Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two World Wars. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. The UK currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside of the EMU for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. Regional assemblies with varying degrees of power opened in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 1999. - US CIA World Factbook.


Number 1 Lincoln Machine, Tritton Machine
Number 1 Lincoln Machine, Tritton Machine

The very first true tank design from the Land Ship Committee. Designed by a Mr. Tritton of the William Foster and Company LTD, and Lt. Wilson of the RNAS. Construction began on 12 August 1915 and utilized Bullock tracks imported from the USA. The engine and transmission came from Foster Daimler Tractor. The machine was armored with boiler plate and designed to mount a 2pdr gun (never fitted). The turret was a dummy. The tracks gave considerable trouble to this design. The machine was designed to cross a 4' trench or surmount a 2' parapet.

Specifications
Crew 4 - 6
Weight 14 tons
Length 26' 6"
Width ?
Height ?
Armor ?
Powerplant Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 1 x 2pdr (never fitted)
Performance 3.5 mph

Little Willie---Little Willie---Little Willie---Little Willie
Little Willie

Designed to meet a new requirement from the British War Office for a tracked vehicle to be able to cross a 5' trench and a 4.5' parapet. The Number 1 Lincoln was rebuilt, using the same engine and body but with specifically designed parts (as opposed to the standard factory parts used in the Number 1 Lincoln) and a new track layout designed my Mr. Tritton and Lt. Wilson. Tritton and Wilson experimented with all sorts of track design including Balata belting and flat wire ropes. Tritton then devised a system using cast flat steel plates riveted to links and incorporated guides to engage on the inside of the track frame. This is a successful design and was used on all WW1 British tanks up to the Mk VIII. The rear steering wheels was retained but the dummy turret was removed. Little Willie was completed in December 1915. The design was already outmoded by that time as a newer design (Mother) was already designed and nearly ready. Same specifications as the Number 1 Lincoln.

Specifications
Crew 4 - 6
Weight 14 tons
Length 26' 6"
Width ?
Height ?
Armor ?
Powerplant Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 1 x 2pdr (never fitted)
Performance 3.5 mph

Big Willie, Mother, Wilson Machine, Centipede---Big Willie, Mother, Wilson Machine, Centipede
Big Willie, Mother, Wilson Machine, Centipede

The prototype for the Mark I and the first rhomboid tank that would be the mark of a whole generation. This new track design gave the vehicle the equivalent of a wheeled vehicle with 60' diameter wheels! This new design easily met the requirements for a vehicle to be able to cross a 5' trench and surmount a 4.5' parapet. To lower the center of gravity, the top mounted turret was done away with as side sponsons added. Tested in January 1916, the vehicle was considered successful. Further demonstrations to officials and generals led to a order for 40 machines which was almost immediately changed to 100.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 28 tons
Length 32.5'
Width 13.75'
Height 8'
Armor ?
Powerplant Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 2 x 6pdr
Performance 3.7 mph

Mark I Tank (Male)---Mark I Tank (Female)---The Mark I Wireless Tank. This was a female tank with the armament replaced with office equipment and a wireless radio set. This arrangement was first used at Cambrai in November 1917.---Mark I diagram
Mark I Tank

The first real tank takes to the battlefields of France and perhaps the most important vehicle made my man between the invention of the aircraft and the rocket! By February 1916 orders for this tank had increased to 150. The only real difference between this tank and Mother was that real armor plate was used instead of boiler plate. Other differences were that the sponsons could be dismounted and there was a cupola for the driver and commander in the front. The rear steering wheels would later prove impossible to use in combat and by November 1916 they were discarded. Other features included a chicken wire enclosure on the roof to deflect grenades. Two versions were constructed, a female and a male. The female was armed only with machine guns and was intended for attacking enemy personnel and light fortifications. The male was armed with machine guns and two 6 pounder (57mm) naval guns. The intention of the male was to attack other gun emplacements and strong points. The female sponsons were slightly larger than the male model. The Mark 1 made it's maiden journey into combat at the battle of the Somme in 1916 and let the world know that it was a new idea here to stay when it entered the battle of Arras in 1917. Variants included a Mark I Tank Tender. This tank, first used in April 1917,  had it's sponsons removed and replaced with mild steel boxes. The tank was used to move personnel and stores. The tank could tow 3 sledges when fitted with a special attachment designed to increase the strength of the frame. Other experiments included using the Williams Janney hydraulic steering, the Wilkins multiple clutch, the Wilson planetary transmission and epicyclic gearbox. The Wilson equipment test was the most successful and incorporated into the Mark V. The Williams Janney steering was incorporated into the Mark VII and into the hydraulic jib of the MarkV**.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 28 tons (male), 27 tons (female)
Length 32.5'
Width 13.75' (male), 14.33' (female)
Height 8'
Armor 6 - 12mm
Powerplant Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 2 x 6pdr 4 x MG (male) 5 x MG (female)
Performance 3.7 mph

