The British used tanks for the first time during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916. Although they did not prove to be war-winning weapons, as some of their advocates had promised, tanks supported the infantry by clearing barbed wire and overcoming fixed defences. The tank and accompanying infantry, who are not presented to scale, have crashed through a German artillery position. Tanks in 1916 rarely penetrated this deeply into German lines, although this was more common in the final year of the war.
Painted by Daniel Sherrin
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art