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World War 1 Tanks
Photo by Serg Alexa from FreeImages

World War 1 Tanks

The tank was one of the most important technological innovations to emerge from World War 1. The onset of trench warfare focused the minds of inventors and tactical theorists on a weapon capable of crushing barbed wire, overrunning machine-gun positions and crossing trenches. The British deployed tanks in the field as early as 15 September 1916. In 1914, a British armed force colonel named Ernest Swinton and William Hankey, secretary of the Committee for Imperial Defense, advocated the possibility of a defensively covered vehicle with transport line like tracks over its wheels that could get through adversary lines and navigate a troublesome area. The men spoke to  Winston Churchill, who put stock in the idea of a "land vessel" and sorted out a Committee to start building up a model. To keep the venture mystery from adversaries, creation laborers were supposedly told the vehicles they were building would be utilized to convey water on the front line. The new vehicles were delivered in containers named as "tank".

French tanks made their debut on 16 April 1917. After initial shock, the German infantry and artillery developed tactics to deal with the new machines, and their influence on the battlefield remained disappointing until the British used them en masse at Cambrai in November 1917. During the second half of 1918 the British and French integrated tanks into an effective tactical framework, together with infantry, artillery and ground attack aircraft. But tanks remained extremely vulnerable, slow and prone to mechanical breakdown, and they were never able to act as an instrument of breakthrough and pursuit. 

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