Category Archives: Western Front

American Tank – World War 1

 

World War 1 American Tank

 

American World War 1 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.

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.

 

american tank crew

A closeup of the front of the tank. A soldier with a gun and bayonet is leaning out of the front hatch.

 

 

German Prisoners of War

German POWs

German POWs

German Prisoners of War Standing Behind Barbed Wire

The picture shows a sea of German soldiers, all prisoners of war, standing behind a barbed wire fence. The fence is a rudimentary one, just a few wires strung along some rough posts. There are a couple of signs, their wording illegible but probably some warning against crossing the fence, nailed to one of the fence posts.

There are so many prisoners of war that the men have no room to move or lie down. There is no visible shelter, just a mass of thousands and thousands of POWs. Judging from their overcoats it is likely that the picture was taken in the Fall and there seems to be a chill in the air.

The conditions must have been very difficult. There is no designated place to go to the bathroom. Hygiene must have been horrendous. Line ups for food must have been very long.

Despite these hardships, the men in this picture were comparatively lucky. For them the war was over, and if they survived cholera and other diseases prevalent in POW camps, they would soon be repatriated with their families.

Here is a close up of some of the men, unidentified persons amidst the masses of nameless and indistinct faces.

German Prisoners of War

German POWs

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