Talk:British heavy tanks of World War I

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Male and Female versions[edit]

It says male and female weights in the specifications. Is this vandalism? 01:23, 19 June 2007 (UTC)H.H.

As stated in the article, there were Male and Female versions (meaning with and without cannon, indeed very Freudian :o); so, no, it is not vandalism.--MWAK 05:40, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I did this. ( and Whippet ) GDL 3/2/2005

And you have done well. :o) However there's always room for improvement.

MWAK-- 21:25, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be better to split the article? Surely each of these interesting vehicles deserves its own!

MWAK-- 21:45, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Since the differences between the tanks is actually so little, certainly to the untrained eye, all the diffreent Marks should be treated as variants rather than separate vehicles. Compare with the treatment of the Churchill tank, and the layout for Whippet. Should I get a moment, I will work the article over myself.GraemeLeggett 08:56, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for your effort! And sorry for my horrid English.... I tend to agree with you as far as the earlier marks are concerned. Marks VI, VIII and IX are so different though, a separate article seems justified. Of course I'm a bit prejudiced - they are among my favourite tanks :o).

MWAK-- 12:38, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good jod too bad my tank article is not vary long(Uber555 04:53, 14 January 2006 (UTC))

You mean the Vickers Medium Mark II? :o) I'll try to help you out on that one a bit.--MWAK 08:31, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Just put in the bit about surviving tanks... feel free to add to it. I know there're others at Duxford and the IWM in London, but I've not included them as I've no idea of their details. Catsmeat 10:07, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I've completed the list. The Duxford vehicle is the same as the Lincoln tank. All Ukranian exemplars are Mark Vs.--MWAK 10:38, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Oops, I made a mistake. The Lincoln tank is of course not from Duxford. Let me put it this way: I'm not aware of any entire WWI tank at Duxford. Are you sure there is one?--MWAK 18:30, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade[edit]

Does anyone have reliable information on the tank used in that movie? Internet sources frequently call it a German "Mark 7", but the only "Mark" tanks appear to be these British ones, which is rather confusing. 04:32, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

The tank was a newly built vehicle, externally resembling rather closely the British-American Mark VIII (see: and ) but with a turret added. That "German Mark 7" would be a reference to the A7V, which type however is quite unlike the Indiana Jones vehicle. The Mark VIII was perhaps chosen because an exemplar was available in the USA. An informative site about all such film tanks is --MWAK 05:33, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Time to end this "popular culture" stuff ?[edit]

These "popular culture" entries contribute nothing to the article itself - no information about the subject or its impact on war, history or society. If it leads to e.g. new phrases in a language, that's important because it tells us about the subject's impact on the world. But references in entertainment movies or commercial games do not meet these criteria, they are just things creative writers dream up with no context. Time to stop it ? Rod. Rcbutcher (talk) 02:27, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, they are not without context: evidently, simply by referring to the British tanks, these then become the context of the later cultural expression. And it shows to what extent these tank types are still alive in the collective imagination. Furthermore, if someone has the movies or the games as the departure point for his investigation — I fear this is much more common than the opposite case :o) — and then tries to find out what these strange thingies are, we can help identifying them. Such humble tasks are the core business of an encyclopedia.--MWAK (talk) 05:51, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
The portrayal of tank by British, wartime, popular culture is indeed relevant because they became a hugely significant tool of British propaganda. Look out for the short poem "Blighters" by Siegfried Sassoon in which he ridicules this. Catsmeat (talk) 08:29, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
A Mark I style tank is used in the opening scene of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" movie. Bizzybody (talk) 09:41, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
My two cents, the popular culture stuff can be a bit irritating in articles, especially modern self-referential stuff like one Simpson's episode referenced in another, but I think modern references to historical objects are great to have in a Wiki. People often come to history through modern cultural references, and it helps to have a trail people can follow to the true story. Billyshiverstick (talk) 19:50, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. Referencing and appropriate inline citation guidelines not met. With appropriate citations and references, this article would easily qualify as B class if not higher. --dashiellx (talk) 16:32, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Time to split this article up into separate Marks ?[edit]

Considering this weapon's importance to the history of modern warfare, can one of the tank experts out there consider splitting off Mks I - V into separate pages for each Mark, like other wikis have done ? There is enough difference and material to support separate pages, and would make linking easier, especially interwiki links. Rcbutcher (talk) 07:51, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

At itself this is a good idea — which I have proposed many years earlier :o). However, this does not mean that the present article need to be much condensed as it can serve as a general treatment of the subject.--MWAK (talk) 11:31, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Split! Andy Dingley (talk) 22:13, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Can we get the referencing better first? Then when split we could have a number of B class articles rather than a bunch of starts.GraemeLeggett (talk) 10:41, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
The present chapters certainly are unfit to serve as separate articles; each article should be full length. So the "splitting" should not be taken literally; we can rename this one into British heavy tanks of WWI or something similar.--MWAK (talk) 12:21, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

cost effective?[edit]

