Category Archives: Armoured Cars

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.

French Armoured Car

armoured car

A French crew manning a machine gun turret.

This is a photograph of a French armoured car in the snow on the Western Front during WW1. To call it an armoured car is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. While there are some light armoured platings, particularly in the rear and a gun shield to provide some cover to the machine gun crew, the can of the vehicle is completely exposed and there is no protection from any shrapnel or fire coming from the side.

 

In addition to the obvious deficiencies in its armour, the truck has obviously thin wheels which would make it prone to getting stuck in the snow and the mud of the front.

By the standards of even later in the war, vehicles such as this were completely useless sitting ducks. However they were important first steps in the development of an armoured fighting force, which would eventually lead to the impressive tanks fielded by the British, French and Americans towards the end of the war.