Although designed as a stopgap, Panzer II still played an important role in the early stages of World War II, especially during the ‘Blitzkrieg’.
When they first appeared, in 1936, Panzer IIs were regarded as platoon commander’s tanks. They were also employed to give fire support to the Panzer I in combat with enemy tanks. However by 1940 they had been outclassed and were soon relegated to the reconnaissance role. The Panzer II remained in front line service until 1943 but was then employed on internal security duties in less active locations.
The Museum’s Panzer II
The Tank Museum’s Panzer II is an Ausfuhrung (or Model) F and featured improved armour. It was introduced in 1941 and served with Reconnaissance Platoon (RO6), Panzer Regment 7, 10 Panzer Division in Tunisia. Although captured by British forces in North Africa, it is shown in the markings of 1st Panzer Division at the time of the invasion of France in June 1940.