Developed in 1935, the Panzer III medium tank constituted the backbone of the panzer forces through much of the early portion of the war. Used to great effect in the Blitzkreig campaigns, they proved to be more than a match for the armor opposing them in Poland and France. In the desert campaigns of 1940, the Panzer III excelled again, proving capable of defeating every type of Allied armor until the arrival of the Sherman. The future of the Panzer III was curtailed to a degree by the appearance of the Russian T-34 tank, which boasted thicker armor, higher speed, and greater firepower. Although production was discontinued in 1943, many nevertheless survived to the end of the war, unquestionably deserving the sobriquet “Workhorse of the Wehrmacht.