On this date in 1916, Tanks are used for the first time in battle (WW I – Battle of the Somme.) The first battle between tanks occurred on April 24, 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux, France. This occurred at late as it did because of the scarcity of equipment on the German side.
The tank was developed in WW I to overcome the tactics of trench warfare. That really did not work because of the problem or manufacturing capacity. Another fact that limited the tank’s capability was the development of special armor piercing rounds that created a spray of projectiles within the crew quarters that bounced about a few dozen times without exiting those confines. In WW II, the tank became of age. Alloys and lamination techniques yielded armor that was immune to these rounds. The bazooka became the weapon of choice to defeat those newer technologies.
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During the North African Campaign, tanks were called “ovens” by US Armored Calvary soldiers. Salt pills and massive quantities of water were the only thing they had to survive.