In Pictures: Tanks and Other Machines from World War I

Nothing sparks weapons development as war does. The start of the Great War saw cavalry as the main weapon to punch through enemy lines. Trench warfare changed that for good and horses were relegated to a secondary role to be replaced by Tanks.

In these pictures we take a look at some of the tanks and other equipment used during this period.

Allied advance on Bapaume, France, ca. 1917. [via]

On the western front, loading a German A7V tank onto a railroad flat car. Less than a hundred A7Vs were produced they were the only tanks manufactured by the Germans that were used in the war. [via]

A burning tank on the outskirts of a village, ca. 1918. [via]

Abandoned tanks lie strewn about a battlefield at Clapham Junction, Ypres, Belgium, ca. 1918. [via]


American troops on top of French-built Renault FT-17 tanks as they head for the front line in the Argonne, France, on September 26, 1918. [via]

British Mark I tank, painted in camouflage, flanked by infantry soldiers with mules and horses. [via]

The Holt gas-electric tank, the first American tank of WWI, in 1917. However the Holt did not get beyond the prototype stage as it proved to be too heavy and inefficient in design. [via]

German officers stand around an armored car, Ukraine, Spring of 1918. [via]

Troops from New Zealand and the destroyed tank “Jumping Jennie” in a trench at Gommecourt Wood, France, on August 10, 1918. [via]

The original caption reads: “The Italian collapse in Venezia. The heedless flight of the Italians to the Tagliamento. Captured heavy and gigantic cannon in a village behind Udine. November 1917”. You can see an Obice da 305/17, a massive Italian howitzer, less than 50 were produced during the war. [via]

A British-made Mark IV tank, taken and and used by Germans, now abandoned in a small wood. [via]

An Austrian armored train in Galicia, around 1915. [via]

The interior of an armored train car, Chaplino, Dnipropetrovs’ka oblast, Ukraine, in the spring of 1918. You can see at least 9 machine guns. [via]

A German soldier rubs down huge shells for the 38 m SK L/45, or “Langer Max” quick firing railroad gun, ca. 1918. Originally designed as a weapon for a battleship it was later mounted on to armored rail cars. The Langer Max was able to fire a 750 kg high explosive projectile up to 34,200 m (37,400 yd). [via]

An abandoned German trench-digging machine, January 8, 1918. Most of the thousands of miles of trenches were dug by hand. [via]

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.