German Armor History

The history of German armor development is long and convoluted and impossible to describe in detail in just a few articles – after all, many books have been written on the very same topic. One thing however is certain: German armor development was possibly the most influential in the world on the creation of modern armor concepts and tactics.

The horrors of the Great War and the desire to never again repeat the trench slaughter led to one of the mightiest armies the world has ever seen and the German armored forces were a large part of the reason behind the early German successes of the Second World War.

Just like the other major nations that fought in the First World War, Germany started deploying its first armored design late in the conflict. The first mass-deployed German tank, the A7V, was a crude, unwieldy metal box armed with multiple machineguns. Slow and vulnerable, it was not very successful and by the time the Germans learned the same lessons about needing smaller tanks that the French did, it was already too late and the war was lost.


The Versailles treaty effectively ended – albeit temporarily – all German ambitions to build advanced tanks and the LK and LK II prototype development was (apart from limited transfers to Sweden and Hungary) abandoned. Germany was prohibited from owning or manufacturing advanced weapons (including tanks) for years to come.

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