The Panzer II, short for its full name Panzerkampfwagen II, whose army identification number was Sd.Kfz. 121, was a German light tank designed in the early 1930s as a replacement for the Panzer I light armoured tank. Although the design was considered a transition to larger tanks, the Panzer II formed the backbone of the German armoured divisions during the Polish and French campaigns, and was also used during the invasion of the USSR in 1941, proving all its weaknesses. It was then withdrawn almost completely from the front line between 1942 and 1943, and relegated to training duties, and for anti-partisan combat; the versatile hull was instead reused for various self-propelled and tank fighter designs.
By Luca Stefano Cristini, 60 pages
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