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The Mark IV

The introduction of the Mark IV tank in large numbers in the Battle of Cambrai formed a major turning point in the history of warfare. Experience of the tank at Cambrai quickly led to improvements which played a decisive role in bringing about the armistice. The Mark IV was the result of considerable secret work carried out in England and naturally its introduction took everyone by surprise. The Mark IV was made in two forms named as Male and Female, the difference being the form of weapons.

A few statistics will enable the magnitude of the exercise to be appreciated:

The Male version weighed 28 tons and was equipped with two 6 pounder and four machine guns. The Female weighed 26 tons and had six machines guns. The length in both cases was 8.05 metres and the width, 4.11 metres Male and 3.2 metres Female. The speed was almost 6km per hour [3.7mph]. The engine was a Daimler 105hp high octane petrol. Eight men formed the crew. The Tank Commander was usually a 2/Lt and shared the front cab with the first driver. Behind on each side there were two gunners and one gear man. The two gear men were also called the second and third drivers.

For further detailed and technical information, please refer to the excellent book of David Fletcher titled ‘British Mark IV Tank’ [IBSN 978 1 84603 082 6]

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