The Trench Smasher

Huge Howitzer ArtilleryThis picture shows a group of Canadian soldiers cleaning their giant BL-15 Howitzer. This artillery piece was designed and built in Britain and was tasked with smashing deep German underground fortifications by dropping gigantic shells on the enemy. It had a range of about 6 miles and was used exclusively on the western front.

The shells were longer than a normal sized man. Below is a picture of a German soldier posing next to an unexploded shell that had landed near his trenches.

Unexploded Shell

American Tank With Unusual Triple Caterpillar Tracks

World War 1 American TankPhotograph of an American tank in 1917. Note the interesting triple tracks as well as the side windows for shooting and for navigation, which are protected by a metal flap. The main armament is a small gun located in a top turret. Also interesting is the height of this beast: it is nearly twice the height of the soldiers, which would have given it a high and therefore unstable center of gravity as well as making it harder to find cover behind natural terrain.

World War 1 Tank

World War 1 Tanks

ww 1 TankA tank built by the British firm of William Foster & Co, in service with the Canadian army during World War 1. William Foster & Co have the distinction of having manufactured the first tanks in the world, on behalf of the British government. They successfully built thousands of armoured vehicles for the British army as well as its allies such as Canada and Australia.

William Forster & Co were a venerable producer of British farm implements, with its origins going as far back as 1846. During the Great War, they were selected to build the first prototype tanks and the company used its expertise in the design of farm equipment, including farm tractors to great advantage to produce the first successful designs.

The first tanks were essentially farm tractors with armoured plating riveted to the sides, as can be seen in this picture.

Despite how primitive these tanks were, they helped restore mobility to the battlefield which had been lost through the stalemate of trench warfare.