Mark II Tank (Male)---Mark II Tank (Male)
Mark II Tank

The Mark II was nearly identical to the Mark I. These tanks simply incorporated improvements based on learned experiance from combat. Improvements included a wider track link in every 6 to increase movement performance on soft ground. The Mark II was made by William Foster and Company LTD starting in January 1917. Only 50 were produced. Specifications were the same as the Mark I.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 28 tons (male), 27 tons (female)
Length 32.5'
Width 13.75' (male), 14.33' (female)
Height 8'
Armor 6 - 12mm
Powerplant Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 2 x 6pdr 4 x MG (male) 5 x MG (female)
Performance 3.7 mph

(no photo)
Mark III Tank

The Mark II was nearly identical to the Mark I. These tanks simply incorporated improvements based on learned experiance from combat. Improvements included a raised manhole hatch on the top. Late production vehicles has a smaller sponson and a "short" 6pdr as was fitted in the Mark IV. First produced in January 1917 at the same time the Mark II was being manufactured. Only 50 were ever made. Manufacturer for this vehicle was Metropolitan Carriage and Waggon Company LTD. Specifications were the same as the Mark I.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 28 tons (male), 27 tons (female)
Length 32.5'
Width 13.75' (male), 14.33' (female)
Height 8'
Armor 6 - 12mm
Powerplant Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 2 x 6pdr 4 x MG (male) 5 x MG (female)
Performance 3.7 mph

The Flying Elephant
Flying Elephant

A project from July 1916. This was to be a gun "proof" tank with up to 3" of armor in the front and 2" on the sides. An unusual feature was the internal tracks. These were normally non powered but placed there to help keep the tank from sinking up to it's belly on soft ground. In an emergency these could be coupled to the main tracks. The vehicle, designed by Tritton and built by the W. Foster and Company LTD, was nearly completed when the project was cancelled in December 1916 in favor of redirecting materials into the Mark I.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 90 - 100 tons
Length 26.75'
Width 9.84'
Height 10'
Armor 50 - 75mm
Powerplant 2 x Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 1 x 6pdr, 6 x MG
Performance ?

Mark IV (Male)---Mark IV (Female)---MarkIV Hermaphrodite - built to increase the firepower of the Female tank.

Mark IV Supply Tank - The sponsons were replaced by dummy steel boxes. Armament was 1 Lewis gun. The power was enhanced to a Daimler 125hp motor. The first order was issued in July 1917. The purpose of this tank was to return wounded from the front, and provide a means of sending supplies forward into areas that were under fire.---MarkIV Tadpole---MarkIV Tadpole mortar experiment. One vehicle had a platform welded between the track extentions so as to provide a platform. A 6" mortar was then installed. As only one was ever made it is assumed that the test was a failure.

MarkIV Recovery Tank---MarkIV Unditching Experiment - This tank allowed the crew to remain inside while engaging the unditching beam.
Mark IV Tank

