Failure to exploit the potential of an original idea is a recurring phenomenon in our national history. Few failures, however, can have been so costly in human life as that of our military commanders early in 1916 to appreciate that the tank was a war winning weapon. The slaughter of the Somme, Passchendaele and Ypres salient had to be endured before accepted 'conventional' methods were abandoned and the tank given a chance. Bryan Cooper describes the early tank actions in vivid detail, with many eye-witness accounts. He tells of the courage and endurance of the crews not just in battle but in the appalling conditions in which they had to drive and fight their primitive vehicles. Scalded, scorched and poisoned with exhaust fumes, constantly threatened with being burned to death, these crews eventually laid the foundation for the Allied Victory in World War I. The book is well illustrated with many original photographs which give the present day reader a glimpse of the infancy of a dominant weapon of modern war.
Bryan Cooper is the author of a number of books on military subjects, including The Ironclads of Cambrai, Battle of the Torpedo Boats, The Buccaneers, and Fighter. He has written scripts for many radio and television plays and film documentaries. Beginning his career as a journalist he worked for several newspapers, magazines and news agencies such as The Kentish Times, Exchange Telegraph and Flying Review.