On September 6, 1915

English heavy tank Mark V, first world war, in a workshop for restoration work. The paint coating is completely removed, polished welding spots are visible.

On September 6, 1915, the first tank reached completion in England. This tank was named Little Willie and was far from today’s tanks. However, the tank was a great prototype to see just what had been created and the potential for future models.

How did the tank get its name?

The tank would revolutionize how teams could travel across a battlefield, so the goal was to keep it a secret. Winston Churchill told the team building the first tank that it was to carry water across the battlefield. These new vehicles were shipped in crates labeled “tank,” and the name stuck.

Why was the tank invented?

During the first World War, military strategies included trenches and barbed wire. These tactics made it difficult to get to the enemy. Military brains in charge at the time realized they needed something like a tractor with tracks to get over and through these obstacles while keeping the driver safe.  

When was a tank first used in battle?

The Battle of Somme was the first to see the tank in action with Mark I called Big Willie in 1916. This tank needed further mechanical adjustments, but all could see the potential. In 1917 at the Battle of Cambrai, there were 400 Mark IV tanks that captured 8,000 enemy troops and 100 guns.

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Learn about Bergmann & Moore

“Tanks and Armoured Vehicles,” Canadian War Museum, September 6, 2022. https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/battles-and-fighting/weapons-on-land/chars-et-vehicules-blindes/#:~:text=Secret%20Weapon%3A%20The%20Tank,and%20breaking%20through%20barbed%20wire.

“This Day In History | September 6, 1915, First Tank Produced,” History, September 6, 2022, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-tank-produced?cmpid=email-hist-tdih-2022-0906 09062022&om_rid=&~campaign=hist-tdih-2022-0906

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