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WW1 British Armor WW1 USA Armor WWI British Tanks

Tank Mark VIII International Liberty

ww1 British tanks American ww1 armor  Great Britain/USA(1918)
Heavy tank – 125 built

A joint British-US design to be built in France

With industrial resources stretched to the limits in France (after the loss of the eastern Lorraine region in 1914, which accounted for a large part of the heavy industry) and Great Britain, (due to massive debt, labor shortages, steel diverted for shipbuilding) the news that the USA entered the war was received with great hope.
Soon after April 1917, the British planned to send a delegation to the USA to convince them to co-produce the next British tank model. But soon afterwards it was thought more judicious that the initiative should be led locally and endorsed by Congress. Via the American military attaché in London, some contacts were made with the US Navy for the Marine corps, based around the next project available, the Mark VI. However, the latter was tailored for the capacities of the British industry and relatively small.
Mark VIII 'Liberty' Tank at Fort George G. Meade, MD, USA
Mark VIII ‘Liberty’ Tank at Fort George G. Meade, MD, USA
Therefore, Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Gerald Stern proposed the Tank Mark VIII, fictitious at the time, a much bigger design. Meanwhile, the American Department of War intervened and asked that the model be developed for the US Army and sent Major H. W. Alden to the Mechanical Warfare Department design team at Dollis Hill. He arrived in October to find that much of the plans had already been made by Lieutenant G. J. Rackham, a veteran from Flanders.

The Tank Mark VIII Liberty design

The Mark VIII had similar features to the British-built rhomboid tanks, with full-length high track run and large track links, sponsons, and raised superstructure at the front. The latter housed three Lewis machine guns in ball mountings, while the driver had a small raised cabin or cupola with four vision slits.
The sponsons housed two 6-pounder (57 mm) guns, while two hull machine-guns in ball-mounts were placed just behind on the hull doors. Other great improvement was the engine compartmentalization through a bulkhead, preventing noise and fumes from invading the fighting compartment. The hull form was studied after reports and much rounder. The sponsons were made retractable to reduce the width for transport, which was in itself fairly limited compared to the total length of the hull. This would later cause serious agility issues.
The ammunition (208 shells and 13,848 machine-gun rounds) was stored inside a large locker on the fighting compartment platform where the crew stood. The US Liberty V12 (replaced by the Ricardo equivalent on the British design) was fed by three armored fuel tanks at the rear holding 200 L (240 US gallons), ensuring a 60-80 km (37-49.7 mi) ride on rough terrain.
The sheer length was intended for assaulting the new German anti-tank trenches and ditches of the Hindenburg line, and possibly to carry twenty infantrymen (thus performing as an APC), added to a crew of twelve. The hollow British prototype was ready in June 1918 and later shipped to the USA for completion in September, by hand-built components. During trials the links failed frequently and had to be strengthened, lengthened and reshaped, in hard cast steel before production. Protection was better than average, with frontal and side thickness of 16 mm (0.63 in).

Production

The gradual set-up of the production was a long an protracted affair. By September 1917 the US Army HQ in France planned its own tanks corps with French and US-built Renault FTs to equip 20 tank battalions, while five heavy tank battalions were to be given the new Mark VIII. James A. Drain from Gen. Pershing’s staff initially ordered 600 Mark VI tanks (then in development).
Later on, Stern was removed from the project by Churchill (the Mark VI was eventually cancelled in December) and instead was sent to study tank production in France, consulting both the French Minister of Munitions, Louis Loucheur, and Gen. Pershing.
However since French production capacities were severely limited, they devised a ten point agreement stating the component production would be separated between Great Britain and USA, and final assembly performed in France, in a brand new factory which had been built from scratch.
The new project was named the Mark VIII “International”. The projected figures of 1,500 heavy tanks had to be then shared among the Allies, including France, whose own project Char FCM 2C had barely advanced at all.
Later on 11 November the name was changed again to “Liberty” in relation to its US-built 300 hp (220 kW) Liberty engine.
Initial production figures stated that 1,200 vehicles could be produced monthly after extensions of the facilities. This proved way too optimistic. The British-built factory at Neuvy-Pailloux, 200 miles south of Paris, was not even completed by June 1918.
Another company was hired and did finish the factory in November, but the war was over then and the whole project was suspended. Meanwhile, the Liberty engine had its piston recast and was only available in October. US component production was also not ready before October. Armament from the UK was fixed and tested later in November.

