British Mark I male tank Somme 25 September 1916. The name “tank” was initially a code name to maintain secrecy and disguise its true purpose. Tanks also carried supplies and troops. Due to the world of tanks commander’s guide pdf necessary for this shape, an armed turret would have made the vehicle too tall and unstable.
Later, subtypes were produced with machine guns only, which were designated “Female”, while the original version with the protruding 6-pounder was called “Male”. With the exception of the few interim Mark II and Mark III tanks, it was followed by the largely similar Mark IV, which first saw combat in June 1917. The Mark V, with a much improved transmission, entered service in mid-1918. More than two thousand British heavy tanks were produced. Manufacture was discontinued at the end of the war. It was designed by Wilson in response to problems with tracks and trench-crossing ability discovered during the development of Little Willie.
A mockup of Wilson’s idea was shown to the Landships Committee when they viewed the demonstration of Little Willie. At about this time, the Army’s General Staff was persuaded to become involved and supplied representatives to the Committee. Through these contacts Army requirements for armour and armament made their way into the design. The demonstration was repeated on 2 February before the cabinet ministers and senior members of the Army.
Lloyd George, at the time Minister of Munitions, arranged for his Ministry to be responsible for tank production. Ernest Swinton, who had promoted the idea of the tank from the Army angle was also a member. Swinton would become the head of the new arm, and Elles the commander of the tanks in France. The first order for tanks was placed on 12 February 1916, and a second on 21 April. Well, we must not expect too much from them but so far they have done very well, and don’t you think that they reflect some credit on those responsible for them? He took up with enthusiasm the idea of making them a long time ago, and he met with many difficulties. He converted me, and at the Ministry of Munitions he went ahead and made them.
The admiralty experts were invaluable, and gave the greatest possible assistance. They are, of course, experts in the matter of armour plating. Major Stern, a business man at the Ministry of Munitions had charge of the work of getting them built, and he did the task very well. Col Swinton and others also did valuable work. Entire crews lost consciousness inside the tank or, sometimes, collapsed when again exposed to fresh air.