Panzer Is parade down the Siegesalle in Berlin, 1936
With the official German designation of Panzerkampfwagen I (PzKpfw I) and ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 101, The Panzer I was designed in 1932 and intended as a training vehicle to introduce the concept of armored warfare to the German Army.
The Panzer I entered mass production in 1934 and despite its original purpose, the vehicle ended up used in all major campaigns between September 1939 and December 1941, seeing combat in Spain, Poland, France, Russia and North Africa. After the war a number of Panzer Is continued to serve in the armed forces of Spain until 1954.
A then Col. Heinz Guderian (foreground) during an inspection of Pz. Is in 1935
The Panzer I weighed in at just under 5.4 tonnes and had an overall length of 4.02 m. It was crewed by only a driver and commander, was thinly armored and armed with twin 7.92 mm MG13 machine guns in a small turret.
The Panzer I's small size, lightweight performance and equally light firepower, left it hopelessly outclassed by late 1941 and relegated to such roles as armored ambulance, munitionsschlepper and anti-partisan duties.
In all 833 Pz. Is were produced.
Panzer I As taking part in a field exercise, 1936