A project starting October 1916 and off the assembly line in March 1917. The Mark IV saw service in the battles of the Messines, Third Ypres, and the First Cambrai. After these battles the tank was gradually replaced by the Mark V. The Mark IV was the culmination of all knowledge earned from the previous vehicles and their applications. The sponsons were hinged to swing back into the interior for railroad transportation. The Male sponsons were reduced in size and the shape (both Male and Female) changed so that the leading corner would not "catch" when passing over rough ground. The Male gun was reduced 23 caliber in order to achieve a new smaller size needed for the reduced size of the Male sponson. The Lewis gun became the MG of choice for all vehicles, replacing the various Hotchkiss and Vickers MGs. In a later modification, the Lewis fell into disfavor and was replaced by an improved Hotchkiss on all vehicles. The armor was improved to reduce "splash" and to defeat the German "K" bullet which was armor piercing. Gas tanks were now armored and placed outside, to the rear of the tank. Bolted onto every 3rd, 5th, or 9th track plate was a steel stud that improved traction. A muffler was used for the first time to reduce noise from the engine. Improvements for the crew were better ventilation and means of escape. In early 1917 three forms of gasoline electric drives were tested in this tank, a Westinghouse, a Daimler, and one copied from a French St. Chamond tank - none were accepted. Evolving in late 1917 was the Tadpole. The idea was to add 9' to the length and thereby improving the trench crossing capability. It also added an extra 28 track plates to each side. The tadpole extension was not fitted to all vehicles but was considered successful enough so as it was also incorporated into the later Mark V. With the appearance of German (captured) tanks, the Female tanks were upgraded in firepower by adding a Male sponson to one side. This version was called a Hermaphrodite. New was the Fascine Tank. This tank carried a bundle 10' long and 4' 6" round. The bundle was tightly bound by chains.  The tank would track up to a trench, the driver would release the bundle into the trench - thereby filling it, and then continue on with the attack as a normal tank. The fascine was carried on the unditching rail of the tank. Also new was the Recovery Tank of which several variants existed. One version was a normal tank with the guns removed and a front rigged block and tackle. The other version had fitted equipment with twin platforms at the rear for an operator to stand on and operate the winch. Further experiments included tanks with unditching gear that included spars, beams, chains. The spar, with is the most seen in pictures, weighed nearly a ton! Early models of this device caused the crew to be exposed to fire when attaching the unditching device and in 1917 a improved version allowed attachment without exposing the crew. The improved version was tested for many years but was never adopted.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 28 tons (male), 27 tons (female)
Length 26.4'
Width 12.84' (Male) 10.5' (Female)
Height 8.17'
Armor 6 - 12mm
Powerplant Foster-Daimler 105hp gasoline
Armament 2 x 6pdr 4 x MG (male) 5 x MG (female)
Performance 3.7mph

A Mark V* that was used by the US 301st Tank Battalion. This tank is now preserved at the Patton Museum at Ft. Knox. - Photo by Bill Kirk---Mark V with Fascine.---Mark V (Male)

Mark V used in the snake track experiment intended for the Medium D.---Mark V Tadpole---Mark V* Female

Mark V* Male---Mark V** Bridge Layer - Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch.---Mark V** Anti-Mine Roller.

MarkV*** Prototype. This model existed in wooden mock up form only.---Mark V with unditching spars.---Mark V** Male. Design started in May 1918. Only a handfull were ever completed. None ever saw combat in WW1.

Mark V interior. - Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch.
Mark V Tank

The Mark V was designed in October 1917 and manufactured by the Metropolitan Carriage and Waggon Company LTD. The Tank Mk V was the last of the lozenge-shaped tanks to see service in any number. It was designed to take part in the massive armored thrusts envisaged for 1919. Improvements on earlier models included a Wilson epicyclic gearbox that allowed the tank to be driven by one man as opposed to two in earlier models. There was a cupola for the commander. Semaphore arms were mounted to give effective communication for the first time. The Tank Mk V* variant had a new 6' section introduced into the hull to improve trench-crossing capability and provide extra internal space for a squad of infantry. From mid-1918, the tank saw action with the British and Americans. The United Stated used these special tanks in the 301st Tank Battalion, who were using British equipment and were under British control. The reason for the space was to make space for a squad of soldiers. Sadly, ventilation was nil and as a result the infantry were unfit to fight when they left the compartment. As a result, they ended up the war carrying supplies. Post-war variants included bridge-laying and mine-clearing versions. The tank and it remained in service with the Canadians until the early 1930s. Other variants included the Mark V Hermaphrodite, one with sliding doors in place of the sponsons, and a Tadpole (6.5' extention of the hull). Between the Tadpole and Mark V* variations, the Mark V* was favored. One was fitted with flexable "snake" tracks as an experiment for the upcoming Medium D tank. Other users of this tank were France, USA, Estonia, White Russia, USSR (captured), Germany (captured). Other variants were the Mark V** and Mark V***.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 29 tons (Male) 28 tons (Female)
33 tons (Male*) 32 tons (Female*)
35 tons (Male**) 34 tons (Female **)
Height 8.68'
Length 26.5'
32.4' (Star)
Width 12.84' (Male) 10.5' (Female)
Range 45 miles
Armor 6 - 12mm
Armament 2 x 6pdr, 4 x MG (Male) 6 x MG (Female)
Engine Ricardo gasoline 150hp
Ricardo gasoline 225hp (V*)
Performance 4.6 mph

