Tank Hunter World War One

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.


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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.