I feel like there is something wrong with this sentence:

"suffered from many bugs because of its primitive and cost-effective nature"

"Cost-effective" wouldn't qualify as a bug...maybe the author meant "costly"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:49, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

"Cost-effective" is here a euphemism for "cheap" :o).--MWAK (talk) 03:59, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

New intro[edit]

I've been trying to change the intro to this, but the server doesn't seem to like me:

The British Mark I was a tracked vehicle developed by the British Army during World War I and the world's first combat tank, entering service in August 1916, and first used in action on the morning of 15th September 1916[1]. Born of the need to break the domination of trenches and machine guns over the battlefields of the Western Front, it was the first vehicle to be named "tank", as an expedient to maintain secrecy and to disguise its true purpose[2]. It was developed to be able to cross trenches, resist small-arms fire, travel over difficult terrain, carry supplies, and be able to capture fortified enemy positions. It is regarded as successful in many respects, but suffered from many problems due to its primitive nature. It spawned nine subsequent variants, and initially proved so successful that their impact in battle was out of all proportion to their number[3] and British Army infantry could not be properly deployed to take advantage of the unexpected success.Brutaldeluxe (talk) 00:56, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Article titles[edit]

Could we have some standardization please? Some of the article titles include the word "tank" and others don't. I think all articles about tanks should have "tank" in the title. Biscuittin (talk) 19:39, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

All articles about tanks in general or just the articles mentioned here? The first seems unnecessary — titles should in principle simply consist of the common name of a subject, not explain it — and the second seems already to be the case.--MWAK (talk) 06:51, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Bizzare "facts"[edit]

"entire crews lost consciousness or became violently sick when again exposed to fresh air" "or by runners who were encouraged... by strong drink as a reward." "later marks carried semaphore arms for [sic] signalling." Really? This stuff all sounds pretty dubious to me. Seems like you would pass out inside the tank and wake up when you got fresh air; it seems laughable, the idea that a soldier would be unwilling to risk his life, unless of course there was a bottle of liquor handy, in which case it would be "bottoms up and over the top;" and the idea of semaphore arms on top of a tank sounds highly impractical, if not totally unworkable. I think these factoids should be removed if proper citations cannot be produced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Because radio reception quickly proved impossible due to noise and vibration, tankers had to rely on lamps, flags, semaphore, colored discs, or even carrier pigeons (if they survived the journey within the tank long enough)—Dowling, Timothy (2005). Personal Perspectives: World War I. New York: Harper Perennial. p. 139. ISBN 9781851095650. 
Those semaphores nevertheless were really there (whether they were practical is an entirely different matter ;o). Also the other factoids are authentic or at least part of the traditional early tank lore. It is of course precisely because of their bizarre nature that these details are remarkable enough to be mentioned. The sentence "entire crews lost consciousness or became violently sick when again exposed to fresh air" is however, somewhat ambiguous: what you correctly indicated as the most plausible event, that crews passed out inside of a tank, is indeed what it meant to say — combined with the fact that if they "merely" suffered from a severe shortage of oxygen and an abundance of toxic fumes they couldn't quickly recuperate outside because this incapacitated them for half an hour. Also there is a misunderstanding regarding the sequence of events in case of the alcohol reward: those bottles of strong liquor were carried by the tanks themselves, so in a process of typical psychological conditioning, the stimulus was applied after the trick was performed. Bizarre, no?--MWAK (talk) 06:19, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

All of the above is true and can be verified from personal accounts, official reports, and regimental records as recorded in sources too numerous to mention. It is more advisable to examine some sources than to speculate merely because they are not within one's own experience.

Hengistmate (talk) 00:07, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Not everyone has access to all the information. Could you provide some of these references for us? A general principle on Wikipedia is for an editor to add references for each new fact so that other editors can double check it. If he is unable to provide a reference for a new fact himself then he can add it to the talk page and ask others if they have any references. Thanks.  Stepho  talk  01:27, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

"One commander recorded his crew all spontaneously vomiting as they took their first draughts of fresh air after hours of 'foul confinement'." - Band of Brigands; The First Men in Tanks. Christy Campbell, 2007. p333.

Semaphore signs on top of Tanks were impractical and were soon shot away by enemy fire. Nonetheless, they existed, from the Mk V onwards. Photograph on p32 of Landships; British Tanks in the First World War..David Fletcher (Curator of the R.A.C. Tank Museum, Bovington) Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1984.

The reference to bottles of whiskey is a humorous incident that has been taken at face value, perhaps by someone without the necessary grasp of such things.

I hope these references satisfy the gent who asked for them because certain things didn't seem right. It was my understanding that assertions should be challenged in the light of conflicting evidence, not merely because someone doesn't like the sound of them. Now that other people have had to do all the work, perhaps this correspondent could, in future, take it upon himself to seek verification.

