Panzer is German for armour. It is also an abbreviation of the WWII German designation for tanks, Panzerkampfwagen ("Armoured Combat Vehicle", abbreviated PzKpfw). The word Panzer (plural: Panzer) gained infamy in English during Nazi Germany's successful Blitzkrieg armoured advances of World War II. It is used in English as an adjective describing armoured forces (as in Panzer division), or simply as a synonym for tank.
Panzer is occasionally confused with the name of the Panther tank (initially known as the Pzkpfw V Panther).
Panzers were used in both Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht. Panzer models include the following, which were battle tanks used by Germany in the Second World War:
Individual variations of these basic marks were given an 'Ausführung' (version) letter, and consequently the field of Panzer recognition is extremely complex. Entire books have been written to explain the differences between a Pz.Kpfw III Ausf. E(U) and a Pz.Kpfw III Ausf. F(U) , for example.
Tank destroyers were 'Panzerjäger' or Jagdpanzer, self-propelled infantry guns were 'Sturmgeschütz' ('Assault guns'), whilst self-propelled artillery pieces were usually referred to as 'Sonderkraftfahrzeug' ('Special-purpose vehicle').
Last updated: 05-17-2005 03:31:50