Active service

Due to the end of the war, the needs for the Mark VIII dwindled rapidly. Nonetheless, due to the effort and money already spent, the Congress authorized the production of 100 tanks for US needs, built on US soil and partly British components. These were delivered between 1919 and 1920 by the Rock Island Arsenal at 35,000$ apiece and served with the 67th Infantry (Tank) Regiment, based in Aberdeen, Maryland.

These were the only heavy tanks in US service until the arrival of the M6 in 1942. The side machine-guns were later eliminated to have a peacetime crew reduced to ten, and all machine-guns were replaced by M1917 Browning models. They suffered from poor engine ventilation and reliability issues, phased out in 1932 and in 1934 were placed in reserve.
The first British-built Mark VIII was delivered the day of the armistice, with a mild steel hull and Rolls-Royce engine, but ultimately seven more were completed (out of a 1,500 unit order to the North British Locomotive Company and William Beardmore & co) with the definitive V12 Ricardo engine.
With extra sets of parts, twenty-four more were built after the war, with five sent to the Bovington training center and the others ultimately sold for scrap. The lengthened Mark VIII* (star) projected late in 1918 was supposed to be even longer, with the rear and front section of the fighting compartment stretched by a total of three meters.
This would have allowed it to cross anti-tank ditches up to five meters long. Production was cancelled soon after the armistice.
Surviving vehicles are on display at Fort Meade, Maryland, and at the Bovington Tank Museum in England. A further example is being restored at the National Armor and Cavalry Museum, Fort Benning, Georgia.
In Steven Spielberg’s movie ‘Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade’, a tank vaguely resembling a Mark VIII is seen, but with an added turret on top.

Myth

It is often said that in 1940, the surplus Mark VIII Liberty tanks in USA Army storage were sold at scrap value to Canada for training. This is wrong. They were offered for sale but that offer was declined. The Canadian Army purchased 236 American M1917 tanks for training tank crews instead. These were licensed built WW1 Renault FT tanks.

Mark VIII specifications

Dimensions Length 34ft 2in (10.42m).
Width 8ft 5in (2.57m).
Width with Sponsons 12ft 10in (3.92m)
Height 10ft 3in (3.13m)
Total weight 38 tonnes
Crew 10 US – 12 British
Propulsion V12 Liberty or Ricardo crosshead valve, water-cooled straight six petrol engine 150hp @ 1250rpm
Road Speed 5.25 mph (8.45 km/h)
Range 50 miles (80 km)
Trench Crossing ability 15ft 9in (4.8m)
Armament 4x 0.303 inch (7.62mm) Vickers water-cooled machine guns
7x 0.303 inch (7.62mm) Hotchkiss air-cooled machine gun or
7x M1917 Browning machine guns
Armor Max 16 mm
Track links Length 1ft 1in (32.5cm)
Width 2ft 3in (67.5cm)
Hatch Length 3ft 5in (1.05cm)
Width 2ft 4in (71cm)
Total production 125

Gallery

Mark VIII 'Liberty' Tank being restored at the National Armor and Cavalry Museum, Fort Benning, GA, USA
Mark VIII ‘Liberty’ Tank being restored at the National Armor and Cavalry Museum, Fort Benning, GA, USA – Source: Rob Cogan for the Armour Journal, NACM
Cutaway Mark VIIIThe protype testing in 1918
Centennial WW1 POSTER
WW1 tanks and AFVs
All Posters
Originally published on 9 June 2014


Tank Mk.VIII Liberty
by GiganautMark VIII Liberty in US service, 67th Armored Regiment, Maryland.
American Mark VIII Liberty, US Infantry’s 67th Armored Regiment, Aberdeen, Maryland.
British Mark VIII, prospective view
Prospective view of a British Mark VIII, as it could have looked if deployed during the great summer offensive of 1919.
Categories
WW1 USA Armor

Light Tank M1917

USA ww1 USA (1918) Light Tank – 950 built

Introduction

When the United States of America joined the Allies on the battlefields of France and Belgium in WW1, in April 1917, the US Army Expeditionary Force did not possess any tanks. Their officers inspected the British and French tanks and decided the French Renault FT tank would meet their needs until more British style heavy tanks could be manufactured.
They were loaned some Renault FT tanks and a few British Mk.V tanks for the final attacks of WW1. The French factories were fully committed in producing tanks to meet the needs of the French Army. There was no spare capacity in France to build additional tanks for the US Army.
M1917 11th Tank Company in Hawaii, circa 1938.
M1917 light tank of the 11th Tank Company in Hawaii, circa 1938. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)
The Americans quickly conducted negotiations with the French government and obtained the license to start production of the Renault FT tank in America. For security reasons, the early tanks were just called ‘6 ton special tractor’. Later, they were given the official designation Model 1917 6-ton light tank. This was more commonly abbreviated to just M1917. The US Government placed an order for 4,440 tanks to be built, but only 950 were produced before the order was cancelled.