Hengistmate (talk) 13:59, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Mark V series use in Berlin 1945[edit]

I have reverted the latest addition about this. Weaving some original research around some linked images is not provision of a reliable source. The conclusions need to be made by the source, not the editor. (Hohum @) 18:33, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

So why did you remove the references to images? Whatever evidence there is for the Berlin MkVs is based on these photographs. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:10, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Are the images on Wiki-compatible licences? If there are suitable photos showing the tanks in action in Berlin in 1945, then they should be added to the article to back up the claim. Mjroots (talk) 19:25, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
(EC)Because we need a reliable source which draws the conclusion, not our interpretation of what an image means. I could just as well assert that the tank was a static display outside a museum which was blown up during the course of combat. You presented theories that the images do not record.
Mjroots, the tank is shown as a wreck, not in action. (Hohum @) 19:29, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm happy to change the wording to avoid claiming anything definitively that isn't supportable, and I'd suggest that my wording was an improvement here.
There is still, despite this reversion, a widely circulating view that two Mark Vs appeared on the streets of Berlin. It is supported by clear photographic evidence (whether they are hosted on Wikipedia or on Flickr). We should record this, clarify what is credible (i.e. they're MkVs, not MkIVs, so the WWI beutepanzer theory doesn't really hold water) and record just how much is supportable by the evidence. Deleting the history of the Berlin tanks entirely would be as much POV as claiming the existence of foo fighters or the Bell. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:10, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
If it is a widely circulating view, you should have no problem finding documentary comment by a reliable historian, which is what we need. Not the opinions of wiki editors based on pictures of destroyed tanks. (Hohum @) 21:26, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

That seems to be a fair assessment of the situation. I don't think a "widely circulating view" passes the Wikipedia test, unless it is supported. Of course, the existence of photographs of the vehicles actually fighting in street battles in Berlin is unlikely, for obvious reasons. I doubt that there is a photograph of any British WWI tank in combat, although there are many of the tanks in other situations. We know that they did see combat, by virtue of the historical record, and can therefore state that with confidence. There is nothing that establishes to the degree required by Wikipedia that the Mk Vs in question were used in combat.

The web article offered in support of the theory relies on the following quotation: "He was then loaded on a turretless World War One tank for a trip thru (sic) Berlin's streets." There is no further description of the vehicle. Nor is any date given for this event. The use of the word "turretless" could mean that, being accustomed to WWII tanks, the captive assumed the Mk V was missing a turret. On the other hand, we know that in 1940 Germany captured many hundreds of Renault FTs and put them to use. The FT had a removable turret. Therefore, the captive could be describing a tank which he knew or deduced to have had its turret removed. The Northwest Florida Daily News archive for 2003 is not available online. It therefore seems to me that the use of these vehicles in combat has, at present, not been established by the means required. Their presence is established by clear photographic evidence; their actions are not.

The invitation to offer reliable evidence was made 17 months ago, and has not been taken up. I would suggest that sufficient time has elapsed for some bold editing to be justified. I apologise for the length of this response. I am not trying to substitute verbosity and persistence for historical fact, merely to anticipate all objections that might be put forward by other editors.

As it happens, the last occasion on which a British WWI tank was operational is probably 1942. But I think this article requires considerable revision before we can afford the luxury of such refinements. Hengistmate (talk) 03:59, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Split articles[edit]

In accordance with the de facto Manual of Style, this article should be split into several articles. The Mark II - Mark X tanks can all get their own articles. Each vehicle can get a brief description in a section labeled "Derivatives". The article Mark tank could be created to provide an overview of tanks in the series. Marcus Qwertyus 23:36, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

"Mark tank"? Where the hell does that come from? 8-( Andy Dingley (talk) 23:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, it would not be easy to find a correct name for an overview article. Surely, the as yet non-existing Mark II, Mark III and Mark VII articles should be written first in a serious form, i.e. not as stubs, before the strictly Mark I-related content could be split off and the article renamed.--MWAK (talk) 07:04, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
See past discussion high up the page. Personally I don't have a problem with them as stubs (so long as no one then seeks to delete them). Besides which, there's not a huge amount to say on the II & III - we'd hopefully have someone with the time to do them fairly soon afterwards. It might be useful to split Mark I off too - keep much of this article and rename it as British tanks of World War I to make a more historical view (which is probably the most useful article of the lot), have the per-model articles as more technical descriptions. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:35, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that since the production and development of the British heavy tank of the First World War is interleaved it would be best to keep the majority of the text together, though renaming to British tanks of World War I would mean having to fold the Whippet story in as well - perhaps the title should make clear it refers to the Heavy tank only. With the exception of the Marks VI, VIII, and IX (which already have their own articles) the Mark I evolves rather than changes across the war - perhaps "Variants" could be renamed "Evolution". The current article is lacking in some areas, chiefly the actual service use. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:55, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the Whippet. "Heavy tanks" would be fine be me, but if the point of that separate article was to give a military history of the tanks, as opposed to an engineering history, then maybe the Whippet belongs in there too? Andy Dingley (talk) 13:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Lord Kitchener[edit]

On page 101 of Steve Cliffe's Churchill, Kitchener, and Lloyd George: First World War Lords (London: Fonthill Media / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2014), the author claims that after the demonstration of the tank on Feb. 2, 1916, Kitchener privately told Sir William Robertson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, that his negative comments had been for public consumption, and that such an important new weapon should never have been demonstrated so publicly, to politicians. This would suggest he though the tank a very good idea.

