The Tanks at Passchendaele

Lincolnshire Live has posted an article about the early British tanks used at the 1917 battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres).  These early British tanks were built by William Foster and CO Ltd which was located in Lincoln, a fact that explains why Lincolnshire Live has posted a number of article related to WWI tanks over the past year.  Click on the headline below to read the full article.

When men drowned and our tanks sank in 10ft deep water-filled shell holes

15848463-largeThis summer sees the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele, in northern Belgium, where a total of 590,000 troops died in the space of three months.

The bloody conflict raged from July 31, 1917 to November 6, 1917 and resulted in the deaths of 325,000 Allies and 265,000 Germans.

Passchendaele, known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was one fight in an horrific series of battles during the First World War.

The fighting took place in West Flanders for control of strategic ridges to the south and east of the city of Ypres.

Alongside gas, shells, machine gun fire or improvised clubs made from spade handles wrapped in barbed wire, soldiers also had to contend with mud, mud and more mud.

Unlike the chalky terrain of the Somme, Passchendaele became infamous for its boggy conditions and waterlogged trenches thanks to constant rain turning the battlefield into a quagmire.

And it all proved too much for the tanks, a new invention by William Foster & Co of Lincoln that had first entered battle with a stutter rather than a splash at Flers-Courcelette on September 15, 1916.

The seeds of using tanks to support advancing infantry had been sown, but this tactic proved such a disaster at Passchendaele that the British almost abandoned tank warfare altogether.

Read the rest of the article here.




Memorial built near first tank factory

_82548458_82548457The BBC is reporting that a life sized tribute to the world’s first tank has been installed on a traffic roundabout in Lincoln, the city where the first tanks were built.  The memorial, which depicts a Mark I tank, was built to coincide with the 100th anniversary of WWI.  The Tritton Road roundabout is just yards away from the William Foster and Co factory where tanks, including the first prototype “Little Willie”, were made as early as 1915.

Full article here.  Link to Lincoln Tank Mamorial site here.