Only 64 M1917 tanks had been completed by the end of the war. Ten American built M1917 tanks were delivered to France before World War One finished on 11th November 1918. None of them saw active service on the front line.
The letters FT do not stand for ‘first tank’ or the French terms ‘faible tonnage’ (low tonnage), ‘faible taille’ (small size), ‘franchisseur de tranchées’ (trench crosser), or ‘force terrestre’ (land force). It was not named the FT 17 or FT-17 during World War I. That happened after the war finished. All new Renault projects were given a two-letter product code for internal use, and the next one available was ‘FT’. The previous production code was ‘FS’.

M1917 US light tanks. photo taken around 1920
This photograph was taken around 1920. It shows a mixture of camouflaged M1917 tanks (only used in 1919) and M1917 tanks in dark olive drab livery. They are now awaiting issue to the various tank companies of both the regular army and National Guard (photo: Vendith).

Design and Production

This tank should not be judged with modern eyes. Tank on tank combat was not a consideration in the design of this vehicle. The Germans only produced 20 A7V heavy tanks during WW1.
These tanks were the solution to the problem of how do you cross ‘no-man’s land’ under rifle plus machine gun fire and breach the enemy’s front line of trenches. Most of the Renault FT tanks used in the war were only armed with machine guns.

A few were mounted with cannons to deal with fortified bunkers and machine gun positions. They worked with machine gun armed tanks who protected them from infantry attack.
Many books and websites state that the design of the Renault FT armored fighting vehicle was the first to use a turret that traversed 360 degrees. That statement is not true. Before the war and during the early part of the war, turrets were used on armored cars. The Renault FT was the first tank with a turret that traversed 360 degrees to see action on the battlefield.

The tank was operated by a two man crew. The driver sat in the front of the tank in the middle and the commander operated the turret and gun. The turret was unpowered, and had no mechanism to move it, besides handles. The commander had too much to do. He had to look out for enemy targets and dangers, load the gun, traverse the turret, fire the machine gun and give directions to the driver. He also had to read the map and co-ordinate with other tanks and infantry units. The tanks were not fitted with radios, so the commander had to use flags, hand signals and shout commands at other units.

The tank had a number of good design features that were advanced for the time. The front armor plate that protected the driver was slopped. The armor was thin, but slopping increased the thickness of metal any enemy bullet had to pass through before it penetrated the interior of the tank. The angle of the armor also helped deflect incoming enemy bullets. The tank tracks were comparatively wide for the time and this helped enable the tank to cross muddy ground.

The American version

The American engineers made some alterations to the original French Renault FT tank design. Some of these features were cosmetic and others were done to assist in the problem of supplying none standard ammunition and equipment to front line troops.

M1917 Pier 1 tank
M1917 light tank of the 40th Tank Company, California National Guard, deployed on the streets of San Francisco during the 1934 strike. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

The most noticeable was the removal of the French Hotchkiss 7.9 mm (0.32 in) machine gun. It was replaced by an American made caliber .30 (7.62 mm) 1917 Marlin machine gun that accepted the standard US .30 ammunition.
The US designers changed the engine. The French Renault FT tank was powered by a Renault 4-cylinder, 4.5 liter, thermo-siphon water-cooled, gasoline petrol engine. The Americans replaced it with a Buda HU modified 4-cylinder, with forced water cooling. This gasoline petrol engine produced 42 hp. While the tank wasn’t fast by modern standards, the Buda engine did produce a lot of torque, which was more important than speed, since that would allow it to cross obstacles and rough terrain more reliably.

This initial engine replacement did not enhance the maximum speed of the tank. It still propelled the vehicle at only 5 mph (8 km/h) on the road and it only just managed to keep up with advancing friendly troops across country.
It only had an operational range of 30 miles (50 km) before it needed to be refueled. In modern warfare, this would be a problem, but for Allied tanks involved in WW1 offensives, the enemy front line was only 100 to 200 m away and any breakthrough would normally only cover a maximum of 6 miles (10 km).

The Renault FT and the US Army M1917 tank can be told apart by the following features. The exhaust on the M1917 was positioned on the left hand side of the tank instead of on the right. The machine-gun and 37 mm cannon gun mantlet was replaced with a new design. Solid steel idler wheels replaced the French steel-rimmed, wooden or seven-spoked steel ones on the Renault FT tank.
The American designers added additional vision slits in the armored body work to aid the driver. All US Army M1917 light tanks had polygonal turrets and not the cast metal circular turrets fitted to nearly 50% of French Renault FT tanks.
For those that like to look closer at the differences between different tank types, the frontal armor below the turret on the US M1917 was slightly modified from the original French design. The track tensioning mechanisms, which move the idler wheels forward or backwards, are different. The US Army M1917 tank has an assembly in which a bolt is used to set the tension, and 2 pairs of interlocking toothed plates lock together to hold the axle in place, removing strain from the relatively weak bolt.

A self-starter was fitted to the engine and a bulkhead was added to the chassis to separate the crew from the engine compartment. It was still very noisy inside the tank and the commander communicated where he wanted the driver to steer by using his feet on the back of the driver: touch the left shoulder to go left: right shoulder to go right: touch the middle of the driver’s back meant go straight ahead.

Manufacturer

The US licensed built M1917 light tank was built at three different factories in America: Van Dorn Iron Works, Maxwell Motor Company and the C.L. Best Company

US Army M1917 signal tank
About 50 M1917 signal tank command variants were built. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

The M1917 A1 tank variant

After WW1, the American engineers wanted to fit a more powerful engine into the M1917 chassis, but it was very restrictive. In 1919, they increased the length of the chassis by around 1 foot (30 cm) and mounted an American built Franklin engine that produced 100 hp, which was an improvement on the original US Buda 42 hp engine. It only increased the maximum road speed to 9 mph (14.5 km/h) instead of 5 mph (8 km/h). It was given the designation M1917 A1.

The octagonal turret was used and a caliber .30 M1919 Browning tank machine gun replaced the .30 M1917 Marlin machine gun. All steel road wheels were fitted to this new tank variant.
Some of the US Army tanks were upgraded to gun tanks by the fitting of M1916 37 mm cannons. Each shell was a little bit smaller than the British 6pdr high explosive shell. They could also carry armor piercing shells for punching holes through concrete bunkers. Behind the armor piercing head of the shell was a base detonating fuse system and some black powder which would ignite the primer and charge. It would explode after the shell had hit its target and gone through the concrete or armor.

It carried 238 shells. Two 100-round ammo racks were fitted in the hull, one each side of where the commander stood, plus a 25 round and 13 round ready rack in the turret. This gun tank did not have a machine gun, so it had to rely on other M1917 machine gun tanks for protection from infantry.
The tanks fitted with the caliber .30 M1919 Browning tank machine guns could carry 4,200 .30 caliber rounds. It is believed 374 upgraded 37 mm US Army M1917 gun tanks were built after 1919 and 526 M1917 were fitted with the new the caliber .30 M1919 Browning tank machine guns. They all had the extended chassis and new Franklin engines.
Records show that 50 M1917 signals tanks were built. They had an enlarged non-rotating turret that could carry a radio and space for maps. The French version was called a Renault TSF (telegraphie sans fil = wireless radio)

.30 Cal M1919 Browning Tank Machine Gun
The .30 Cal M1919 Browning Tank Machine Gun. (photo: Allen Bond – Virginia War Museum)

Operational Service

Although 10 American built M1917 tanks were delivered to France in the fall (autumn) of 1918, they never saw action before the end of WW1, on 11th November 1918. It was the tank that would have been used by the US Army in France if WW1 had progressed into 1919 and beyond.
The US Army was already using some loaned French Army Renault FT tanks as well as a few British Mk.V tanks in France during WW1. An American Army light tank platoon consisted of five vehicles that were a combination of machine gun only and 37 mm cannon gun tanks. There was a tank crew height restriction of 5’4″ (1.62 m) or below and a weight limit of 125 lbs (57 kg). If a tanker was taller or larger than this, then he could not fit inside the M1917 tank comfortably and would have had more problems getting out of the tank in a hurry.

The M1917 tank, like the French Renault tank, had a problem with barbed wire wrapping around the tracks and drive mechanism, causing the tank to stop. This left the tank crew vulnerable to concentrated artillery fire. Unlike the British heavy tanks, that would lead the infantry in an attack, the M1917 was used to support the infantry from behind. It needed a barbed wire free lane to be cleared during the night or early in the morning of the attack. The infantry would call upon the tanks to suppress machine gun nests and strong points they could not deal with.
Tanks were used to encourage the American people to buy Liberty Bonds to help with the war effort. M1917 tanks in brightly painted green, yellow and tan livery would put on power demonstrations. Some would demolish a house whilst others would drive through city streets. Victory ‘V invest’ posters would be pasted onto the side of tanks. Special trains were hired to transport the tanks and other pieces of military equipment across the country as part of the money raising project.

For financial reasons, the US Tank Corps was demobilized in June 1920. The tanks were issued to different infantry regiments. The number of working tanks available started to diminish due to accidents, fires and mechanical failures. Some tanks were cannibalized to provide spare parts for other tanks. A few tanks were scrapped, whilst others were ‘mothballed’, kept in storage.
In 1922, the 38th Tank Company, Kentucky National Guard, used some of their Model 1917 tanks to destroy illegal alcohol producing stills during prohibition. These were used in the propaganda war to show the tough stance the US Government was taking against ‘boot-leggers’. The press were invited to take photos of tanks driving over the seized equipment that had been used for making gin and whiskey.

US m1917 tanks in China
The US sent M1917 tanks to China as part of an expeditionary force in April 1927. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

In April 1927, US Marine Corps M1917 tanks were sent to Shanghai, China, under General Smedley D. Butler, to protect the International Settlement and consulates from the Soviet backed Kuomintang Chinese Nationalist Army and local sympathetic Chinese mobs, which had strong anti-foreigner feelings. The 3rd Brigade of Marines had a total of 238 officers, 18 warrant officers and 4,170 enlisted men. They worked with the British Army Expeditionary force to protect the settlement.

Nationalist forces continued to extend their control northward. American property and people were attacked. General Butler with his entire brigade (less the Fourth Regiment), moved up to Tientsin early in June. The American legation guard at Peking (Beijing) then had a total of 17 officers and 499 Marines. Major conflict was avoided. The situation stabilised and the disorder threat from anti-foreigner demonstrations subsided. All units of the 3rd Brigade of Marines in Tientsin were withdrawn in January, 1929. This included the M1917 tanks. There are no reports of the cannon or machine guns of the US Marine Corps M1917 light tanks being used in anger in China.

In July 1932, six M1917s were deployed in Washington D.C., during the dispersal of the Bonus Army. George S. Patton Jr. states in his diaries that these vehicles were carried in trucks as a deterrent. Photographs of the event show he did not tell the complete story. No shots were fired. During the San Francisco General Strike of 1934, the Governor utilized M1917 tanks of the 40th Tank Company, California National Guard, on the streets of the city. Some of the tanks used during the strikes had their muffler (exhaust silencer box) removed. This would have made the tanks sound very loud. It is not known if this was done as a tactic to increase fear in the civilian demonstrators or not.
A few of the M1917 tanks were used as war memorials around the US. A lot were scrapped and cut up. In 1940, the Canadian Army were offered 250 surplus US M1917 light tanks at scrap value (about $240 each). As a neutral country in the early stages of WW2, US law stated that it was illegal to sell arms to any combatant countries. The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps gained valuable experience and training on them before embarking to Europe and using the more modern equipment. The Canadian Army took delivery of 236 surplus M1917s. Fifteen of them apparently went to Camp Borden for training use, while others went to train individual units such as the Fort Garry Horse and possibly another three.

M1917 tanks on strike duty
During the San Francisco General Strike of 1934 the Governor utilized M1917 tanks of the 40th Tank Company, California National Guard. Notice the exhaust muffler has been removed.(photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

Sources

Mr Charles R. Lemons – retired curator of the US Cavalry and Armour Museum
Mr Len Dyer – US National Cavalry and Armour Restoration Shop
Mr Clark Ward – US National Cavalry and Armour Restoration Shop
Early US Armor by Steven Zaloga
The M1917 on Tank-Hunter.com
The M1917 on Wikipedia
The M1917 on Military Factory