--Al-Nofi (talk) 18:16, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

An interesting piece of information. But unless some armour historian has made a special point of this, it would , I feel, be OR to include it in the article.--MWAK (talk) 19:22, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Relocated hidden content[edit]

The following hidden content was relocated to the Talk page below:


Variant Specifications[edit]

Mark I Tank and its variants and successors
Model / Specification style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark I style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark II style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark III style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark IV style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark V style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark VI style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark VII style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark VIII style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark IX style="background:#AFBBD2;" align="center" Colum width="90px"|Mark X
Weight (Male) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t)
Weight (Female) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t) 122.38 t (122.38 t)
Length (Male) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft)
Length (Female)) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft)
Width (Male)) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft)
Width (Female)) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft)
Height (Male)) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft)
Height (Female)) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft) 122.38 m (401.5 ft)
Crew (Male)
Crew (Female)
Armour (Male) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in)
Armour (Female) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in) 19 mm (0.75 in)
Primary Armament (Male)
Primary Armament (Female)
Secondary Armament (Male)
Secondary Armament (Female)
Engine (Male)
Engine (Female)
Engine Power (Male)
Engine Power (Female)
Transmission (Male)
Transmission (Female)
Fuel Capacity (Male)
Fuel Capacity (Female)
Range (Male) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi)
Range (Female) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi) 1,400 km (870 mi)
Speed (Male) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph)
Speed (Female) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph) 27.016 km/h (16.787 mph)


Whomever is working on this content, please do so here or in the Sandbox, not in the article proper. When you have completed your efforts you may appropriately introduce it into the article. Wikiuser100 (talk) 01:04, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Mark V series[edit]

The second sentence of the 'Mark V series' section is nearly unintelligible. It seems to be saying that the original Mark V design was a better Mark IV, then changed to a completely new design, then reverted back to a better Mark IV. The sentence is either very badly worded or just wrong. Could someone knowledgeable on the subject clue me in? Thanks.  Stepho  talk  02:56, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, if you read it in combination with the first sentence, the entire passage goes:
The Mark V was first intended to be a completely new design of tank. When however in December 1917 the desired new engine and transmission became available, this design was abandoned and the designation switched to an improved version of the Mark IV, in fact a Mark IV as it was originally intended.
So, for the Mark V the situation is pretty straightforward (perhaps you read "a Mark V as it was originally intended"? This would indeed make the sentence contradictory). There are two phases:
  1. The Mark V is an entirely new design.
  2. Revert to an improved Mark IV, according to the original design specifications for the Mark IV.
Of course, things become rather more complex when you try to work out what this implies for the design sequence including the Mark IV. Then there are four phases:
  1. The Mark IV is designed as a strongly improved Mark III.
  2. Mark IV project reverts to a slightly improved Mark III because new engine and transmission systems are not yet available.
  3. The Mark V is an entirely new design.
  4. New engine and transmission systems become available at last so Mark V reverts to an improved Mark IV, according to the original design specifications for the Mark IV, so in fact a strongly improved Mark III.
So, at Step 4 the British had only the reached the level they had hoped to reach immediately at Step 1.--MWAK (talk) 06:19, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
That makes a lot more sense. The original sentence was ambiguous in that 'it' in the last clause could refer to the Mark IV (the correct interpretation) or the Mark V (as I interpreted). I will think of a way to reword it (the start of the sentence is a bit horrible too) - unless you get to it first :) Thanks.  Stepho  talk  08:56, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Making it all a bit less inflected and convoluted would certainly be an improvement ;o).--MWAK (talk) 14:00, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Much better now. Thanks.  Stepho  talk  07:07, 28 August 2011 (UTC)


The number of machine guns carried by Tanks Mk I - V* is usually misrepresented. The Mk I Male had five flaps through which machine guns could be fired, one in the cab front and two in each sponson. In practice only three were used, the cab and one in each sponson. The Female carried two Vickers in each sponson and a Hotchkiss in the cab.

Mks II - IV had purpose built mounts, one in the cab, and one in each sponson for Males, two for Females. The confusion is caused by the fact that tanks carried a spare.

In the Mk V a rearward-firing machine-gun was fitted in the rear armour, bringing the total to four for Males and six for Females.

The list of users gives the impression that the Mk I saw service with a number of countries, which is not correct. Captured Mk IVs were used by Germany, and later Mks by a number of countries during and after the War.

