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

Describe the strengths and weaknesses of British tanks in the First World War

Extracts from this document...


Describe the strengths and weaknesses of British tanks in the First World War The British invented tank was a major mechanical innovation of the war. The tank was unknown to the allies and was seen as the technology of the future. The tank advanced ahead of infantry, it could crush barbed wire defences, spray the enemy with machine gun fire and cross trenches. The tanks was the first piece of technology that could move forward easily. With a piece of technology so good many of the weaknesses were not thought of until once used. The earlier tanks were very slow and were liable to break down. A prime example was at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette in 1916 in which 17 tanks failed to reach the front line and 7 of 22 failed to work at zero hours. They only travelled at 10 km/ph and after their initial sighting by the enemy; the "secret weapon" was no longer a secret. ...read more.


Highly vulnerable to mechanical breakdowns, fourteen tanks never made it to the starting point and as the day progressed most of the tanks were crippled due to mechanical failures, unsuitable ground and artillery fire. While this initial attack was unsuccessful, the potential of the tank was realized. The British persisted in continuing to improve the tank with the following models; Mark II, Mark III (heavy tanks) and the Mark IV (the most used). The Mark III was equipped with thicker armour to counter Germany's development of armour-piercing bullets. The Battle of Cambrai took place on November 1917. This was the first Battle were the tanks succeeded. 400 tanks blasted through the allies' area with great success, the attack to the Germans by surprise and the British were able to gain 5 miles, with hardly any injuries. However, the tank was maybe a bit too successful the tank blasted through enemy line so quickly that the infantry couldn't keep up. ...read more.


The tank was used as a major propaganda impact. The tank was seen as the "people's weapons". Propaganda portrayed the tanks as the winning tool. The Daily Mirror paid �1000 to have the first picture of the tank. This shows how glamorous the tank was seen as. There was a massive difference between the perception and reality. It was "tank mania". War bonds were was one of the ways of paying for the war. By 1917 nobody wanted to put money in due to the lack of enthusiasm. The government managed to encourage people to put their money into tanks banks. It was the most successful tank operation of the entire war. A battered tank named 'Egbert' was recovered from the battlefield, shipped to London and installed in Trafalgar Square. People were then invited to buy war bonds and certificates, and to queue up outside this unlikely 'new god' so that their bonds could be specially stamped by young women seated inside the tank. Tanks featured in the Lord pageants ...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 History Projects 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 History Projects essays

  1. Gallic war

    end turmoil in Rome; the people were angry at the assassination, which did not have the desired effect of returning Rome to a republic. * Antony was placed in position of immense power as consul. * Caesar's will was read, which named Octavian as his heir.

  2. Describe British rule in India at the end of the First World War.

    The Amritser Massacre was a tragic event. Hundreds of British troops shot continuously at unarmed Indian civilians raising the death toll to 2,000 people. The effect of this massacre was that the Indians who were loyal to the British now lost faith and wanted independence. The Simon Commission didn't include any Indians which led to mass protests and having congress boycott all of its meetings.

  1. Battle of the Somme

    Source D may provide little help to historians studying Haig and the battle of the Somme, but may show them how some officers may have felt at the time towards Haig and his tactics, it also shows the attitudes of the time when the programme was being made.

  2. What was the contribution of tanks towards winning the war for Britain?

    travelled at 2 miles per hour leaving it prone to gun fire. This 14 ton chunk of steel was a 14 ton gas can, that could not cross trenches (it would nose-dive into the trench) let alone the required length of 5 ft.

  1. "Why did war on the Western Front last so long?"

    To try and protect themselves soldiers would fit 'the clumsy helmet'. The soldiers that inhaled the gas would be 'choking and drowning'. After that the gas would take it's effect and make the soldier have a 'hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin' and would make 'the blood Come

  2. In what ways were the lives of children on the home front affected by ...

    It was produced by a young boy named Bernard Kops and is a generalisation of what happened during an air raid for him and his family. It was made in either 1940 - 1941 or 1942-1943 because he talks about what happens during air raids in London.

  1. Attitudes To Haig

    The source is aimed at the upper class and well educated people of the time. The magazines aim was to 'mock' events that were happening in the war. The source is likely to be exaggerated as many cartoons from 'Punch' were.

  2. How and why writers have explored different views of the First World War. ...

    the game?? Wilfred Owen?s poem ?exposure? is about how both meaning of the word exposure affected the soldiers in he First World War. In the first part Owe presents how the soldiers are exposed to the more obvious side of war and how conflict is dangerous.

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