Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/728

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Wi/INDOW

��What's Inside of a "Tank?"

first account of the revolutionary land drea

By Joseph Brinker

��Here we have the first account of the construc- tion of the famous revolutionary land dreadnoughts

��GUN COMPARTMENT

��, IDLER SPROCKET

��MACHINE GUN

DIRECTION OF CATERPILLAR MOTION

��IDLER GUIDES

��TWO 51X an NDER MOTORS DRIVING GEAR

���PIVOTED TRAILER FOR STEERING

��FRAME

���C0MPRt33l0N SPRINGS

��AMMUNITION Inside of a caterpillar tank, showing the stations of the crew and the propelling mechanism

��THE tanks! What new worlds of fear and wonder these British juggernauts of the battlefield opened up as they ponderously shoved their noses toward the enemy's trenches on the Somme!

Spitting fire as they came, they crossed No Man's Land amid the smoke and dust of bursting shells. Down and up shell craters they kept steadily on their courses. Nothing mattered. Even trees and boul- ders were brushed aside by the monsters as so much paper. Still on and on they ■came to what .was left of the German wire -Entanglements, crushing these as so much putty under their huge frames. And still on and on they came until they reached what remained of the first German line of trenches. There in several places, they sat themselves complacently astride it and swept it in both direc- tions with their guns.

Not even there did the tanks stop, but forged ahead to seek out the hidden German machine- gun squads prepared to mow down the Allied in- fantry but not to fight steel monsters off whose sides their bullets skipped like pebbles thrown against tin billboards on our city streets. These machine-gun emplace- ments, which had cost the British thousands of lives in similar attempts to ad-

��vance without the tanks, were mere child's play for the huge Leviathans of the land. This done, the infantry advanced, occu- pied what remained of the German trench and immediately began to dig itself in. Some of the tanks, however, strayed too faf beyond the first line of trenches, ran out of gasoline and found themselves stalled between the recently captured trench and the German second line. One such monster, named Creme de Menthe, was marooned beyond her objective inside of the German lines but was not captured be- cause the Germans could find no way of getting into her or of penetrating her alligator-like hide of steel. A second tank, Willie, as the British Tommies familiarly named it, by a bold dash scattered the Germans and rescued her sister craft by a

���Awe-inspiring monsters that they were to the Germans, the tanks were almost as much of a mystery to the British troops

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