Well, as promised, here is the first of an ongoing series of Tank related posts from Bovington. Today is the MK1... the first tank to appear on a battlefield. In the first post we saw Little Wille, a prototype tank from the British Landships Committee in 1915. The Mk1 is an evolution of this design and the challenges of trench warfare. The design was low to the ground and mounted the armament on the sites rather than the top to lower its center of gravity when climbing trenches.
It carried a crew of 8 who had to be equipped with leather and chainmail body and face armour to provide protection against fragments of metal ricocheting around inside the large metal box. The crew shared the central compartment with the engine, so were subject to high temperatures and noxious fumes.
Weighing in at over 28 tonnes this was a beast. The Male version carried two 6 pounder cannons and 3 8mm machine guns. The wheels behind the tank were steering wheels and allowed some form of simple steering that didn't involve complicated co-ordination between the 4 crew dedicated to steering the lumbering beast.