Essay on A New Frontier for Engineering: The Mark I Tank

Essay on A New Frontier for Engineering: The Mark I Tank

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In the late 1800s, Europeans began thinking of a new weapon. This weapon would be similar to Naval Battleships, but on land. For years no one had any luck with a functioning design. Then, in 1903, H.G. Wells published a story called “The Land Ironclad” focused around an armoured vehicle with mounted turrets. Because of Wells’ vivid details when writing, in 1915 British engineers were able to draw a plausible, working design for a contraption that would later be called the Mark I Tank. The introduction of the tank would startal the world and open up a new frontier for engineering. (I need help with a thesis!)
On August of 1916, the first British Mark I tanks were commissioned into use at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, part of the Somme Offensive. None of them saw any action until September 15th of the same year though. Because of short gun supply, two types of Mark Is were made, Male, and Female. The only difference between the two is the mounting of, and different types of guns. Males had two Hotchkiss 6 pdr QFs and three .303 Hotchkiss machine guns. Females were fitted with four .303 Vickers machine guns and only one .303 Hotchkiss machine gun. Each of the 150 Mark Is made could hold a crew of 8, and had a maximum speed of 4 mph. They were also painted with a strategic, four color camouflage. The idea came from a man named Solomon Joseph Solomon, and was henceforth called the Solomon Method. This was soon found to be useless because the tanks quickly became covered by mud anyway.
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette was the third and final push of the Somme Offensive by the British Allied troops. It not only marked the first use of tanks in war, but also introduced the first Canadian and New Zealand infantry divisions to World War I...


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...e Mark VIII was a huge project that took funding from three different countries to compleat (France, UK, USA). The Mark VIII had a similar body type to what the Mark VI was supposed to have. Wider, taller, and longer than the Mark V, with 16-6 mm armour and rounded tracks. Hulls for the tanks were made in France along with guns, ammo was provided by England, and other parts, mainly motors, were contributed by America. Each tank cost $35,000 to make($430,000 present day). England was able to create 24 before the end of the War. America had produced 100 by the end of 1920. Although they were never used in combat, they were considered the best tank for over a decade. They continued to be upgraded and used for training in England and America until the late 30s when they were rendered obsolete due to their maximum 6 mph limit. They were then given to Canada for training.

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