Feature

The Tank: A Hundred Years Strong

It's 100 years since the first tank rolled onto the battlefield with the British Army. Fielded during the Battle of the Somme in the First...

It's 100 years since the first tank rolled onto the battlefield with the British Army.
 
Fielded during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War it was 18 months before the German Army introduced their own version.
 
It also signalled a great leap in the modernisation of warfare and changed forever the way land battles were fought.
 
By the Second World War mass production of tanks was well established. In 1943 during the Nazi named Operation Citadel no less than 8,000 German and Soviet tanks fought each other.
 
 
The Mark 1 of 1916 was in its time something of a leviathan. German soldiers fled as the 28-tonne giant crushed everything in its 3.8mph path.
 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A Mark I Male Tank (designated as such because it is armed with two 6-pounder artillery guns; Female tanks were armed with machine guns) - the intertior of the tank was painted white to improve visibility for the crew. For more about the Mark I Tank, visit Osprey Publishing
 
By today's standards however it is something of a minnow. The British Army's current main battle tank, the Challenger 2, weighs in at around 62-tonnes and can travel at an impressive 37mph.
 
However some argue that the age of the tank has already past with the increasing role of asymmetrical warfare, the end of the Cold War and the proliferation of anti-tank weapons.