Invention

In November 1914, Major General Sir Ernest Swinton visualised the requirement for an armoured fighting vehicle to defeat the destructive power of the machine gun and overcome the stalemate of trench warfare.  Although he and Maurice Hankey tried to interest the Army in the idea - which was in only the vaguest form - they did not succeed in arousing any response.

It was Winston Churchill who, inspired to some extent by Hankey and Swinton, set up the Landships Committee, which went on to construct the first tank. Although Swinton had devised a set of tactics, he had no ideas for the actual design.

The Tank itself was invented by Walter Wilson of the RNVR, and William Tritton, managing director of Foster's, an engineering company in Lincoln who built the first tanks.

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Major General Sir Ernest Swinton