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British Mark I Tank 1916 (New Vanguard) [Illustrated] [Paperback]

David Fletcher , Tony Bryan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

25 Jun 2004 New Vanguard (Book 100)
In 1915 a machine christened Little Willie changed the way that wars were fought. Little Willie was a fully tracked armoured vehicle that could break a trench system. Its development was completed in December 1915, but by then it had already been superseded by an improved design, Mother. This was the first rhomboid tank, and the prototype for the Mark I which would influence a whole generation of tank building. This book details the development of the Mark I, and its surprise arrival in France in the middle of 1916 during the closing weeks of the battles of the Somme.

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British Mark I Tank 1916 (New Vanguard) + British Mark IV Tank (New Vanguard) + Mark V Tank (New Vanguard)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (25 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841766895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841766898
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 33.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"In typical fashion, the author's text is extremely lively and informative... The photographic content of the book... is very comprehensive... [This book is] reliable, ready and inexpensive... Highly recommended." -Frank DeSisto, """A thoroughly useful new book on a largely-neglected subject. Good photographic coverage and excellent colour plates...An excellent contribution to the study of WW1 tanks, highly recommended." -David Maynard, "Armorama "(August 2007)"""In line with other Osprey titles, the superb choice of period photographs and the excellent illustrations of Tony Bryan make this a must have for any armor or WWI enthusiast." -Scott Van Aken, " "(May 2007)."..full of inspirations for toy soldier and model figure enthusiasts, armored fighting vehicle hobbyists, and diorama builders."- "Toy Soldier & Model Figure "(October 2013)

About the Author

David Fletcher was born in 1942. He has written a number of books and articles on military subjects and is currently the historian at the Tank Museum, Bovington, UK. He has spent over 40 years studying the development of British armoured vehicles during the two World Wars. Tony Bryan is a freelance illustrator of many years experience. He initially qualified in Engineering and worked for a number of years in Military Research and Development, and has a keen interest in military hardware - armour, small arms, aircraft and ships. Tony has produced many illustrations for partworks, magazines and books, including a number of titles in the New Vanguard series.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good study but leaves one wanting more 3 Sep 2008
The book gives a good overview of the evolution of the different machines that culminated in the Mark 1. It leaves me wanting more information on the tanks as the text feels a bit short. Presumably the author was limited in how much he could write. I said to myself what do you expect from a book that's 45 pages? Well it'd be reasonable to actually get the 45 pages. The text doesnt cover all the pages, theres usually a small paragraph of text in the top corner of a page relating to a picture and a column with nothing below it. I dont know how many extra words could have been fitted in exactly but I'd estimate five pages worth!

Unfortunatly there is no top down view of the tank for those interested in vehicle modeling, this may have been useful. Theres also not much detail in the pictures on the hydraulic steering at the rear of the early Mark 1s, which I was intrigued by. The colour pictures are top quality and finely detailed. Still I think if your interested in early tanks this is worth having. I wondered to myself will there be a bibliography? There wasn't.
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5.0 out of 5 stars British Mk 1 tank 20 Aug 2014
By Paul
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great publication for anyone interested in WW1 tank, I read it cover to cover it worth every penny.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Hands of a Expert 16 July 2004
By R. A Forczyk - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In Osprey New Vanguard #100 David Fletcher, a historian at the Tank Museum in Bovington (UK), provides an excellent summary of the development and introduction of the first British tanks in the First World War. Fletcher succeeds in assembling a lot of disparate information into a tight package, that outlines the development, training and entry into combat of the British tank force. This Osprey summary is an excellent starting point for academics or professional military readers who wish to study the introduction of a radical new weapon system. Overall, in terms of narrative, freshness of information, and graphic appeal, this volume is excellent.
Fletcher begins the volume with background information on how Winston Churchill's idea for "landships" was translated by two engineering geniuses into the prototype "Lincoln Machine" and "Little Willie." Most readers will be surprised to learn that the original track set was built in Chicago (which doesn't cast the concept of American "neutrality" in a particularly sincere light), although this track was deemed unsuitable for the later prototypes. Fletcher details how the initial requirement for tanks in February 1915, after passing through the "Little Willie" design, resulted in the first tests of the Mark I tank or "Mother" in January 1916; less than a year from concept to working prototype! Considering that aircraft and submarines both existed prior to the First World War and their wartime developments were evolutionary in nature, the development of the British Mark I tank may be one of the most rapid weapons breakthroughs in military history. Fletcher also notes that it was the development of a functional track design that "was the single most important factor in the evolution of the British tank" - not the engine, transmission, armor or weapons.
Fletcher also spends several pages discussing how the Mark I tanks were built - a subject that is rarely discussed in other sources. By the summer of 1916, Fletcher notes that British industry was capable of building about 25 tanks per week, but many were siphoned off for training duties, so few were available for the battles of 1916-1917. One item that Fletcher does not cover is the issue of how much the first tanks cost; again, from the point of view of R&D and weapon development, it would be interesting to see how much the British investment in tanks cost (versus say, development in new heavy artillery or aircraft). Fletcher's section on crew duties is also very interesting, and as a former tanker myself, it is hard not to sympathize with the early tankers who had to operate inside a vehicle filled with "gushing clouds of carbon monoxide" and with temperatures rising to 120º F. Fletcher also includes brief sections on training for war and the initial introduction into combat. Although recently there has been a school of revisionist historians who have challenged the value of the early tanks, Fletcher notes that despite heavy losses and awkward moments the British Mark I tanks did prove their worth. In one engagement, a single British Mark I commanded by a 2LT Storey single-handedly captured a formidable German position and 300 prisoners. Fletcher also discusses the eight Mark I tanks used at Gaza in Palestine in 1917. The final sections cover several variants of the Mark I, included the similar Mark II and Mark III. The photographs and illustrations in the volume are excellent. The color plates include: the Lincoln Machine; Little Willie; Mother; camouflage schemes on Mark Is in 1916; a cutaway of a Mark I Male; a Mark I in Palestine; the Mark II and III variants; and the supply tank and wireless radio tank variants. Unfortunately, the author does not provide a bibliography or notes on sources of photographs.
All told, the British built 150 Mark I tanks, plus 50 each of the Mark II and Mark III variants. Virtually all of these tanks were non-operational by 1918, but these 250 early tanks paved the way for their sturdier successors. While some modern critics have attempted to characterize the early British tanks as too few in number and mechanically unreliable to matter, they tend to ignore the value of these first steps in creating a viable tank corps. Like many early-model weapons, the British Mark I was not itself destined to conquer on the battlefield, but it laid the seeds for its successors to reap at Cambrai in 1917 and Amiens in 1918.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for grandson's school report! 22 Mar 2014
By Ronna - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My grandson ordered this book for a report he was doing for his school. The book is perfect --filled with great illustrations and plenty of good information.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mark-1 or any Brit tank 28 Nov 2013
By L - Published on
Never order a Brit tank unless you want to run foul; especially in the land of the free. Take it for what it's worth.
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