White Hart Hotel, Lincoln, UK

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Ernest Swinton


The White Hart Hotel in Lincoln contains ’The Tank Room’ in which meetings were held during the summer of 1915 to discuss the concept of an armed and armoured land attack vehicle that was given the code name ’tank’ to hide its intended purpose. The word Tank then, simply meant a container for water, oil or industrial fluids. The meetings were primarily between William Ashbee Tritton the Managing Director of the Lincoln engineering company William Foster, his chief draughtsman William Rigby and Royal Naval Officer W.G.Wilson. From these meetings developed the basis for what was to be a completely new way of waging war on land. A self propelled vehicle capable of traversing the ravaged terrain of the Western Front using continuous linked tracks able to bridge trenches and craters whilst attacking the enemy positions with its own mounted guns. The very first tanks were made in Lincoln and although initially of little tactical impact the sight of unstoppable fighting machines changed the pace of warfare forever.

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