On 15 September 1916 a new weapon entered the military arsenals at a small engagement on the Somme. The first tank, the British Mark I, was cumbersome, unreliable and slow, but the impact on the morale of the German troops was salutary. Whatever its initial technical shortcomings, the tank incarnated the mechanisation and industrialisation of warfare and helped to break the stalemate of the First World War. It brought together firepower, protection and mobility to become a key component of modern warfare. Published in association with The Tank Museum, this authoritative book charts the tank's first century, from the early stumbling attempts at developing an all-terrain armoured vehicle to the lethal killing machines of the twenty-first century. It features rare removable facsimile documents from the museum's archive, including diary entries, blueprints, instruction manuals and handbooks. Major technical developments and types are covered from the Mark IV, the German Panzer, the Russian T-26 and the American Grants and Shermans.
The most famous tank battles are described, from Flers-Courcelette in 1916 to Kursk in 1943, the First Gulf War and the performance of tanks in the Russo-Georgian War of 2008.
David Willey is the curator of The Tank Museum. He has contributed to many Haynes manuals on tanks. The Tank Museum holds the biggest and best collection of tanks and military vehicles from around the world. It is sited where the first tank training took place prior to the first use of tanks on the Somme. The museum has strong links with the hugely successful World of Tanks game. Robin Cross specializes in military history. He has written over 30 books, including The Battle of Kursk and VE Day. He has contributed to over 150 television documentaries. David Willey is the curator of the The Tank Museum in Dorset. He has contributed to many Haynes manuals on tanks. The Tanks Museum receives 170,000 visitors per year. It holds the biggest and best collection of tanks and military vehicles from around the world. It is sited where the first tank training took place prior to the first use of tanks on the Somme. The land owned by the MoD and the museum continues to be used as part of tank-crew training.