Hengistmate (talk) 22:27, 1 September 2011 (UTC)


Are not the same thing. I propose to amend this by removing the barbette reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hengistmate (talkcontribs) 11:44, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Even More Confused[edit]

The box thing gives the impression that the MkI was used by Germany, the Soviet Union, the United States, France, Canada, Australia, Estonia, and Latvia. It wasn't. The box combines all the various Marks under the heading of Tank MkI, which is confusing.

The Mk VI and X were not built. Is it reasonable to argue that the MkIX and Gun Carrier were variants? The Mk VIII was not completed in time to see service in the War. It really requires a separate box for each Mark to avoid confusion.

Looking through the rest of the text, I can see numerous misapprehensions.

David Fletcher does not say that "Salvage Companies . . . were forbidden to speak about this aspect of their work (removing corpses) with still living tank crews."

"There were two Hotchkiss machine guns in the sponsons and two removable guns for the front and back," is not correct. Only Females had 2 mgs in each sponson; Males had one, plus a cannon. Both Males and Females had a machine-gun in the cab. No tanks were fitted with mgs at the rear until the MkV.

What is described as the "Wilson Machine" was the "Tritton Machine."

"Four of the crew, two drivers (one of whom also acted as commander; he operated the brakes, the other the primary gearbox) and two "gearsmen" (one for the secondary gears of each track) were needed to control direction and speed," is incorrect. This sentence is badly expressed and needs clarification.

The claim about MkVs being used in WWI is based on photos of the tanks but does not appear to be confirmed by any accounts that will satisfy Wikipedia's requirements.

Hengistmate (talk) 16:04, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

I read, "There were two Hotchkiss machine guns in the sponsons " to mean that the sponsons (plural) had two Hotchkiss between them, which is (AFAIK) correct for a Male. Females had two MG per sponson, but these were Vickers, so clearly not what is referred to here.
What's incorrect about the number of crew needed to drive?
I presume you mean claims about MkVs in WW2, not WWI. This is supported by several photos, even if we don't know the details. It's worth retaining, if only to clarify that they were Mk V, not Mk IV, and so can't have arrived there as WWI beutepanzer, as is sometimes claimed.
We are surely long overdue for splitting, or at least renaming, this article. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:27, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry, the point I was making is that the first paragraph under 'Description' discusses only the armament of the Male. I think that should be improved to include the female. There's no mention of the Vickers. The reference to removable mgs is not correct. The MkI had 5 flaps for mgs; 1 in the cab and 2 in each sponson, but in practice only one in each sponson was used. Thereafter there were purpose-built mountings for mgs. Because a spare was carried, the number of mgs is usually overstated by one. There were no rear mgs in Mks I-IV.

The sentence about the crew is rather imprecise and badly expressed. It will do no harm to clarify it. As a matter of fact, in the Mk I the drivers were from the RASC, not the Heavy Branch.

I do mean WWII. Beg pardon. That was a misprunt. However, their use is a matter of speculation and, as I say, is not supported by any evidence. Leaving aside the fact that it would be remarkable if they functioned after 20 years in a museum, Wikipedia requires a citation, which in our case we have not got. Their presence is supported by photos, but not their use in combat. There's no harm in mentioning this alleged episode, but I would suggest that it be made clear that it is no more than that.

I take it that we are in agreement on the matter of the "Tritton Machine."

You're quite right; this does need a major overhaul. Who's going to do it?


Hengistmate (talk) 11:26, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest creating spin off articles on any remaining marks of particular note - eg the Mark V. It should then be possible to add an infobox specifically for the Mark I (and Mark II?) in the development section. The infobox at the top of the article can then be made more generic. Then the article could be moved to a more general name and generally tidied up as an overview the Mark I and its descendants. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:01, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Salvage crews "forbidden to speak about this aspect of their work."[edit]

That isn't what David Fletcher says on p124. "Fighting battalions believed that it was bad for morale for tank crews to remove the bodies of their comrades from wrecked tanks, and left all this to the salvage companies. When tanks had been burned out this was very grim work." There's nothing about crews being forbidden to discuss anything. Have removed.

Hengistmate (talk) 15:00, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Consistent naming of the sub articles for each Mark.[edit]

I noticed that we have articles called:

Should these be renamed for consistent use of brackets?  Stepho  talk  14:51, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