MarkVI existed as a mock up only.
Mark VI Tank

A design to test the possibility of designing a lighter and faster tank than the Mark V in early 1917. The design was radically different than previous heavy tanks. The main 6pdr gun was now located low and front in the hull. 5 MG's were to be installed as well, 2 of which were in tiny side sponsons. The plan was to get the USA to purchase some 600 of these tanks. However, when the design was cancelled, US interest went totally toward the Mark VIII. This vehicle was built in mock up form only.

Specifications
Crew ?
Weight ?
Height ?
Length ?
Width ?
Range ?
Armor ?
Armament ?
Engine ?
Performance ?

Mark VII Tank
Mark VII Tank

A design begun in December 1917 with the pilot model completed in July 1918. Only one was ever made. This was the first tank with an electric starter.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 33 tons
Height 8.58'
Length 29.4'
Width 12.84'
Range 45 miles
Armor 6 - 12mm
Armament 2 x 6pdr, 4 x MG (Male) 6 x MG (Female)
Engine Ricardo gasoline 150hp
Performance 4 mph

Mark VIII "Liberty" Tank
Mark VIII "Liberty" Tank

Perhaps the most beautiful of all the rhomboid tanks. Actually, these tanks were known by several monikers: Anglo-American Tank, The International Tank, The Mark VIII Heavy Tank, and the Liberty Tank. In the summer of 1917, the United States decided to establish a "Tank Corps" to aid in the Allied efforts. Planners were immediately drawn to the qualities of the British Mark 4 tank. The problem was that the Mark 4 was, at that time, barely beyond the design phase. The Allies agreed that in order to standardize equipment that a new design was needed. So began the birth of the Mark VIII tank. England was to supply the guns, ammunition, and the armor. France was to supply the labor (Chinese) and factory space. The United States was to supply the engines, transmissions and other heavy parts. Both the United States and England would provide the engineering staff. It looks like France got off light to me and was probably an unwilling partner in this agreement. 1500 of these vehicles were to be constructed. By the time all the fine details were agreed on, the war ended. Immediately, France lost interest and the project was scrapped as an Allied partnership. The United States still needed tanks of her own and decided to produce the tank alone. Materials were obtained and 100 were produced, between September 1918 - 20, at the Rock Island Arsenal at a cost of $35,000 apiece. The prototype had a Rolls Royce engine and was built out of mild steel as was the British prototype. These tanks were known by several monikers: Anglo-American Tank, The International Tank, The Mark VIII Heavy Tank, and the Liberty Tank. Features included a separate engine compartment. The Mark VIII remained in service in the U.S.A. until at least 1934 undergoing various upgrades during it's life to improve and extend it's service capabilities. The United States Army Infantry (Tank) Regiment were the primary users. By 1939, all Mk. VIII units were in storage at Aberdeen Proving Ground until sent north to Canada. A designed variant, but never built, was the Mark VIII*. The VIII* would have been longer but other than supposed improved trench crossing capability, it is unknown what the extra length was exactly intended for. The "Female" line of tanks was finally dropped with this model.

