Steam Tank a Classic Military VehicleThe Americans joined the great war in 1917, and quickly started to build tanks. one of the designs they came up with was the Steam Tank. It was designed by an American Army officer and was influenced by  British tank design, but the difference was being powered by steam. One of the leading manufactures of steam cars at the time was the Stanley Motor Company, run by the Stanley twins Francis and Freelan. They were experts in the field of steam power having claimed the land speed record with one of there ‘Stanley Steamers’ before the Great War. The early petrol engines were not seen as reliable or as powerful as steam engines. The Stanley company used two 2 cylinder engines one driving each track, combined they were said to have produced some 500 horsepower. The tank also had an auxiliary petrol  engine and the boilers were fired using paraffin for fuel.Steam Tank a Classic Military VehicleThe Steam Tank was an impressive vehicle, it weighed just over 50 tons 34 feet 9 inches long 12 feet 6 inches wide. Compared to the British mark IV tank which weighed 29 tons and was 26 feet 5 inches long. the steam tank was armed with four browning machine guns two in each sponson, it was also armed with a steam powered flame thrower which had a range of some 90 feet so the tank could overwhelm German bunkers on the battlefield. The flame thrower was originally mounted on the front, but was later mounted in a turret on top of the tank. Something else which made the tank look unusual were the mud clearing spikes fitted to the front of the vehicle which gave the appearance of being some kind of battering ram. With a top speed of 4 mph and a crew of 8 it was demonstrated in Boston in April 1918 for the public to see and was named  “America” it was the only prototype produced and was shipped to France in June 1918 for tests in the field, it did not prove to be a success and no further steam tanks were put into production.

Classic Military

Classic Military