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"Assess the importance of Britain's contribution to the defeat of Germany in WWI"

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Introduction

"Assess the importance of Britain's contribution to the defeat of Germany in WWI" Question 1: Describe the strengths and weaknesses of British tanks in World War On. The origin of tanks in world war one was when British, French and Russian engineers and military personnel experimenting with tanks from 1915. Germany was not interested in tanks in the First World War. Tanks also kept on being developed from 1915 onwards. The first tanks in action were in the Battle of the Somme (nov. 1916) and were used by the British. The main purpose of tanks was to overcome the problems of trench warfare. The British had three thousand two hundred tanks on Armistice Day, showing that the British had faith in this weapon. The main reason for inventing the tank was to overcome stalemate and the features that made the tank able to overcome this issue were that the tank had tracks that would work in any terrain, the people inside were protected by a steel hull which would protect them when they were being shot at when attacking and from machine gun and artillery fire. ...read more.

Middle

The 32 that had got onto the battlefield only 8 made an impact, 10were knocked out by Germany and 14 broke down or got stuck. Another main problem was that there were large shell holes they got stuck, which would make you have to go around the shell holes, which would make you vulnerable to attack because your side will be exposed and mostly machine gun bullets would pass through the armour. When it rains on the battlefield the land turns to wet sticky mud. In Flanders it was raining most of the time, so the tanks would most possibly get stuck in the craters. Haig ordered the tanks to develop a counter measure which was a wooden beam attached to the tracks and would move under the tracks so the tank can free itself. The tanks were not easy to operate because of the heat, the smell of the fume of the gunpowder and fuel. There was barely any communication, there was no intercom. If the enemy fired with machine guns, the plates flaked off. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the 9th august there were only 120 tanks left, on 10th August there were only 80 tanks in working order, on the 11th August there were only 25 in working order, on 12th August less than 10 tanks in working order. The battle was not very successful as 40% of the people working with tanks were killed. Germany used many tactics to tackle the tanks, one easy tactic was when the tank was going around a shell hole, and the enemy would just shoot at them. They fired artillery at the tanks, fired at tanks with machine guns at close range. They fired their 7.7mm guns at the tanks. Another tactic was they moved the guns closer to the trenches and fired straight instead of upwards so the tanks would blow up. The Germans fired a 12.9mm gun rifle, which goes through the tanks armour. Another tactic was to put a grenade into the tank while it's moving because they weren't very quick, they also widened the trenches so the tanks would just fall in. I believe that the tanks contributed in ending the war but did not 'win' the war. ...read more.

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