Specifications
Crew 12
Weight 37 tons
Height 10.25'
Length 34.16'
44' (Mark VIII*)
Width 12.33'
Armor 6 - 16mm
Armament 2 x 6pdr, 7 x MG
Engine Ricardo gasoline (GB) 300hp
Liberty gasoline (USA)
Performance 6.5 mph

Mark IX "The Pig"---Mark IX The Duck---"The Duck" - Photo contribution by Ion Fonosch

Mark IX "The Pig", "The Duck" Tank
Mark IX "The Pig", "The Duck" Tank

If the Mark VIII was the most beautiful of the rhomboids, this tank would qualify as the most ugly. Designed to be a infantry supply vehicle rather than a fighting machine in September 1917. The vehicle was large enough to carry 50 men or 10 tons of equipment. The cargo space was 3' 6" x 5' 5". Plans for 200 were called for buy only 23 were ever made. The machine had large side doors but was very underpowered. In 1919, one Pig was made amphibious (called The Duck) by adding a raised cab, flotation devices (naval camels), and a modified exhaust. Propulsion was provided by a motor at the rear and paddles (flaps) attached at various intervals on the tracks.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 27 tons
Height 8.66'
Length 31.95'
Width 8.25'
Armor 6 - 10mm
Armament 1 x MG
Engine Ricardo gasoline 150hp
Performance 3.35 mph

Vickers A1E1 Independent---Vickers A1E1 Independent
Vickers A1E1 Independent

One of the most famous tanks never produced in the world. The Independent caused a stir everywhere. Like the famous battleship Dreadnought, this tank caused a revolution in heavy tanks with it's multi-turreted design. Not only were nations envious and wanted one of their own for prestige, but it caused panic with money conscious politicians, and a research in battlefield tactics. The idea of this tank was a coupling of heavy firepower, the ability to defend, and a total dominance of the area within it's range. The vehicle was built in 1925 and only a lack of funds stopped it from becoming part of the British army. Only one was ever built, but lessons learned from this design assisted future armored vehicles. Producers of multi-turreted tanks were Germany, USSR, Japan, and Great Britain. The USSR, who's motto could have been "just add more steel", built the monsterous T28 and T35 tanks which were nearly a virtual copy of the Independent. Nations that considered building them (had plans but stopped just short of building) were Poland, USA, and France.

Specifications
Crew 8
Weight 31.5 tons
Length 25' 5"
Width 10' 6"
Height 8' 10"
Armor 13 - 28mm
Powerplant Armstrong Siddeley air cooled V12
Armament 1 x 3pdr 4 x .303 MG
Performance ?

Heavy Assualt Tank (model 1)---Heavy Assualt Tank (model 2)
Heavy Assualt Tank

Basically a heavy tank version of the Cromwell tank. Built by English Electric in 1943. The first pilot used American tracks and suspension. The second model used British suspension parts. No production.

Specifications
Crew 5
Weight 45 tons
Length 22' 8"
Width 7' 11"
Height 11' 1.5"
Armor 114mm (max)
Powerplant Meteor 600hp
Armament 1 x 3pdr 4 x .303 MG
Performance 24mph

TOG 1 - with a Matilda 2 turret.---TOG 2 - with a mock up turret and 6pounder gun.---TOG 2 - Used in trials only from 1940 - 43.
TOG, TOG II

Designed between 1930 - 40 under the guidance of men who had experiance in WW1. TOG stands for "The Old Gang". The design basically followed WW1 tanks. The first model used a electric transmission, the second model had a hydaulic transmission. Sponsons were to be added to the hull sides but never fitted. The prototypes appeared in early 1941. The design of the Churchill rendered this tank obsolete.

Specifications
Crew 6
Weight 80 tons
Length 33' 3"
Width 10' 3"
Height 10'
Armor 12 - 62mm
Powerplant Ricardo 600hp diesel
Armament 1 x 2pdr or 75mm howitzer or 17pdr
Performance 8.5mph

Heavy Assault Tank Tortoise (A39)
Heavy Assault Tank Tortoise, A39

Designed specifically to outgun and outlast the heavy German tanks and self propelled guns. At the time of design, the armor was totally proof against all known German guns. The design work began in 1944 but the first of 6 test vehicles were not delivered until 1947. The tank was never put into production.

Specifications
Crew 7
Weight 78 tons
Length 33'
Width 12' 10"
Height 10'
Armor 35 - 225mm
Powerplant Meteor 600hp
Armament 1 x 32pdr, 2 x MG
Performance 12mph

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Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003