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Why was it named a Tank?


Till 1915 the word ‘Tank’ had only one meaning – a container that holds liquid or water. So, how did it become to also mean that military vehicle of distraction we all know? – Hmm… you are going to love this. 

During WWI, in order to keep the development of the new weapon a secret, the British high command proposed to refer to the vessel as a ‘Water Carrier’. But, in those days, government committees were known by their initials; and W.C did not sit comfortably with the committee in charge of the tank, who did not want to be mistaken for a pee and poop committee.  

For this reason, they decided to name it a ‘Tank’, and the overseeing committee was called the ‘Tank Supply’ or ‘T.S.’ Committee.

Bonus fact: The tank was created to address the problem facing the British High Command during WW1 – the machineguns’ high-rate of fire cost a huge number of casualties on the one hand and failed to bring victory on the other. It was a very costly stalemate, a dead end.

The solution presented was an armored vehicle with a cannon designed to destroy the enemy’s firing positions while giving cover to the advancing infantry.

The Central Powers developed their own version of a tank but failed to use its advantage. They sent only a few tanks into battle and thus lost the surprise effect of a massive tank attack. Only towards the end of the war did they learn to exploit its advantages, but that was too little, too late. By then the Allied Powers had already broken the enemies’ lines and it was game over.


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