• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Tank warfare in the First World War was only a fledgling idea.

Extracts from this document...


Tank warfare in the First World War was only a fledgling idea. Up to this point, the cavalry had played a vital role in battle and many generals viewed the idea of men riding into battle on horseback with drawn sabres was the chivalrous and gentlemanly way to fight. The tank was soon to mark the end of such a style of battle and usher a new era of warfare, where technology played an ever increasing role, into existence. The original idea for tanks came with cars, plated with armour and with a turret mounted machine-gun on the roof. From this evolved the modern day tank with moving tracks and heavily armoured exterior. The first tank put into production was the Mark I tank built by the British. 100 of these "Big Willies", as they were fondly named, were ordered. ...read more.


But as more soldiers began operating the tank, many found out that it was loud, crammed inside and too slow, lacking power. The original aim of the tank was to use them as land battleships with single tanks employed in front of a assault wave to destroy machine gun nests. It was a simple concept - a tracked vehicle, lozenge shaped to cross trenches and protected by armor plates. The tank would open the way for infantry attacks, by sqashing barbed wire, overrunning machine gun positions and forcing the enemy out of the trenches. This was first seen, on the fifteenth of September in 1916 on the battle fields of Somme. The first tank attack was carried out by the British. Although almost all of these new contraptions broke down on their way to the front, one made it and changed history as it engaged the enemy for the first time. ...read more.


Nearly 400 tanks crossed into No-man's Land and proceeded to flatten barbed wire fences and ditches to provide access by the following infantry. The attack was so effective in breaking through the Hindenburg Line, constructed by the Germans, that the British were unable to capitalize on the success of gaining 9km into the German defenses, because of a lack of troop support. Even though the battle of Cambrai did not gain permanent ground, it did change the course of the war by moving the war forward and into more open active battles, it also proved that the tank could be used effectively and successfully. Source B, a German encounter describes the suprise value of the new weapon, "the amazed Germans were completely overwhelmed...the defenders of the line fled in panic, throwng their arms and equipment as they ran. Tanks were soon to be used frequently as an offensive weapon in battle and would spell the end of cavalry in battle and begin the move toward technology. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of British tanks in World War One.

    By mid 1918 the Germans had developed some very effective anti tank weaponry such as AT artillery, mine throwers, AT rifles, grenades and they also attached AT machine guns onto some aircraft. They also used defensive obstacles such as ditches, rivers and AT pillboxes which were made from reinforced concrete.

  2. Pre 1914 War Poetry - The Drum and Drummer Hodge analysed.

    The use of colloquial language is also appealing to the average person, like John Scott and the use of the word 'swain', in The Drum. Thomas Hardy is trying to achieve similar things to John Scott with the use of everyday language because it convinces the reader that he is

  1. Look at a variety of poems but First World War Poet comparing the different ...

    The 'Shires are sad' could mean that relatives and friends back home are mourning, but are not yet aware that their son or friend has died. This poem is completely different from the first poem because it is straight away exposing the reader to the battlefront and the suffering the

  2. Britain and the Western Front.

    The aftermath of the battle created the bitter criticism of the politicians directed at the British Commander, as with the media opinions of the soldiers present at battle, presented the title of "The Butcher of the Somme". Commander Haig did not believe in the personal statement issued by the media,

  1. Battles and arms of the Civil War

    With the unsuccess of flanking Beauregard from the right, McDowell moved for the left. Panic during the battle forced the Union to retreat, along with civilians (who were dumb enough to picnic and watch the battle). The Union casualties were at 28,450 and for the Confederate were 32,230 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_Bull_Run)

  2. Saving Private Ryan Examine Steven Spielberg's use of images and Presentation of war. ...

    Spielberg does this to show how the war effected Ryan in his eye's. The music fades away until you can hear the crashing of waves. Straight away we get the feeling of how dull war is if we make a comparison between the normal colour of the graveyard and the bleached dark colour of the war scene.

  1. Compare the presentation of war in the Olivier and Branagh versions of 'Henry V'. ...

    Only the preparations to the battle. It starts with the men coming off the ship onto land where the battle is to take place. We can see the castle of Harfleur in the distance. The men stand in matching costumes in the daytime.

  2. The Battle of Britain.

    There is also a constant 'Good vs. Evil' emphasis on the whole war. To aid the campaign on propaganda war posters were placed on walls everywhere and quickly became a common sight. These were put up shortly after the battle had taken place. These were optimistic posters when people knew the outcome of the battle.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work