A book that is well-worth its cover price. The story of the tank in WWI has never been told better, or more comprehensively, with some stunning images, mostly in full colour. – highly recommended.
NAME: Tank Hunter World War One FILE: R2631 AUTHOR: Craig Moore PUBLISHER: The History Press BINDING: soft back PAGES: 240 PRICE: £20.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, First World War. The Great War, armoured vehicles, tanks, infantry tanks, male tanks, female tanks, light tanks, medium tanks, mobility, mobile bunkers, trench breakers ISBN: 978-0-7509-8246-7 IMAGE: B2631.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yan8jxzp LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A book that is well-worth its cover price. The story of the tank in WWI has never been told better, or more comprehensively, with some stunning images, mostly in full colour. – highly recommended. The Royal Navy played the leading role in the development of the tank in WWI. This may seem surprising but, in many ways, it was very logical. The Royal Naval Air Service went to France at the beginning. It set up airbases for reconnaissance and combat close to the trenches, where several squadrons armoured private vehicles brought to France by its officers. The Royal Naval Division was formed to fight in the trenches because the RN was receiving so many more volunteers than it could use afloat. As a result the RN had a very strong vested interest in winning the trench war. The RN also had a long tradition for technical innovation and gunnery. We might look back now to Nelson and before, seeing the sailing warship as an impressive sight. It was a lot more than that, being the high technology spaceship of its time. Operating far from a friendly port, officers and men had to rapidly learn how to maintain the cutting edge technology they had taken to sea. So it was only natural that the RN would think of armoured gun-carrying Landships to fight through the sea of mud at Flanders. There is some debate as to what was the first 'tank'. In the same way that the RNAS unofficially created armoured cars in 1914 to protect personnel searching for new landing fields and carrying supplies to the squadron, the Army already had some tracked vehicles, of agricultural heritage, that were used to move heavy guns into position and on to new fire sites. As these vehicles were obvious targets when close to the enemy, steel plates were attached to afford protection to the personnel aboard. However the first fighting tank was the 'Number One Lincoln Machine' that was an armoured box on a tracked agricultural chassis with a turret added on top for a machine gun. It was a useful demonstrator but the tracks were too short, making it difficult to climb out of trenches. The enhancement was 'Little Willie' which was remarkably similar but was built without a gun turret and with longer tracks to improve performance across country and in climbing out of trenches. Both vehicles were equipped with a pair of wheels behind to steer the vehicle. They should perhaps therefore be regarded as half-tracks. These two experimental vehicles were followed by 'Mother' which was the first of the classic rhomboid shaped tanks, but still used a pair of wheels behind for steering. The name 'Tank' was adopted for security reasons to disguise the nature of the programme. 'Mother' was followed by a long line of broadly similar designs that dispensed with the steering wheels and relied on track steering, as did all subsequent designs, until the Germans began, during WWII, armouring their half-tracked personnel carriers and gun tractors, adding guns and taking over some of the roles performed by tanks. The classic WWI British tank was essentially an infantry tank, operating as a mobile fortification with infantry following in its protection. There were two basic designs, female tanks armed with machine guns, and male tanks armed with cannon and machine guns. After the first deployment of tanks by the British, the French and Germans began on their own designs, with a British and a German tank inevitably trading shells in the first tank-on-tank battle. The author has done a great job, providing a comprehensive account of the tanks of WWI. The images are excellent and most are in full colour, either drawings or photographs of tanks held by museums. He has provided depth to his account by including some of the specialist vehicles that were built to carry or tow guns and those used as rough terrain supply vehicles. This will be a very difficult book to equal and is likely to prove the definitive and affordable story of WWI tanks.