A Company of Tanks: An Eyewitness Account of the First by W. H. L. Watson

By W. H. L. Watson

The real tale via a British officer who used to be chosen to command one of many first tank businesses in international warfare One. initially often called "land battleships", the tank used to be built in deep secrecy, meant as a weapon to damage the stalemated trench struggle at the Western entrance. From their first disastrous makes an attempt in 1916 to their beautiful breakouts in 1918, the tank commanders needed to research for themselves how one can use a weapon that had by no means existed earlier than, and switch it right into a dominant strength at the battlefield. New creation supplies an in depth historic assessment of the 1st global warfare.

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Extra resources for A Company of Tanks: An Eyewitness Account of the First Armored Units in World War One

Sample text

Six men carried and moved each dummy, lifting it by the cross-pieces of the framework. For our sins we were issued with eight of these abortions. We started with a crew of officers to encourage the men, and the first dummy tank waddled out of the gate. It was immediately surrounded by a mob of cheering children, who thought it was an imitation dragon or something out of a circus. It was led away from the road to avoid hurting the feelings of the crew and to safeguard the ears and morals of the young.

All operations planned in it were cancelled. The day after I had first slept in it I fell ill. Colonel Elles, with Lieut-Colonel Burnett, came to see me in my bed. I had not shaved, and my temperature made me slightly familiar. I could never keep the room warm of nights. Once, when I was suffering from a bad cold, I put out my hand sleepily for my handkerchief, and, without thinking, tried to blow my nose. It was a freezing night, and I still have the scar. The majority of the men had wire beds, made by stretching wire mesh over a wooden frame; but the rooms were draughty.

The men hated them. They were heavy, awkward, and produced much childish laughter. In another company a crew walked over a steep place and a man broke his leg. The dummies became less and less mobile. The signallers practiced from them, and they were used by the visual training experts. One company commander mounted them on wagons drawn by mules. The crews were tucked in with their Lewis guns, and each contraption, a cross between a fire-engine and a triumphal car in a Lord Mayor’s Show, would gallop past targets which the gunners would recklessly endeavour to hit.

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