By David Davies, Mike Vines
Profiles Barksdale Air strength Base, describing the plane, team of workers, and day-by-day actions.
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By April 1917, when their first tanks saw action, the French had 200 Schneiders ready, four times the number the British had used on the Somme. There were only 16 Chamonds available by that date, and the only ones to accompany the Schneiders were four unarmed vehicles used to carry supplies. m. on 16 April 1917, following a 14-day bombardment by 5,544 guns, the French army commander, General Robert Nivelle, launched a massive offensive against the Germans in the Champagne area of the Western Front.
The Mark IV was also equipped to carry fascines (bound bundles of brushwood), which the tank could then drop into a trench as an aid in crossing it. More Mark IVs were produced than any other British tank of the war—1,015, of which 420 were males and 595 females. The Mark IV was also the most numerous German tank of the war. Captured and repaired Mark IVs equipped four German tank companies and were known as the Beutepanzerkampfwagen IV (Captured Tank IV). The Mark IV first appeared in the Battle of Messines in June 1917, but its greatest impact came in the Battle of Cambrai that September.
Training and tactics also improved. By late November the British army had taken delivery of 1,000 Mark IVs, although fewer than half were ready for action. By that date also, the French had some 500 Schneiders and St. Chamonds. The British also reorganized their tank forces. To head the nowrenamed Tanks Corps, Haig selected Colonel Hugh Elles. In January 1916 Haig, informed of the tanks by Churchill, had sent Elles of his headquarters staff to England to investigate the new weapon, and Elles had provided a favorable report.
Barksdale - Home Of The Mighty Eighth by David Davies, Mike Vines