American Tanks of WW1

By | November 5, 2016

The first American tanks of WW1 were a license built copy of the Renault FT tank, the M1917 

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production of American Tanks of WW1 began in 1918, with the first vehicles coming off the production line in October. Ten of the new tanks were sent to France in November and December of 1918, after the war had finished. The M1917 was used by the US Light Tank Brigade throughout the 1920s and were phased out during the early 1930s.

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The first light tank designed by the Americans was the Ford 3 ton M1918.

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It was a small two man tank, armed with a Browning machine gun and was powered by two Model T ford engines giving it a maximum speed of 8 mph. Work started on the design and building of tank in mid 1918,  just fifteen vehicles were completed. A contract for another 15,000 additional M1918 tanks was cancelled when the Great War ended.

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The International Mark VIII Tank

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The International also known as the Liberty tank was a collaboration between the British and Americans to design and build a tank to improve upon the previous design of WW1 tanks. The British version was powered by the Ricardo V-12 engine, while the Americans used the Liberty V-12. It was a huge tank at just over 34 feet long and weighing 37 tons with a crew of twelve. The sponsons were retractable and could be swung in by the crew, which was an aid for transportation and if the tank found itself in a tight space, reducing the width from 11 feet 8 inches to 9 feet. The tank was armed with two 6-pounder guns with machine guns in the sides and in the superstructure of the tank. Production was slow and only a few vehicles were built before the war ended. After the Great war about 100 tanks were built in the US and used by the American Army.

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