The word "Panzer" is short for the German word Panzerkampfwagen, which translates to Armored Fighting Vehicle (or Tank) in English. The first Panzers were developed during the 1930s and used by German forces fighting in the Spanish Civil War, but they are most famous for their use during World War II as part of the German Blitzkrieg. Early Panzer models were technologically inferior to those used by Allied forces (especially the Soviet T-34 tank), and many German victories were won more due to the skill of their commanders than to the weaponry the Panzers carried. The Panzer V (known as the Panther) and the Panzer VI (or Tiger) developed during the war made significant improvements to the earlier designs and were a match for any Allied tanks. In the end, heavy bombing of German factories disrupted production and prevented large numbers of these weapons from being produced.
The Panzer is modeled on the real life Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, widely regarded as one of the best overall tank designs of WWII, with a 75mm high-velocity gun and highly effective sloped armour.