Please note: This section is not designed to be all inclusive of WW1 vehicles. For details, please see the individual nation sections of TANKS!

Give thanks for the invention of the tank - it saved countless lives...

Allied politicians and generals without muddy boots. Generals in châteaux far behind the front lines, unwilling to shed their 19th-century mindset in the face of 20th-century weaponry, callously dispatch wave upon wave of brave men on futile, suicidal assaults. Any gains made were in terms of mere yards while the casualty lists soared...

"The machine gun is a much overrated weapon"

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig
The Somme on July 1, 1916

By July 31, 1916 the Germans on the Somme had lost 160,000 men and the British and French 200,000, yet the front line had moved scarcely three miles in a month.

Of the British empire's 1 million dead, the bodies of more than 500,000 were never found or were not identified. The French total of unidentified dead was 1.7 million. The largest monument to the unknowns, at Thiepval, records the names of 70,000 who perished in the futile Somme campaigns of 1916-17. Beyond the British cemeteries running from the Somme to the North Sea (150 cemeteries surround Ypres alone), there lies a host of other men whose deaths are not commemorated--1.5 million soldiers of the Hapsburg empire, 2 million Germans, 460000 Italians, 1.7 million Russians and uncounted thousands of Turks, Portuguese, and Americans.

Country Dead Wounded Prisoner
Great Britain 947,000 2,122,000 192,000
France 1,385,000 3,044,000 446,000
Russia 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500.000
Italy 460,000 947.000 530,000
United States 115,000 206,000 4.500
Germany 1,808,000 4,247,000 618,000
Austria- Hungary 1,200,000 3,620,000 2,200,000
Turkey 325,000 400,000 NA

For nearly 5000 years, man has sought a way to devistate his enemys while protecting himself. The early war wagons, the chariot, the knight. Though men like DaVinci dreamed of armored vehicles, it would take the advent of the industrial era to bring them to reality. Lets praise those brilliant and brave men who defied convention to give us a way out of the horror and man made hell of trench warfare. Without question, the tank is the most powerful, versitile, and dominate land battlefield weapons platform ever invented by man.

J.F.C. Fuller and King Edward at a tank "dog and pony show".
J.F.C. Fuller and King Edward at a tank "dog and pony show".

Fuller’s never used "Plan 1919" was the first blitzkrieg battle plan.

Mark 4
Lets hope the photographer got away in time!

Captured German guns

Early tank communications

Sturmpanzerwagen A7V - Germany---Sturmpanzerwagen A7V - Germany---German A7V replica in the Panzermuseum Munster - Photo courtsey of Auke Smit---German A7V replica in the Panzermuseum Munster - Photo courtsey of Auke Smit
Sturmpanzerwagen A7V - Germany

Hurriedly designed following the appearance fo the British tanks in 1916. Ground clearance was only 40mm and the length of track on the ground was too short for a vehicle of it's size. The result was a unstable vehicle with poor cross-country performance. 100 vehicles were ordered in December 1917, but only 20 were ever produced. Variants included the Uberlandwagen, an open-topped unarmored supply version, and the A7V/U with all around tracks. Post-war, they were used by the Polish Army**.

Crew 18
Weight 73,700 lbs
Length 26' 3"
Width 10' .5"
Height 10' 10"
Range 25 miles
Armor 0.39 - 1.18"
Armament 57mm, 6 x MG
Engine 2 x 100hp
Performance 8 mph

** This statement is contested. Only one source (from Germany) states that A7V tanks were transferred to France and France then gave some to Poland. This is repeated over and over in western books on tanks. The problem is, there is no photographic or written evidence from Polish sources. French sources have never come up with an answer. Solve the A7V mystery and you will make history!

Guess who cuttin' the fool on leave!

Austin-Putilov - Russia/England
Austin-Putilov - Russia/England

The Austin-Putilov was a British design, though mostly produced and used in Russia. The Russians took the basic chassis (that was all that could be supplied by the over stretched Britsh production lines) and modified it considerably to cope with the harsh Russian conditions. Inprovements included later replacing the rear wheels with tracks and adding additional armor and rear steering. Both in terms of numbers and performance, the Austin-Putilov was the most important armored car the Russians possessed during WW1. Many saw action in the internal fighting surrounding the October revolution and afterwards in the Russian Civil War. After 1918 some saw service in the Polish and Japanese armies. This vehicle proved itself to be extremely rugged.

Crew 5
Weight 11,440 lbs
Length 16'
Width 6' 4.75"
Height 7' 10.5"
Range 125 miles
Armor 8mm
Armament 2 x MG
Engine 50hp
Performance 31 mph

---General Pershing and Captain George Patton---
General Pershing and Captain George Patton

American Tanks

Germany never stood a chance!

------Browning 1919 -  Photo research by Dr. Georg V. Rauch. Photo courtesy of Dr. André Louis Maurois.
American Armored Cars

American tank training in France 1918.

Mr. Holt and General Swinton

With them are two very curious vehicles. On the left is a prime mover that was offered to the U.S. Army. On the right is an unknown. Records are not clear about it. Holt records state that it was built for the visit of General Swinton. Some historians suggest that it was submitted to the army for testing as a 1 man tank. Based on the size, I suspect that it was built for a company promotion only and not as a serious combat vehicle.

In a affirmation of my opinion, I received the following letter 11/12/02:

"The small tank that is shown in your picture of Benjamin Holt and Ernest Swinton was a wooden mock-up powered by a motorcycle engine and was especially made for the visit of Gen. Swinton in April of 1918. The tractor--which was a standard Holt '75' was used by the military but was no different than other '75' made for agricultural and construction work.  We have a number of photographs in our archives of the Swinton visit to Stockton.

Tod Ruhstaller
The Haggin Museum
Stockton, CA, USA

Tank Killers - 1917

German infantry is seen here stalking a British tank.

A White Russian armored train - 1918

Polish White Cross nurses



Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003

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Katya Kuersteiner

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Auke Smit
Auke Smit

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