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A Tank Engine Manufacturer’s Model of a Mark IV Male, 1920
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A Tank Engine Manufacturer’s Model of a Mark IV Male, 1920

Measurements: Length: 11.5cm (4.5in)

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Nickel plated manufacturer’s promotional model of a Mark IV Male Tank, mounted on wooden base applied with a brass plaque inscribed ‘Hundreds of Engines for driving the Tanks used in the Great War were manufactured by BROWETT, LINDLEY & Co. LIMITED. PATRICROFT, MANCHESTER’.
 
The Mark IV Male heavy battle tank was the result of experience gained by the Mark I at the front and modifications made to the Mark II and III training machines. The director of the Tank Supply Department, Albert Gerald Stern, argued for the adoption of a more powerful engine and an improved transmission. The Mark IV was thus propelled by the Daimler-Foster, 6-cylinder in-line sleeve valve petrol engine, which developed 105 bhp at 1,000 rpm, allowing a speed of 6.4 km/h (4 mph). Transmission had 2 forward and 1 reverse primary gears and 2 speed secondary gears. It was still relatively complex for the driver, but an improvement over the previous models.
 
With the urgent need for tanks production was expanded to more than half a dozen engineering firms. The first of some 1200 Mark IV’s produced by the end of 1918 were in action at Messines with limited success in July 1917 though they lagged behind the infantry. Later, during the muddy conditions of the third battle of Ypres, many Mark IVs literally sank in the mud with their overheating and overused engines usually breaking down. Many fell prey to German artillery or were captured afterwards. Their contribution was insignificant. However in November 1917, at Cambrai, a large concentration of 460 Mark IVs proved decisive against a complicated and well-defended trench system. 
 
Manchester firm Browett Lindley began producing industrial power plant engines in the 1880s. By the early 20th century they were successfully exporting to Australia, New Zealand and South America, while also supplying Lancashire cotton mills. During the First World War the firm’s founding partner Herbert Lindley came out of retirement to work for Messrs. Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Company, Ltd., and it was perhaps by this connection his old firm was contracted into the supply chain. In 1929 the firm ran into financial difficulties. The receivers were called in whence it was found that the Company Secretary had been taking money from the firm since 1909. 
 

 

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