A brief history of tanks

A history of tanks……for my Nottingham University History degree my dissertation was on ‘Tanks of the Great War’ and I have always had a special interest in tanks and armoured vehicles, visiting The Tank Museum at Bovington Camp in Dorset a number of times to see the history and evolution of the tank, another great British invention, which shortened The Great War.

The Historic England Blog

Today, 20 November 2017, marks the centenary of the first mass use of tanks in the First World War.

During the Battle of Cambrai in northern France (20 October – 6 December 1917) 378 tanks smashed through the heavily fortified German Hindenburg Line. The plan was for this surprise attack to rupture the enemy defences allowing Allied forces to break through.  However, insufficient numbers of troops meant that the chance to exploit the action was lost.  An estimated 12,000 men died on either side.  It was a crucial learning experience for the military and a turning point in the war, leading to the eventual defeat of Germany and its Allies.

To commemorate this centenary, the Stourbridge war memorial in the West Midlands, with its decorative bronze tank frieze, has been upgraded to Grade II*.

german fortified battlefield IWM CO3392 German trench and barbed wire defences. Image © IWM CO 3392

By early 1915 the First…

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