Posting the history of the tank from invention to the end of World War 1.

News will appear 100 years to the day after the events took place, these posts will be augmented by general posts covering the development and use of the tank

August 1917 – A Summary

19 August 1917 On 19 August 1917 a composite company of tanks from G Bn went in to action near St Julien, east of Ypres.  The action became known as the Cockcroft Action.  The orders were for the tanks to cross the Steenbeke at St. Julien and, due to the boggy and crumped nature of…

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3rd Ypres

On 31 July 1917 the newly formed Tank Corps fielded its biggest fleet of tanks yet deployed in to action. Of the 9 Tank Bns in existence, 5 were committed to the opening assault with 2 more being kept as Army Reserve. These 5 Bns were A, B, C, F, and G and each Bn…

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Oosthoek Wood

In preparation for their forthcoming operations at the 3rd battle of Ypres (which would start on 31 July 1917), between 30 June and 2 July 1917 C Bn moved to Oosthoek Wood which is just north of the road from Poperinge and Vlamertinge.  The wood gave the Bn good cover and space to operate but…

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Messines 7 June 1917

The Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917 was the first action for the 2nd Tank Brigade which consisted of A and B Battalions of the Heavy Branch, each equipped with thirty-six of the new Mark IV Tanks.  They would operate across the Second Army on a frontage of some 13 kms.  The Second Army’s…

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Battle of Messines

By the end of May 1917, A and B Battalions had received their full complement of 42 of the new Mk IV tanks.  The B Bn history records that they “were received, on the whole, very favourably”. In preparation for the forthcoming battle of Messines, which was planned to start on 7 June 1917, the…

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