Those Old Rhomboid Tanks

The world of the 'Flying Cloud', our world, and worlds that might have been.

Those Old Rhomboid Tanks

Postby PaulGazis » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:47 am

It's easy to make fun of those old rhomboid tanks from the Great War. They seem naive and unsophisticated compared to their successors, and historians are quick to make fun of their primitive design, lack of suspension, awkward controls, limited range, and snail-like speed (one imagines that some snails might have been faster). But as I began to research them for Season Three, I realized that a lot of clever thought went into those machines. The engines and drive trains were as good as one could have hoped for in 1916. The fuel tanks were protected by the rear treads and separated from the engine compartment, much as they are in modern armor. And they were able to cross the morass of mud, trenches, and interlocking shell craters that was a Great War battlefield. Plop an M-1 Abrams or a Leopard 2 down in terrain like that and it might bury itself up to the tread skirts before it had gone 100 meters.

There are plenty of great articles about these machines on the Web. The Wikipedia entry for British Heavy Tanks of World War 1 is a good place to start. A quick search of YouTube will also turn up some great videos. Check out the tank crossing a sunked road around minute 0:35 in this one, and reflect upon that bit about 'no suspension'. Thud! Ouch! But my all-time favorite photo may be this Wikipedia image of a Mark V -- much like Fuller's machines -- that I've copied below. Whatever were those fellows up to?
"The only big tree left in all the Western Front and you had to go run into it!
8-WWI_tank_and_tree.jpg (64.26 KiB) Viewed 1766 times
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:39 pm
Location: California

Return to The World

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest