The evolution of the Tank commenced during WWI, The name tank even as a weapon of war was unusual in its creation, at first so secretive was the new fighting vehicle that these’s building them in England were told they were building water carriers to bring water to the front line troops, Not silly these men new they were the strangest water carriers even to be built hence the nickname and eventual name Tank came about. Given by the men who built these mysterious new water carriers.
Landships as they were originally called, Credit must be given to Leonardo De Vinci who drew pictures of tanks and armoured vehicles and various weapons of war. The true tank that we know today way first fielded the British crewed by Naval Men, a series of engineers were involved in this project and it was Winston Churchill at that time First Sea Lord of the Admiralty who pushed for the development of the Tank.
Although before this time many armies had fighting vehicles fitted with Machine guns and light armour, the tank as we know it today came about as a tool to break the deadlock of trench warfare during WWI. The idea was to have a heavily armoured vehicle that could move over rough terrain leading the way whilst infantry could follow and have some protection from the enemy entrenchments.
When they first appeared on the battlefield tanks were slow and big with little suspension, small guns driver had a small field of vision, they were very difficult to manoeuvre, crews faced many difficulties at first even ventilation was an issue. They often broke down or became bogs in the rough terrain.
They were however very effective, the enemy when seeing these colossus ran and great fear was instilled in the enemy, there was little defence against them as anti-tank weapons were yet to be invented. Germany and its allies quickly commenced programs to build their own tank and the great tank race began. Everybody trying to built bigger faster more powerful and bettered armoured tanks still to this day.
In these early days the potential of tanks was still not fully realise. Most Military leader believed that they would be used to support Infantry in assault and could never be operated independantly. This was however not the case, as the Hitler and his Blitzkrieg (lighting war) tactics of world war II showed how the tank could move fast in a battle zone and secure a position and hold it until the other force arrived. They were powerful and well armoured .
In today’s modern battle field the Tank provides protected for Infantrymen , heavy fire power when needed and rapid response time to a situation. The modern tank is fast some moving at 80 miles an hour or more, Able to with stand immense punishment and extreme terrain. Some are even cable of protecting its occupants from nuclear, Chemical and Biological warfare.
Since it’s inception the tank has made a lasting impression on the battlefield. It will remain at the forefront of military advancement for many years to come. It has save many lives, allowed troops to move quicker and in more safety than in previous years. Few military weapons of war have made such an impact on warfare as the Tank.