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An American WW1 Tank
American World War 1 Tank

American Tank of WW1

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 armored vehicle 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 which 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 and extremely slow.

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. It is interesting to see that there were large gaps in the armor, allowing bullets, gas or flame throwers to potentially reach the crew inside.

peering out from the tank's 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. These armored vehicles were a big improvement over infantry but were far from being safe.
front of the tank
A closeup of the front of the tank. A soldier with a gun and bayonet is leaning out of the front hatch. Note that the armor consists simply of steel plates riveted together.