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German, Italian, Japanese Armoured Fighting Vehicles

German Panzer III in AfricaHistory, datas and pictures of German, Italian and Japanese tanks of WW2.

Although Italy and Japan produced significant numbers of tanks before and during WW2, it is the German tanks which are best known. At the outbreak of the war the Panzerkampfwagen (PzKpfw) I and PzKpfw II were the most common models, but within a few years these had been phased out of service and replaced by the PzKpfw III and PzKpfw IV. The latter had the distinction of remaining in production throughout the war. It was an excellent design that proved to be capable of being upgunned and up-armoured to meet the changing battlefield threat.
Additional, many Czech tanks were subsequently taken over by the Germans during the occupation in 1939 and remained in production in Czechoslovakia.

The Panther and Tiger arrived on the scene in the middle of the war, but these could not be produced in anything like the required numbers as a result of shortages in materials and manpower and of the effectiveness of Allied bombing on German plants, even though many of these had been dispersed early in the war. The Panther and Tiger were rushed into production without proper trials, however, and many were lost during their initial deployments as a result of mechanical breakdown rather than direct enemy action. The Tiger was, in particular, a very heavy tank and lacked mobility on the battlefield. Its armour protection and guns were first class, and this tank proved a difficult one to destroy on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. Often four Shermans would be required to neutralize just one Tiger: two would try to draw its fire, often being knocked out in the process, while the others worked round its flanks and attacked it from its more vulnerable sides.

Towards the end of WW2 Germany turned its attention to producing more and more tank destroyers as by that time the German army was on the defensive, and these vehicles were quicker, easier and cheaper to produce than tanks, such as the Panther and Tiger.

While some of the Italian tanks were fairly modern in 1939, by the early part of Italy's war they had become completely obsolete. The better armed and armoured P 40 heavy tank never entered service with the Italian army, although a few were taken over by the Germans.

Japan used tanks during the invasion of China before WW2 as well as during the Far Eastern campaigns from 1941. As few Allied AFVs were available at that time the Japanese vehicles were quite adequate, the more so as their primary role was infantry fire support rather than tank-against- tank operations.

Panzer II
Panzer II
Panzer III E
Panzer III E
Czech Panzer 38
Panzer 38
Panzer III L
Panzer III L
Pz Kpfw IV G
Panzer IV G
Panzer VI Tiger I
Panzer VI Tiger I
Panzer IV
Panzer IV H
Panzer V Panther
Panzer V Panther A
Panzer VI Kingtiger
Panzer VI Kingtiger

Fiat 3000
Fiat 3000
Carro Velocce CV33
Carro Veloce CV33
Carro Armato M13 40
Carro Armato M14/41, M13/40
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Turan II
Turan II

Japamese tank Type 95 HA GO
Type 95 HA-GO

Type 97 CHI-TO


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