Panzer I is the common name of a light tank that was produced by Germany in the 1930s. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen I (abbreviated PzKpfw I) and the tank also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 101. Intended as a training tank to introduce the concept of armored warfare into the German Army, it began design in 1932 and mass production in 1934.Ultimately, the Panzer I's performance in combat was affected by its relatively poor armor protection and light armament.
Although the Panzer I was an obsolete tank when put into a combat role, the Panzer I formed large portions of Germany's total tank strength in most major campaigns between September 1939 and December 1941. Ultimately, the small light tank would be overshadowed in importance by much more well known German tanks, such as the Panther or Panzer IV, but its important contributions to the early victories of Nazi Germany during the Second World War cannot be ignored.