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og ACIION pub DEUTSCHE FAINZ er 1917-1945 UWE FEIST DEUTSCHE PANZER 1917-1945 UWE FEIST Published by Zip Code 92028 AERO PUBLISHERS, INC: 329 W. AVIATION ROAD, FALLBROOK, CALIF. COPYRIGHT © 1978 ACTION PUBLICATIONS. Allright reserved Photos cr Drawings may rot be reproduced Without the writen permission from Acton Publations 0. Box 869 Belinghar, Washington 96225 Introduction Gorman tenke antored the anals of armored warfare forthe frst time in March 1918 in the fom of the cumbersome "STURMKAMPF- WAGEN A7V" of which only about twenty were built, compared to ‘the 2,880 tanks built by the British alone. ‘After the last shots of World Wer II rang out and the last Armored Fighting Vehicle stood abandoned by its crew. alegendery force, the German “PANZERTRUPPE" (tank force) had forever let their mark in the history of armored warfare. In the preceding 33 years, hundreds of concepts of Panzerkampfwagen (Armored Fighting Vehicle) left ‘the drafting tables of Geman companies like Daimler-Benz, Krupp, Rhsinmetali-Borsig, Henschel and MAN. Opel and Ford, due to their American affliation, didnot reesive armament orders. Prototypes of experimental tanks were secretly built as early as 1926, with quantity production beginning in 198. ‘The Panzer | and Panzer I light tanks orginally intended as training vehicles, armed with 7.92cm twin MG and a 2 cm KwK respectively, played a major rolein the early year of Gamany’e military invohvomante, Four tank battalions equipped with P2. Kpf. Iweresent to Spain in 1996 as part of the LEGION CONDOR in suppert of Generalissimo Franco's forces against Soviet backed goverment forces. Gamany occupied Czechosiovakiain 1899 and captured a krge number ‘of TNH and Lt 36 tanks. Tho approximately 200 Skod built Lt 35 renamed Pz. Kpfug. 36 (t) and the Praga-bullt TNH tank renemed Pz. Kpfwg. 38 (t) came as a welcome addition to the stl small PANZERTRUPPE. The 3.5 cm Pz. Kpfwg.Illand 7.5 em Pz. Kpfwg. IV soon replaced the light tanks, their chassis now being converted into self-propelled {uns or tank destroyers (Panzerjiger). Many French and British vehicles captured after the campaign in May-June 1940 were brought into service unchanged, modified or rebuilt into Sf. (sel-propell carrago). ‘The campaign in Russia in June 1941, which Germany entered with 3,100 tanks (965 Panzar Il, 439 IV), soon showed serious shortcomings Invarmor, armament and performance — especially when encountering the medium 7:34 and heavy KVI andl tanks, The Pz, Kpfwg. VI TIGER | and the 7.6 om Pe. Kpfwg. V PANTHER, {gave the Germans, once again, an edge over their adversary Always outnumberedby allied armor training in tactics and technique Carried the load and tank training became highly specialized. Tank crews were turned out from the “Panzerschulen” (tank schools) in less than 120 days. Also, Germany now forced into the defensive on all fronts, increasingly relied on their excellent assault guns and tank destroyers, besed on the proven Paneer Il and IV chassis, “The Sturmgeechiltz took a heavy tollof enemy armor. By Spring 1944 ‘the 20,000th Fussian AFV fellvictim to the "Sturmgeschitz” A single ‘Stu.G Brigade, consisting of not more than 20 operational vehicles, ‘knocked out 1,000 tanks in 1Smonths. The TIGER I! "KUNIGSTIGER” the tank hunter “ELEFANT” and "JAGDTIGER’’ the heaviest AFV Used in action which was only built in small numbers, could not ater the outcome of the War. When the tinal tally was taken, 23,487 tanks ‘and 42,882 fuly-tracked self-propelled guns were produced and used Lup between 1839 and 1945. On the opposite sde an estimated 100,000 Russian AFV's lay burned outall over Russia and Eastern Europe. The Russians, Americans, and British built approximately 212,000 tanks, almost ratio of 1:10, ‘Today all that remains of this awesome armor armada are @ few vet erans on display in military museums around the world and several ‘thoussnd documented photographs — the only remaining. visuel records ofa Force that helped to change the world. ‘Tho War in the East was very costly in men and material for both sides. Focords show the loss of German AFV's from December 1, 1943 until November 30, 1944: Panzer IV, approximately 2,450; Pz. Kpfwg. V PANTHER, approximately 2.130: Tiger |, approximately 640; Kénige- tiger |Stu. 6 Il, appreximatey 2,950. However, mary vehicles could be repaired and put into action again. The battles were fisrce and towards the erd the greatest production potential played as important 4a role as performance and fighting ski.