Tanks In Ww1 Essay

689 words - 3 pages

The Great War, also known as The First World War, was a war that affected most of Europe and great part of America, Africa and Asia. Though it didn’t achieve much and caused the death of many, it did give a ground for warfare technology to be created. Poison gas, aircraft, machine guns, and submarines were some of the new inventions tested during this period of war. Tanks were also created in this war, and were a very necessary invention especially for Europeans. British, Austrians, Russians, Germans, and French had previously created fighting vehicles that could transport artillery and people through normal terrain, but not through trenches, which made a great part of the Western Front. Any new technology for transportation was received, and the British were the ones that came out with the idea of tanks.
In 1914, the British Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Swinton, proposed the idea of a new fighting vehicle When he presented his idea to the government, and the ...view middle of the document...

They called this first tank "Little Willie". On September of the same year, it stopped working so they built a new improved one and called it "Big Willie".
By February 12th, 1916, the Ministry of Munitions had ordered about 100 “Big Willies” for war. These tanks made their first appearance in World War 1 at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette in September 1916. On November of this same year, tanks appeared again, with less success at the Battle of Somme. The British sent 49 tanks into the battle. Months later, Central Powers came in need for a good and resistant vehicle to transport heavy machine gun armament, so Germany also started producing tanks to counterattack the British.
Though tanks were new machinery and were unsafe, they were a provisional solution for the transportation problem and were effective during World War 1. At the beginning, they were slow and clumsy vehicles that couldn’t move faster than 4m/h. They were, as every new machine, highly unreliable, and had many problems, but they provided a solution for mobility to the Western Front. The only potential problem tanks faced was who would drive them. Very few people outside the rich had had the experience of mechanized vehicles by 1916. The only people that weren’t from the aristocracy that had driven came from the Motor Machine Gun Service or from the Motor Trade, and though these people had mechanical skills, they had no military knowledge! Also, the other problem was how uncomfortable those tanks were. Heat generated inside tanks was terrible because of the bullet proof walls, and they could only carry a crew of ten men with two machine guns on board and one light artillery gun.
Apart from this, tanks were a good solution and a great advantage for the British. They eventually improved and became a key strategy for the Allies in war. Senior military commanders were hostile to the use of armored vehicles, but they also acknowledged that tanks and infantry worked in co-operation, so this was a huge advance in strategy for the British. By 1918 Britain and France had produced over 6,500 tanks between them and Germany had produced just 20. This was a new technology that had never been used in warfare before, but turned out to be one of the best weapons the Allies could use against the Central Powers.

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