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All that remains, in its present state, is part of the hydraulic lifting mechanism and the pulleys. Both served to prove that only the new machine Mother, was able to match War Office requirements. Braked differential. Daimler 6 cylinder, Knight sleeve valve, hp petrol missing.

None, rigid rollers attached to frames. Two-speed forwards, one reverse, final drive by Renolds chains to sprockets gearbox and chains now missing. Manufacture was discontinued at the end of the war. It was designed by Wilson in response to problems with tracks and trench-crossing ability discovered during the development of Little Willie. A gun turret above the hull would have made the centre of gravity too high when climbing a German trench parapet which were typically four feet high , [5] so the tracks were arranged in a rhomboidal form around the hull and the guns were put in sponsons on the sides of the tank.

A mockup of Wilson's idea was shown to the Landship Committee when they viewed the demonstration of Little Willie. At about this time, the Army's General Staff was persuaded to become involved and supplied representatives to the Committee.

Through these contacts Army requirements for armour and armament made their way into the design. Mother was successfully demonstrated to the Landship Committee in early ; it was run around a course simulating the front including trenches, parapets, craters and barbed wire obstacles. The demonstration was repeated on 2 February before the cabinet ministers and senior members of the Army.

Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War , was skeptical but the rest were impressed. Lloyd George, at the time Minister of Munitions, arranged for his Ministry to be responsible for tank production. The Landship Committee was re-constituted as the "Tank Supply Committee" under the chairmanship of Albert Stern; Ernest Swinton, who had promoted the idea of the tank from the Army angle was also a member.

Swinton would become the head of the new arm, and Elles the commander of the tanks in France. The first order for tanks was placed on 12 February , and a second on 21 April. Fosters built 37 all "male" , and Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon, and Finance Company, of Birmingham, 38 "male" and 75 "female" , a total of Well, we must not expect too much from them but so far they have done very well, and don't you think that they reflect some credit on those responsible for them? It is really to Mr Winston Churchill that the credit is due more than to anyone else.

He took up with enthusiasm the idea of making them a long time ago, and he met with many difficulties. He converted me, and at the Ministry of Munitions he went ahead and made them. The admiralty experts were invaluable, and gave the greatest possible assistance. They are, of course, experts in the matter of armour plating.

Major Stern, a business man at the Ministry of Munitions had charge of the work of getting them built, and he did the task very well. Col Swinton and others also did valuable work. The Mark I was a rhomboid vehicle with a low centre of gravity and long track length, able to negotiate broken ground and cross trenches.

The main armament was carried in sponsons on the hull sides. The hull was undivided internally; the crew shared the same space as the engine. The environment inside was extremely unpleasant; since ventilation was inadequate, the atmosphere was contaminated with poisonous carbon monoxide , fuel and oil vapours from the engine, and cordite fumes from the weapons.

Entire crews lost consciousness inside the tank or, sometimes, collapsed when again exposed to fresh air. To counter the danger of bullet splash or fragments knocked off the inside of the hull, crews were issued with leather-and-chainmail masks. Gas masks were standard issue as well, as they were to all soldiers at this point in the war see Chemical warfare.

There was also the danger of being overrun by infantry and attacked with grenades. The next generation had thicker armour, making them nearly immune to the K bullets. In response, the Germans developed the A direct hit by an artillery or mortar shell could cause the fuel tanks which were placed high in the front horns of the track frames either side of the drivers' area, to allow gravity feed to burst open.

100 years since the first tanks rolled into war

Incinerated crews were removed by special Salvage Companies, who also salvaged damaged tanks. Steering was difficult, controlled by varying the speed of the two tracks. Four of the crew, two drivers one of whom also acted as commander; he operated the brakes, the other the primary gearbox and two "gearsmen" one for the secondary gears of each track were needed to control direction and speed, the latter never more than a walking pace.

As the noise inside was deafening, the driver, after setting the primary gear box, communicated with the gearsmen with hand signals, first getting their attention by hitting the engine block with a heavy spanner. For slight turns, the driver could use the steering tail: an enormous contraption dragged behind the tank consisting of two large wheels, each of which could be blocked by pulling a steel cable causing the whole vehicle to slide in the same direction.

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Many of these vehicles broke down in the heat of battle making them an easy target for German gunners. There was no wireless radio ; communication with command posts was by means of two pigeons, which had their own small exit hatch in the sponsons, or by runners. Because of the noise and vibration, early experiments had shown that radios were impractical, therefore lamps, flags, semaphore, coloured discs, and the carrier pigeons were part of the standard equipment of the various marks. During the First World War, British propaganda made frequent use of tanks, portraying them as a wonder weapon that would quickly win the war.

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They were featured in films and popular songs. When first deployed, British tanks were painted with a four-colour camouflage scheme devised by the artist Solomon Joseph Solomon. It was found that they quickly got covered with mud, rendering elaborate, camouflage paint schemes superfluous. In late , the Solomon scheme was abandoned and tanks were painted with a single shade of dark brown. At the rear of the tank, a three, four or five digit serial number was painted in white or yellow at the factory. At the front there was a large tactical marking, a prefix letter indicating the company or battalion, and a number training tanks had no letter, but three numbers.

Tanks were often given individual names and these were sometimes painted on the outside. A small handful were known to carry artwork similar to aircraft nose art. The first tanks were known as the Mark I after the subsequent designs were introduced.

British Mark I Tank < Modellismo < Milistoria

Mark Is that were armed with two 6 pounder guns and three. Ernest Swinton is credited with inventing the terms. To aid steering, a pair of large wheels were added behind the tank. These were not as effective as hoped and were subsequently dropped. The Gun Carrier Mark I was a separate design, intended to carry a field gun or howitzer that could be fired from the vehicle.

In service, it was mostly used for carrying supplies and ammunition. Forty-eight of them were built. Initial production of the Mark I was to be by Fosters and Metropolitan: 25 from Fosters and 75 from Metropolitan, which had greater capacity in Wednesbury at the Old Park site of the Patent Shaft Company, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan. As there were not enough 6-pounder guns available for all tanks, it was decided to equip half of them with just machine guns.

A new sponson design with two Vickers machine guns in rotating shields was produced.

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Later in the war when newer tanks came into use some Mark Is were converted to be used for carrying supplies. A few Female Mark Is were used as mobile wireless stations by installation of a wireless transmitter. The radio could only be operated once the tank had stopped and erected a very tall mast that carried the aerial array. The Whippet was designed to meet a request from the Army for a lighter, faster tank. In the minds of army commanders, the war would be won by a breakthrough in the lines which could be exploited by fast-moving troops. A fast, light tank could carry out this exploitation work, as cavalry had traditionally done.

It was powered by two engines and steered by slowing down one while speeding up the other. This created an efficient vehicle that needed a skilled driver. Around Whippets were made in They saw their first use in March , helping to prevent a German breakthrough near Serre. After talking with the men who had crewed tanks in action, Tritton gained a greater understanding of the problems with tanks and how to solve them. The result was the Hornet medium tank. Better ventilation and isolating the engine helped protect the crew from fumes.

Steering could be done by a single man using a Wilson gearbox and transmission. A cupola gave the commander better oversight of his crew. Breaking from established design practices, the tracks were lowered while the superstructure was raised and improved. Thousands of hornets were ordered in , then canceled when the war ended. Only 36 were completed, but the changes in their design shaped future tanks.

Produced by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Aspects of its design were copied by the Russians and Germans. The Independent was designed to fulfill a specification from the General Staff. They wanted a heavy tank that combined speed with multiple weapons, one that could fight independently rather than having to stick with the infantry.