerfaust German Anti-Tank Weapon
WWII German Artillery

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