NO! This is not a post about a John Wayne movie….one I hate westerns and two it is about a implement of total destruction.
We are in the process of remembering World War One, the Great War, The War To End War….that war gave us some truly horrible killing machines…the machine gun, poison gas shells, flame thrower and the biggest and best of these terrible lethal things….the tank.
This history lesson is about the development and deployment of the tank……
Richard Lovell Edgeworth invented the Caterpillar track in 1770. In the Crimean War a small number of steam powered tractors based on this design proved very successful in the muddy terrain. He played around with for forty years but that he never successfully developed. He described it as a “cart that carries its own road”. (1)
The development of the modern tank remained dormant until the arrival of the internal combustion engine, patented by Gottlieb Daimler in 1885. In the United States the Holt Company built a tractor with caterpillar tracks that was used to move over difficult territory. Although it was suggested that this machine might be adapted for military use, those in positions of authority failed to see the significance of this new development. (2)
We are witnessing over 100 years of killing power in one machine…..
The first tanks rolled across a battlefield on the morning of 15 September 1916, when British forces attacked the positions of the German 28th Reserve Infantry Regiment at Flers–Courcelette with 32 tanks in an effort to break the stalemate on the Somme. To honour the 100th anniversary of the memorable event, Claire Apthorp takes a look back over the evolution of tanks in the UK
Through many changes the tank remains a superb killing machine if I may use that terminology….a dubious claim I know…and as an antiwar person I wish we could have a world without the need for such killing apparatuses….but that is wishful thinking, huh?