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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 15:38 GMT
Last working WWI tank go on show
The Mk V tank
The first tanks were crude by today's standards
The last fully operational World War I tank is going on parade again 90 years after it was first unveiled to the British public.

The Mk V is being taken from the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, to London where it will join the procession during Lord Mayor's Show on Saturday.

The army's new secret weapon was taken into battle for the first time in 1916 but not shown to the public until 1917.

The museum said its Mk V is the last one of its kind that could be driven.

The aim of the tank - seen as a "land ship" - was to save lives by ending the stalemate of trench warfare.

Nik Wyness, museum spokesman, said: "In November 1917, tanks appeared before the mass British public for the very first time at The Lord Mayor's show.

WWI tanks were literally metal boxes on tracks
Nik Wyness, Tank Museum

"The public knew tanks existed as the press had made much of their impact following their introduction into battle, but no one knew what they looked like."

He said the tanks were quite rudimentary in modern terms, but it was contemporary technology working at its hardest and proved effective in battle.

"WWI tanks were literally metal boxes on tracks," he said.

They had no suspension and were very noisy so crews had to use hand signals to communicate.

The tanks would also get red hot and could cause bad burns if touched and they filled up with petrol fumes and carbon monoxide gas that could cause nausea, vomiting and blurred vision.

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