The role of the German anti-tank guns increased in importance as the war wore on and the new battlefield realities the Wehrmacht ground troops had to face. The German foot soldiers entered World War II equipped with only one type of anti-tank gun; the 3.7 cm Pak 36, which could defeat only lightly armored enemy tanks in the Polish Campaign, the Battle of France, and the Balkan Campaign from September 1939 to April 1941. However, in late 1941, four months after the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the battlefield reality changed for the German infantry with the emergence of the Soviet T-34, a fast and mechanically reliable tank with good armor protection, and, by 1943, a new Russian heavy tank would also crop up on the Eastern Front horizon: the IS.
These tanks were immune to this German underpower anti-tank gun, with which the Wehrmacht had gone to war. These raw facts of war forced the Germans to develop much more powerful and effective anti-tank weapons. Meanwhile, they had to resort to AA guns, like the 88mm, which became effective tank killers.
List of German Anti-tank Guns in WWII
* 2.8 cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41. A 28mm taper-bore anti-tank gun, used by the infantry, tapering from 28mm at the breech to 20mm at the muzzle, firing tungsten-core ammunition.
* 4.7 cm Pak 36(t). An infantry, light, anti-tank gun based on the Czech Skoda 47-mm P.U.V vz 36.
* 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41. A famous, 88mm, anti-aircraft gun adapted to be used as a powerful anti-tank weapon.
* 4.2 cm Pak 41. An infantry anti-tank gun that was not produced in significant number.
* 8.8 cm Pak 43. It was designed by Krupp. Along with the 8.8-cm Flak gun, it was the most powerful anti-tank gun deployed by the German Army. It was also mounted in the turret of the Tiger II tank.