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A Company of Tanks: An Eyewitness Account of the First by W. H. L. Watson

By W. H. L. Watson

The real tale by way of a British officer who used to be chosen to command one of many first tank businesses in international struggle One. initially often called "land battleships", the tank was once built in deep secrecy, meant as a weapon to damage the stalemated trench conflict at the Western entrance. From their first disastrous makes an attempt in 1916 to their beautiful breakouts in 1918, the tank commanders needed to examine for themselves how one can use a weapon that had by no means existed prior to, and switch it right into a dominant strength at the battlefield. New advent supplies an in depth historic review of the 1st international struggle.

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Extra info for A Company of Tanks: An Eyewitness Account of the First Armored Units in World War One

Example text

The Battle of the Somme had shown that the strongest German lines were not impregnable. We had learned much: the enemy had received a tremendous hammering; and the success of General Gough’s operations in the Ancre valley promised well for the future. The French, it was rumoured, were undertaking a grand attack in the early spring. We were first to support them by an offensive near Arras, and then we would attack ourselves on a large scale somewhere in the north. We hoped, too, that the Russians and Italians would come to our help.

The Germans, like the Entente, were unable to overcome the advantages held by the defender in trench warfare. The German offensive broke against British and French machine guns, just as the Entente attacks had always broken against the German. The German troops withdrew to the heavily-fortified Hindenburg Line and awaited the inevitable Allied assault. Now, however, the British possessed the technical means of breaking the trench stalemate, and by mid-1918, with significant numbers of American troops finally beginning to arrive, the Allies were in a position to use it.

There I lunched with the General, and drove with him in the afternoon to an army conference at Fifth Army Headquarters in Albert. The block of traffic on the road made us an hour late, and it was interesting to see how an Army commander dealt with such pronounced, if excusable, unpunctuality in a Corps commander. The conference consisted of an awe-inspiring collection of generals seated round a table in a stuffy room decorated with maps. The details of the attack had apparently been settled before we arrived, but I understood from the Army commander’s vigorous summary of the situation that the Third Army would not attack until the 7th.

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