Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/729

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Popular Science Monthly

��713

���How the tanks maneuver on a battlefield. Down and up shell-craters they keep their course, spitting fire on all sides and brushing away any obstacles they may encounter, like so much paper

��mere gallon or two of gasoline! The tanks' work thus done, after the capture of the first trench, thev ambled back to their shelter behind the Allied lines.

Even the British Were Mystified

Awe-inspiring monsters that they were to the Germans, they were also much of a myster>' to their own British troops. The first tanks were built in a walled factory in Lincoln, England, by mechanics who .vere not allowed to leave their Chinese City for three months, even to see their families. Secretly transported across the Channel, the tanks were assembled behind the Allied lines on the Somme to await call. The stoic Britishers thrilled at the whisper: "The tanks are coming!"

��They were an untried military- arm. Many thought that they never would re- turn. But they did, and with a most en- viable record for annihilating machine gun operators and snipers in a more thorough manner than it had ever been done before. They saved thousands of lives which would have had to be sacrificed if the old method of rushing such nests of death had been adhered to. After the tanks' work had thus been accomplished, the infantry rushed forward to view the destruction.

New as the tanks are, they are but the development of inventions made long ago by two Americans, Holt and Harvey. The former originated the now famous cater- pillar device for farming tractors. This apparatus makes it possible for the tanks to

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