(German panzer, “armoured”) Self-contained military unit of the German army, built around the capabilities of armoured vehicles. In World War II, it consisted of a tank brigade with four battalions; a motorized infantry brigade with four rifle battalions; an artillery regiment; and reconnaissance, antitank, and military-engineering battalions and service units. Germany had six panzer divisions in 1939 and 20 by 1941. It remains the principal offensive element of the German army.
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Specialization in the production process. Complex jobs can usually be less expensively completed by a large number of people each performing a small number of specialized tasks than by one person attempting to complete the entire job. The idea that specialization reduces costs, and thereby the price the consumer pays, is embedded in the principle of comparative advantage. Division of labour is the basic principle underlying the assembly line in mass production systems. See Émile Durkheim.
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