Initially known as ‘land ships’, the introduction of the tank during the First World War by the British was initially seen by the Germans as ‘downright butchery and murder’. One could argue that their introduction of poison gas in 1915 (see Albert Palazzo’s article on poison gas in this issue) could be said to have been far worse, even though it took time for tanks to be deployed effectively.
Scott Denis McCarthy delivers an outstanding overview of the use of tanks during the First World War and the ever-changing tactics and improved designs that saw this weapon continue to remain an object of fear for those that faced them. McCarthy also examines Australian views on working alongside these truly terrible weapons, from their first use in 1916 to the victories at Hamel and the August Offensive of 1918.
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