Tanks (World War I)
Tanks developed in the mid-1910s quickly became the most important weapons of land-based military operations.
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- Mark IV
Tanks are mobile tracked combat vehicles equipped with strong armour, rotating turrets and powerful artillery. The first real tanks appeared during World War I. They were developed as a means to break the deadlock on the Western Front. First used during that war, the word tank is an abbreviation of ‘water tank,’ a term adopted by the British as a security measure, when referring to combat vehicles.
The first tank in the modern sense of the word was the Mark I. The Mark IV, the fourth version of the British tank, was outfitted with stronger armour than its predecessors had been. That tank weighed 28 tonnes, measured 8 m in height and 4 m in width. Its speed was 6 km/h and its combat range 56 km. It had a crew of 8.
Manufactured by Renault, the FT-17 was the most successful tank used by the French army during World War I. As far as motion is concerned, the 40 horsepower tank had similar specifications to those of its British counterpart. It had a combat range of 50 km, and a speed of 6 km/h. However, this relatively light tank of 6.5 tonnes only had a crew of two.
The A7V was the first mass-produced German tank. On the Western Front, it was necessary to offset the British and French tanks. Weighing 30 tonnes, the monster was a worthy opponent to the tanks deployed by the Triple Entente. Powered by two oil engines of 200 horsepower in total, the tank had a speed of 9 km/h and a combat range of 30-80 km. It had a crew of 18.
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