The Panzerkampfwagen III was the mainstay of the German armoured force in the early years of World War II and spearheaded the victories in Poland, Western Europe and the Balkans. Following these early triumphs, it was upgraded with improved armour and a more effective main weapon, and this later version proved particularly effective during combat against British tanks in the North African desert campaign.
However, in the first months of Operation Barbarossa – the German invasion of the Soviet Union – it became obvious to battlefield commanders that the Panzer III had become obsolete and it began to be replaced by the Panzer IV as the main front-line battle tank. The Panzer III was relegated to a secondary role, but its chassis proved the basis for many other vehicles throughout the war.
This comprehensive, highly illustrated history reveals the full history of the Panzer III, from its design and development to its many upgrades and variants.