No, but they should be renamed for the best use of brackets (Consistency is a false benefit, but some ways of using disambiguation in brackets are better than others).
We should use the Mark VI (tank). This allows easy use of the pipe trick for formatting inline wls. There's little else to choose over one format or the other. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:55, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
We can use piping whether its Mark IV (tank) (I just fixed the redirect from this) or Mark IV tank, and Mark IV tank works without piping. Most tank articles don't use the "(tank)" form but don't ask me why. GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:16, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Pipe trick, not just piping. Needs a bracket or comma to trigger it. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:23, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Grammatically I believe MarkIV tank and Mark V tank is correct, rather than Mark IV (tank). The reason is that in Wikipedia brackets are typically used to disambiguate between different things of the same name, such as John Smith (explorer) : there are many John Smiths. The tanks were never called just Mark IV or Mark V. They were called tanks, and I understand in formal terms it was Tank, Mark IV, and in common usage Mark IV tank. So I believe either is more appropriate than Mark IV (tank). Rod. Rcbutcher (talk) 07:52, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Grammatically and historically I would agree with you. For convenience in adding links to wiki articles, I'd still favour the bracket form. I would also claim that when Wilson was standing in a field at Oldbury, he'd have used "Mark IV" and "Mark V" in conversation, not "Mark IV tank". Andy Dingley (talk) 12:45, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I think I may have been misunderstood. I am not particularly worried about the form that it appear son this page, so the pipe trick is not the answer I was looking for. I was thinking more about the actual names of the articles being linked to.
I agree that consistency should not be a goal in itself but I have found that consistency usually help other goals like ease of use. In this case, each of the Mark articles have their own format for no apparent reason. If I was making a new article and wanted to link to each Mark, I would explore for a little bit to find the Mark I article and then put in a link to it. For the following Marks it would be natural to simply cut and paste the Mark I link and then change the numeral. Except this won't work because each Mark has a different format and I would have to waste time finding what each particular Mark's article title is.
I also agree that Wilson would probably have said "Mark V" in a conversation about tanks. However, in a conversation that includes other topics he would have had to differentiate it from a Mark V Spitfire and many other possible Mark V devices. We need to add " (tank)" at the end of the article names to provide context among millions of other articles on Wikipedia. Of course, this can be hidden from the casual reader by using the pipe trick when linking.
I would like to rename each of those articles to the format commonly found on Wikipedia projects: ie "Mark ## (tank)", where ## would be the appropriate Roman numeral.  Stepho  talk  14:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm happy with either Mark IV tank (best article name) or Mark IV (tank) (easiest link target). I'd oppose Tank, Mark IV (anachronistic and looks clumsy to today's readers) or Mark IV, tank (superfluous). Andy Dingley (talk) 14:52, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm happy with either of Andy's suggested formats - with slight leanings to 'Mark IV (tank)' because it is a common format in many other projects. Also, thank you to Rcbutcher for correcting my fumble fingers spelling of "consistent".  Stepho  talk  01:36, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
If we apply the (tank) logic to e.g. the Mark V Spitfire, an article about it should be named Mark V (Spitfire). Etc. Rcbutcher (talk) 11:34, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
There are also the other instances of Mark IV tanks - eg the Mark IV infantry tank, the Mark IV cruiser tank. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:45, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Spitfires and Churchills both have other names as their primary name. The Great War heavy tanks didn't. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:01, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

It is perhaps worth considering that there was no such thing as a Mk I tank until there was a Mk II, or, at least, the prospect of it. Like "World War One." Until November 1916 there were only "Tanks." The first 150 then became the Mk I, and the next 100, ordered on October 16th and incorporating minor modifications, 50 each of Mk II & III (Albert Stern).

As for the article name, I have been required to have such discussions on a number of occasions. It seems that the Wikipedia rule is to reflect "common usage." Whether there can be such a thing in matters as comparatively specialised as this I am not certain. But I notice that the common usage rule is applied inconsistently anyway, and Wikipedia also says that the question should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Compare buttercup and cornflower. "Tank, Mk I" has a pleasing military ring to it, and I'm sure that it appeared in many inventories and official documents. But most people will want to look up (for example) "Mark V Tank." The problem with "Mark V (tank)" is that you have to distinguish it from the Covenanter, a Lincoln Continental, part of the Gospel of St. Mark, and many other things. How "Medium Mark A Whippet" and "Gun Carrier Mark I" fit into this, I cannot say. It would be my suggestion that all the British Heavy Tanks of the period be referred to as "Mark (insert numerals here) Tank." I suppose Roman numerals are a bit anachronistic, really, but I think we can hang on to them.

Whilst this desire for unifomity and clarity is very welcome, I can't help but notice that Wikipedia contains numerous articles and sections on the topic of, shall we say, early 20th century tracked, armoured fighting vehicles, and no two are alike. Some of them are appalling. Is the cart not being put before the horse? Hengistmate (talk) 08:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Estonian War of Independence[edit]

I notice that a good deal of reversion has taken place here in the matter of the participation or otherwise of Mk V tanks in the Estonian War of Independence. This might be an issue not of vandalism but of historical accuracy. One hopes that no one has been too hasty or acted without examining the facts. Whilst it is undeniable that four Mk Vs were handed to the Estonian Army on condition that they be used to continue opposition to Bolshevik forces, and that a training school was set up under a Captain Shishko, I have yet to see a description of their use in combat. Although Lt. Col. Hope Carson describes British-operated Mk Vs travelling to Pskov in August 1919 and linking with Estonian units, the vehicles did not detrain and later withdrew without seeing action. Whilst Estonia sought independence, it is entirely possible to argue that all tank actions at this time were still a part of the Allied Intervention. They were certainly under the command of Gen. Yudenich, and while the Estonian War of Independence and the Russian Civil War are somewhat interwoven, it is far from clear that Mk Vs actively participated in the former. Any references that establish that they did would be very welcome. In the absence of any, I would suggest that the Estonian War of Independence ought not to appear in the infobox.Hengistmate (talk) 13:12, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

