The WW1 British Tank, Ashford Kent
Built in 1916, now restored and proudly on display in the Town Centre
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The restored First World War British Tank which stands within the Town of Ashford in Kent is said to be one of only eight remaining and of the eight, it is the only one still displayed outside and openly to view by the Public.
Built in 1916, although it is said this Tank never saw the Front Line, others like it were used in Flanders Fields from that time onwards.
Several Tanks were awarded to Towns at the end of the War as recognition to town folks generosity to the National Savings Appeals. Ashford's was presented to the Town by Captain Ferrar of the Army Council in 1919.
The Specifications, taken from the attached Plaque are..
Weight - 26 Tons
Length Overall - 26'5"
Width Overall - 10'6"
Height Overall - 8'10"
Speed on Road - 3 to 7mph
Petrol Capacity - 70 gallons
Engine - 105 h.p. Dalmer 6 Cylinder Sleeve Valve
Crew - 8 (Commander, Driver, 2 Gearsmen, 4 Gunners)
Armament - 6 x 308 Lewis Machine Guns
Armour - 6mm to 12mm thick
Radius of Action - 65 miles
Vehicle Obstacle - 4'6" maximum
Trench Crossing 10' maximum width
Known as 'Land Ships' the British introduced the Tank in 1916. At first they proved hard work and mechanically unsound, the Terrain they had to cover was virtually impassable bit where they were used they not only acted as efficient Armory but as shelter for some troops to walk along behind.
The French brought out their own Tank in 1917.The Germans seemed unconvinced about the effectiveness of this new form of weaponry and it was not until 1918 that the first Tank v Tank battles took place. The Germans up until then had concentrated on anti-tank methods.
They did however greatly assist the Allies and needless to say after the War all Countries developed the Tank to their own specifications and were used to full effect in WW2 starting with the great Battles in North Africa during WW2.