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Tank Corps - A Period Ordnance Model of a Mark I Male Tank, 1916
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Tank Corps - A Period Ordnance Model of a Mark I Male Tank, 1916

Measurements: Length: 11.5cm (4.5in)

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Nickel plated bronze ordnance model of a Mark I Male Tank. Maker’s stamp of Elkington & Co to the underside. Mounted on velvet covered stand.

The Mark I, the world’s first tank, was the British response to the dominance of machine guns on the battlefields of France and Flanders. It was the brainchild of Maurice Hankey, Secretary of the Imperial War Cabinet, and Lieutenant-Colonel (later General Sir) Ernest Swinton. When Swinton's initial proposals were rejected by the British Expeditionary Force commander General Sir John French and his scientific advisers, Hankey took them to Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, resulting in the development of the Tank.

Initial production of the Mark I comprised 25 from Fosters of Lincoln and 75 from Metropolitan, in the West Midlands. Metropolitan also received an order for a further 50 so that the Army would be able to raise six tank companies of 25 tanks each. As there were not enough 6-pounder guns available for all 150 tanks, it was decided to equip half with just machine guns. These became known as as Females. The Males were armed with two 6-pounder QF guns carried in sponsons on the hull sides, and three .303 Hotchkiss machine guns. Swinton is credited with inventing the terms.
 

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