Hell on Wheels…errrr, tracks: Early heavy armor

British Mk.IV and German A7V. Slow, underpowered lumbering beasts that were hot, cramped and just as likely to knock out their own crews from stifling heat and exhaust fumes (the Mk.IV less so) as they were to rout the enemy. Slightly safer than crossing No Man’s Land on foot. Maybe. And an early definition of “bomb magnet”.


Mark IV male of an unknown unit, St Omer, May 1918. regular dark khaki livery. Notice the three white and red bands and the crew symbol (the “red hand”). Modifications compared to the Mark I included reinforced armor, a relocated fuel tank, an extra front machine-gun and better trench crossing equipment.

above via http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/

(OK, that’s technically a Mk.I but you get the idea)


The StPzw A7V number four, one of the five tanks under command of Hauptmann Greiff committed to the attack of St. Quentin canal (British sector), part of the March 1918 offensive.

above via http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/

For every measure, there is an attempt at a counter-measure. The Germans tried different 20mm cannons and mounts to come up with an aerial anti-tank weapon. One idea was a Becker 20mm cannon mounted for use by the observer in an Albtros J.I.

Another view of the Becker mount:


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