I am apprised that the Mk V did not see combat in the Estonian War of Independence. Hengistmate (talk) 23:57, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Multiple Edits, 12th April, 2012.[edit]

Have tried to clarify this somewhat. Having everything under the title of "Mark I Tank" tends to give the impression that information, especially that in the infobox, refers to this Mark throughout, which it doesn't. Have specified which Marks were used by whom (adding Japan), and pointing out instances where info applies only to the Mk I. Haven't included (yet) service with the White Russians, since the vehicles were operated by British crews; would welcome opinions on that. We await a decision on the inclusion of the Estonian Civil War.

With no disrespect, the page title causes the content to fall between several stools, but since there are other articles devoted wholly or partly to this subject, it's hard to think what it could be changed to.

The acquisition of Mk VIIIs by Canada is, I believe, a moot point, and it is suggested that this might be confusion with the M1917s. Does anyone have a reliable source that doesn't seem to have taken its info from Wikipedia?

Have also amended details of armament. Civil comments welcomed on all of the above.Hengistmate (talk) 16:40, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Split is long overdue. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:04, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Mark VIIIs were most certainly acquired by Canada.--MWAK (talk) 08:38, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Isn't that the point? It's incontrovertible that Canada acquired Mark VIIIs. It's questionable why they did this, and whether they used them afterwards, but Canada paid money to the USA to buy Mark VIIIs and they were shipped Northwards. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:02, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Some doubt exists as to the details of the Mk VIII deal. If MWAK can clear it up, I should be delighted to see his evidence. This is a brief explanation of the alleged controversy: Hengistmate (talk) 09:12, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Ah, sorry, I misunderstood. I can only add that Ellis & Chamberlain repeat their claim that they were used for training in The Great Tanks and the AFV 13 Profile. Ram and Sexton. But this obviously does not constitute an independent source.--MWAK (talk) 16:26, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

"It's incontrovertible that Canada acquired Mark VIIIs." Then, as an experienced Wikipedian, you will understand my desire to be reminded of the incontrovertible evidence that satisfies the project's requirements. As we know, a widely circulating view is insufficient. I look forward to reading same. Hengistmate (talk) 16:41, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, it suffices that the claim is made in some published secondary source. Of course we don't have to state that the proof is incontrovertible :o).--MWAK (talk) 07:45, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
The claim is widely sourced, even by the URL that you posted yourself. The issue is more about what the article should claim. Is this "Canada trained with VIIIs", "Canada bought VIIIs for training, but didn't use them", "Canada only wanted 1917s but bought a job lot of both" or "Canada bought scrap metal, because there was otherwise a lack of scrap metal in Canada". Clearing that up probably requires real research, in some Canadian government archive. In its absence we should remain non-committal: Canada bought VIIIs, VIIIs were shipped to Canada, the rest is unclear. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:57, 19 December 2012 (UTC)


This page is entitled "Mark I Tank" so why does it discuss other tanks such as the Mark II, IV, V, V* etc? The list of nations in the "Used By" section gives the impression that the Mark I was used by, for example, Germany. There are separate pages for all the other Marks of Tank, surely the information would be better placed there? If you check the Mark IV page, for example, it doesn't mention Germany. I feel that a page about the Mark I Tank should be about the Mark I Tank. Should the page title be changed to "Various Tanks of WW1"? It doesn't make much sense the way it is. O'Contraire (talk) 03:20, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, the best way to proceed would be to split off (and expand) a separate Mark I article and rename this one to British Heavy Tanks Mark I to Mark X — or somesuch.--MWAK (talk) 08:38, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I quite agree, Mr. O'Contraire, but I also observe that the idea of splitting or otherwise rejigging this article can be traced back to at least 2005. Everyone seems to be full of good advice, but no one has actually done anything except agree that something should be done. Mr. Dingley, in particular, has been tireless in his encouragement of others.

Mr. O'Contraire might like to consider that I have made certain adjustments to the infobox in an attempt to clarify which nation used which Mark(s), and what I hope are improvements in other areas, but such tinkering can achieve very little when the article's title is so restrictive. (Btw, the Mark IV page does mention German use, in the "Service" section)

In all honesty, this article requires considerable rebuilding. But since it does deal with only the British heavy rhomboid tanks, it would at least be a start to rename it "British Heavy Tanks of World War I". I shall therefore do that an hope for a collaborative and constructive response, rather than an obstructive one. Mentioning no names. Here we go. Hengistmate (talk) 10:21, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

A New Era[edit]

