World War 1 American Tank
American World War 1 Tank
The crew of an American World War 1 tank poses next to their machine somewhere in France. It’s interesting to see how big the tank was, which meant that it had a very high silhouette and center of gravity. These design flaws meant that the tank would be unstable and liable to tip over, and also meant that it would make an easier target for enemy gunners. Modern tanks, and even tanks from world war 2 adopted a low profile whihc made them more stable and harder to hit. It also allowed them to use the terrain for cover. This lumbering beast, on the other hand would have been visible from a great distance.
The configuration of the tank’s armament is also unconventional and represents an evolutionary dead end. Unlike modern tanks, this one has its guns mounted on side turrets which cannot be rotated 360 degrees, limiting its offensive capabilities.
In addition to the officers and men standing next to the tank, closeups of the picture reveal other men inside the tank peering out from port holes and hatches.
Note the smiling man peering out from the gun port. The gap which allowed the gun to swivel also allowed enemy bullets to potentially come through.
A closeup of the front of the tank. A soldier with a gun and bayonet is leaning out of the front hatch.
Photograph 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 Tanks
A 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.
Allied tanks are being transported by rail to the Western front while some curious French women look on, August, 1918. Trains were used to transport tanks to forward staging areas in order to avoid wear on the machines and their treads which were prone to break down. The tanks would then move under their own power from where they were deposited by the train to a staging area behind the trench lines, until it was time to attack.
In this picture a very muddy American tank plows through a German trench during World War I, near Saint Michel, France. The tanks of World War 1 were basically armoured tractors with fairly light armour and armaments. But they were the key to breaking the stalemate on the Western Front because they could ram through barbed wire entanglements, and act as a the sharp wedge breaking open the enemy lines and allowing the infantry to follow and occupy the ground.
Closeup of Mud Encrusted Tank Threads