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

By W. H. L. Watson

The real tale by means of a British officer who was once chosen to command one of many first tank businesses in international conflict One. initially referred to as "land battleships", the tank was once constructed 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 research for themselves easy methods to use a weapon that had by no means existed ahead of, and switch it right into a dominant strength at the battlefield. New advent offers a close historic assessment of the 1st international struggle.

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We drove at breakneck speed through the darkness and the rain to Blangy-sur-Ternoise. I entered a cheerful, brightly-lit mess. Seeing a venerable and imposing officer standing by the fire, I saluted him. He assured me that he was only the Equipment Officer. We sat down to a well-served dinner, I discovered an old Varsity friend in the doctor, and retired content to a comfortable bed after winning slightly at bridge. In the morning I was sent in a car to Bermicourt, where I was interviewed by Colonel Elles.

First it was almost empty except for the lorry park near Savy, and, short of Arras, it was screened because the Germans still held the Vimy Ridge. Then before the Arras battle it became more and more crowded—numberless lorries, convoys of huge guns and howitzers, smiling men in buses and tired men marching, staff-cars and motor ambulances, rarely, a wagon with slow horses, an old Frenchman in charge, quite bewildered by the traffic. When the battle had begun, whole Divisions, stretching for ten miles or more, came marching along it, and the ambulances streamed back to the big hospital at St Pol.

The centre of the courtyard, encircled by a whitewashed rope, was particularly effective. In winter no polite epithet could describe the place. The hamlet consisted of a few farms, each surrounded by innumerable little ditches, hidden by rank undergrowth and sheltered by large trees. At the best of times the ditches were full of soaking flax, which gave out a most pungent odour. After rain the ditches overflowed and flooded the roads and paths. The hedges and bushes sagged with water. The trees dripped monotonously.

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