Right. The Gordian Knot has been cut. We can now proceed to improve the article with the freedom that I believe the new title affords. The sections on the individual Marks can be brought more into line with their dedicated articles elsewhere on Wikipedia, the combat history can be fleshed out with Ypres, Cambrai, etc, and I'm sure editors are already thinking of other ways of making the world a better place. If anyone disagrees with anything, perhaps they can come up with some positive alternative. If you have a better idea, let's hear it and let's try it. "Don’t tell me it can’t be done, tell me how we are going to do it" - Franklin D. Roosevelt. Possibly. Hengistmate (talk) 11:18, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Is the capitalisation right? "British heavy tanks of World War I" surely. Fletcher doesn't use "Heavy" in the book titles, and heavy is on;y used when the Whippet appears to not the distinction. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:55, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, if that's what it takes, do it. Or whatever will work. Hengistmate (talk) 13:15, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Has Fletcher written anything on "the heavies" specifically? I can only think of single models, and WWI tanks overall (including Whippets).
I doubt that "Heavy Tank" was ever applied as a name contemporaneously, because there just wasn't any call for it, until the Whippet. Yet it does seem to have some currency quite shortly after this – certainly by the time of the turreted Mediums. Provided that we can offer some sourcing for its sanctioned use by either the War Office, or by reputable historians, then the capitalisation is OK. This doesn't have to be a WWI period source.
I'll create an uncapitalised redirect too, just to make linking easier from some sentence contexts. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:33, 19 December 2012 (UTC) Or whatever. What do I know? Hengistmate (talk) 15:40, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

COMMONNAME would be reason enough for the phrasing, but not enough to defend the capitalisation (which I would personally agree with anyway). I'm just concerned in case a Wikishark swims past, looking to keep up their catch of the day, and they'll then rename, merge or delete it because there's no explicit policy called WP:WHY HEAVY TANKS ARE CALLED HEAVY TANKS. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:35, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Male & Female[edit]

I changed last sentence of first paragraph to, "Armament was of two types: naval 6-pounder (57 mm) guns, called a "male", and machine guns, called a "female"." I am just an interested layman, and found the references to "male" and "female" totally confusing. So I explained it at the top. I felt this was necessary because those terms appear in the InfoBox which is at the top. I firmly believe they should be defined right at the top. Tanks are inanimate objects and do not have sexual gender.Nick Beeson (talk) 17:43, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

The Males also had machine guns though so that needs to be stated clearly (In the case of the Mark IV three to the females five). GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:47, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Also the armament as such wasn't called "male" or "female" but the vehicle versions.--MWAK (talk) 09:08, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
But it is common to refer to "male" and "female" sponsons; as in "hermaphrodites had one male and one female sponson." Hengistmate (talk) 18:05, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

I've adjusted this par. There was an initial shortage of 6-pounders, but the necessary 50 were ordered from Armstrong-Whitworth without too much difficulty. The anti-personnel requirement was more of a determinant. The turret wasn't abandoned because it would have made the vehicle too high or top-heavy - the Mk I was no taller than Little Willie; it was because of the interior layout of the vehicle. A turret was feasible in Little Willie's case, but the layout of the heavier Mk I (with its gearsmen) made a turret impractical. Fletcher 2001, p51, if you want a reference, and Stern 1919 somewhere. No need to confuse the issue by introducing hermaphrodites at this stage - that bridge can be crossed in due course. Reading the par in conjunction with the infobox will, I hope, explain matters. And I wish more people knew when to use "due to." Hengistmate (talk) 01:49, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree, it took me a while to figure out what the difference was for. Thanks for fixing. I may take a run at improving this, blending accuracy of technical differences with ease of use to the layman. Or :female" laywoman. :) Billyshiverstick (talk) 19:41, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Needs More Info on Effectiveness and Use.[edit]

Hi all - I find the article is certainly encyclopaedic on the different variants and construction of the tanks, but is very short on the significance of the tank in WW1. Could anyone find a source with more overview and analysis? TX. Sorry, I just proofread and edit existing work, and don't have the backround on tanks. cheers all, Billyshiverstick (talk) 19:39, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

There is a separate article: Tanks in World War I.--MWAK (talk) 05:42, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Connection of the page[edit]

This page about english first world war tank Mark I seem not have the connection with Wikpedia pages in French,Italian and other very knowed countries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:22, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Edit by, July 7th.[edit]

I've restored the reference to WWII because some Mark V tanks did play a very small part in the conflict. Four ex=Estonian Mark Vs were used by the Red Army in the defence of Tallinn in 1941. A couple of Mk Vs were on public display in Berlin from 1943 until after the end of the War, but there is no evidence that they took part in any fighting or were even mobile. The last known operation was 1941, not 1945, but for personal reasons some "editors" will not allow this information to appear in Wikipedia. Hengistmate (talk) 21:13, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ The complete guide to tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, pg 20, ISBN-13: 978-1 84681-110-4
  2. ^ The complete guide to tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, pg 93, ISBN-13: 978-1 84681-110-4
  3. ^ The complete guide to tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, pg 20, ISBN-13: 978-1 84681-110-4