Tanks and Armour through the Century. Part 1.

Tanks and Armour through the Century. Part 1.

After yet another visit to the Bovington Tank Museum, my second home according to my wife, I wanted to share some photos of the tanks they have on display. I will look at tanks and armour from just before the start of WWI up until present day. I am not a tank expert, so if you spot something that is incorrect, please let me know and I can edit and update.


The Hornsby Chain Tractor was originally designed as a Gun Tractor, manufactured by Richard Hornsby & Sons. The engine was started on petrol, until the engine was hot, then switched to paraffin. The unpleasant smell of the paraffin burning was unpopular with the soldiers.



Saw service between 1909 and 1913. 



It weighed 8.5 tonnes.



Fuel tanks, which held 272 litres, are attached to the rear of the tractor.



Top speed of 7.5mph



A Chain-track was added.



 The soldiers nicknamed it a Caterpillar and it has since stuck.



Due to a lack of interest by the War Office, the Patents were sold to a company in America.



 When WWI broke out, Britain had to purchase the caterpillar tractors from Holt in the US and the design for the tank had to be started from scratch.


Number 1 Lincoln Machine, affectionately known as ‘Little Willy’, probably the first real tank, albeit nothing more than a metal box on tracks. Unfortunately it was too short to cross the trenches. ‘Little Willy’ never saw combat.



“Little Willy’



Weighing in at 16.5 tons



It was planned for it to carry a Vickers 2-ponder gun. The secondary armament would be either a Hotchkiss or lewis machine gun.


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A Foster-Daimler Knight sleeve valve petrol engine (105 hp).



Two forward gears and one reverse. Top speed of 2mph.


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Steering was by way of a set of wheels at the rear.



I do plan on writing a WWI trilogy in 2016, but in the meantime please read either my Cold War trilogy or my WWII books on the famous Fallschirmjager.

The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There are three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980′s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the posts is to give the reader some additional background information to enhance their reading experience..

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.


The Blog and photographs are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle and Paperback version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War.


1 Comment

  1. Harvey, I’m curious to know what you find most fascinating about tanks. Seriously, what is the first thing that you find irresistible about them. Their size, weight, design, power, invincibility?

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