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Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
The tank - 100 years in pictures
Exactly 100 years ago, Colonel Ernest Swinton came up with his "germ of an idea" for the tank. It was largely through his vision that tanks were to become one of the most significant military developments of the 20th Century.

The first tank, christened Mother, was produced for the British Army in 1915. A year later the armoured vehicles were first used in battle, on the Somme.


One of the earliest models, the Mark I, on show at Hatfield Park in 1916.


Whippet, aka Medium A

The Whippet, which appeared in 1918, was celebrated for being lighter and faster than previous models, thanks to its two engines. But it was notoriously difficult to drive.


Maus

The German-made Maus was the heaviest tank produced, weighing 189 tonnes. Developed in the early 1940s, it carried a six-man crew but could only reach a top road speed of 20kph.


Sherman tank

A World War II workhorse, the Sherman tank was used by the Americans and the British.


Chieftain

A British main battle tank of the 1970s and 80s, the Chieftain saw service in the divided Berlin, among other locations.


Challenger tank

The British Challenger tank was active in the Gulf War of 1991. But at 2m apiece, this bulky and noisy machine is increasingly seen as too easy a target for missiles.


plastic tank

Developed jointly by Britain's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency and Vickers, this plastic tank is designed to be virtually invisible to satellite, heat-seeking weapons and radar detectors. It was unveiled in March.


future tank

Tank of the future? The current trend is for smaller, lighter tanks. But eventually they may end up looking like this concept tank from the arcade game Battlezone II.

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01 Feb 99 | The Company File
UK and US build new stealth tank
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