Specifications

Dimensions (L x W x H) 4.88 (4.02 without tail) x 1.71 x 2.14 m
(16’0″/13’2″ x 5’7″ x 7’0″)
Total weight, battle ready 6.7 tons
Crew 2 (commander/gunner, driver)
Propulsion Buda HU modified 4-cylinder, 4-cycle, vertical L-band gasoline engine, 42 hp@1,460rpm.
Speed ~5 mph (8.85 km/h)
Range 30 miles (48 km)
Fuel tank 24 US gallons
Armament Female tank .30 Cal M1917 Marlin machine gun or
.30 Cal M1919 Browning machine gun (238 rounds)
Armament Male tank 37 mm M1916 cannon
Armor 6 – 22 mm
Total production 950

US built M1917 Light Tank armed with a caliber .30 Marlin machine gun
US built M1917 Light Tank armed with a caliber .30 Marlin machine gun

M1917 light tank armed with a .30 M1919 Browning tank machine gun
M1917 light tank armed with a .30 M1919 Browning tank machine gun

M1917 light tank armed with a 37mm M1916 cannon
M1917 Light Tank armed with a 37mm M1916 cannon

M1917 Signals Tank
M1917 Signals Tank

M1917 Light Tank used during the Liberty Bond fund raising event
M1917 Light Tank used during the Liberty Bond fund raising event

M1917 Light Tank of the 40th Tank Company, California National Guard
M1917 Light Tank of the 40th Tank Company, California National Guard.

Gallery

M1917 US light tank
M1917 tanks were used to encourage people to buy Liberty Bonds during and after WW1 to support the allied cause. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States. This M1917 was one of a number of tanks traveling in the 12th Federal Reserve District raising money for the 5th Liberty Loan. Photo taken in Eugene, Oregon 1919. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

M1917 US light Tank
This is a M1917 tank from the 38th Tank Company, Kentucky National Guard. February 21, 1922. It is being used to destroy illegal alcohol producing stills during prohibition.(photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

M1917 tanks
US Marine Corps camp in China. Notice the rear skid is disconnected at the rear of the tank. This is so the tank crew could gain access to the crank engine start.(photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

M1917 tank of the 3rd Tank Company, Special Troops, 3rd Division
M1917 tank of the 3rd Tank Company, Special Troops, 3rd Division. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

Loading US Marine Corps M1917 tanks on ships for transportation to Shanghai, China 1927
Loading US Marine Corps M1917 tanks on ships for transportation to Shanghai, China 1927. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

 US Marine Corps M1917 tanks in China
US Marine Corps M1917 tanks in Tients, China in April 1927. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

M1917 tanks and the San Francisco General Strike of 1934
During the San Francisco General Strike of 1934, the Governor utilized M1917 tanks of the 40th Tank Company, California National Guard. They simply performed security and acted as a threat to any strikers. The trench skids have been disconnected to enable access to the crank start at the back of the tank. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

M1917 tanks in Washington
MacArthur deployed M1917 tanks in a policing role at the Bond March in Washington DC. (photo: US National Armor and Cavalry Museum)

Surviving Tanks

M1917 with early Marlin machine gun mount at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg, PA, USA
Surviving early production M1917 with Marlin machine gun mount at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg, PA, USA. (photo: Jim McClure)

Preserved US Army WW1 M1917 6-ton light tank at the Virginia War Museum, in America.
Preserved US Army WW1 M1917 6-ton light tank at the Virginia War Museum, in America, with caliber .30 M1919 Browning Tank Gun fitted. (photo: Allen Bond)

Driver's position in a US Army WW1 M1917 6-ton light tank. (photo: Allen Bond)
Driver’s position in a US Army WW1 M1917 6-ton light tank. (photo: Allen Bond)

M1917 tank fitted with M1916 37mm cannons. These new tanks could carry 238 rounds.
This US Army M1917 tank was fitted with a M1916 37mm cannon and could carry 238 rounds. It is on display at the National Armor and Cavalry Mus, Fort Benning, GA, USA (photo: Roger Davis)
M1917 ammo rack
This is the 25 round ready rack in the turret of the M1917. In total the tank carried carried 238 shells. (photo: Clark Ward)

Tank Hunter WW1
Tank Hunter: World War One

By Craig Moore

The First World War’s fierce battles saw the need to develop military technology beyond anything previously imagined: as exposed infantry and cavalry were mowed down by relentless machine-gun attacks, so tanks were developed. Stunningly illustrated in full colour throughout, Tank Hunter: World War One provides historical background, facts and figures for each First World War tank as well as the locations of any surviving examples, giving you the opportunity to become a Tank Hunter yourself.

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