Invention of the Military Tank



Y/M/D Description Place
1915/02/00 First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, establishes the Landships Committee to develop "land ships" - an armoured vehicle with an internal combustion engine and tracks that can drive across battlefield trenches. The Admiralty, London
1915/10/00 Designed by William Tritton and Walter Wilson, Little Willie, a prototype 'landship' is built by William Foster and Co of Lincoln in the autumn of 1915. The oldest surviving military tank, Little Willie, is in the Tank Museum in Bovington, England.
1916/09/15 British deploy 32 Mark I tanks at Flers-Courcelette. Crewed by eight, the armored vehicles moved at 3 mph, suffered mechanical breakdowns, had difficulty maneuvering over the battle terrain and were susceptible to enemy grenades and armor-piercing rifles. Departement du Somme,
1917/07/31 The British Army deploys tanks in the Allied push to Passchendaele. Deluged with heaviest rainfall the region has seen in 30 years, the deep mud will trap tanks, incapacitate weapons while drown men and horses. Yorkshire Trench and Dug Out, Ypres, BE
1918/03/00 Never actually seen a tank, Eisenhower is informed that he is to command the US Army 301st Tank Battalion which is to be deployed to France in the spring. The War Dept will change these orders.
1918/08/08 East of Amiens in France, British Mark V tanks break through the German line, beginning the end of the world war. "the black day of the German Army" - German General Erich Ludendorff Amiens, Hauts-de-France
1919/11/17 "it was primarily due to the receptivity, courage and driving force of the Rt Hon Winston Spencer Churchill that the general idea of the use of such an instrument of warfare as the 'Tank' was converted into a practical shape." - Royal Commission on Awards

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