On the anniversary of the first use of tanks in combat during the Somme offensive, The Tank Museum has collaborated with historian Stephen Pope to re-publish Trevor Pidgeon’s definitive book on that historic battle.
“The Tanks at Flers: An Account of The First Use of Tanks In War at The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Somme, 15 September 1916” was first published in 1995 following years of meticulous research, but has been out of print for many years.
The first ever tanks were unleashed onto the battlefield during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916. This major offensive of the Somme campaign changed modern warfare forever.
“The Tank at Flers has been updated with new research from historian Stephen Pope and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the First World War and the development of the tank. We are proud to have put this fantastic work back into print.
“In this republished edition, each book comes inside a presentation box with the maps that were in Volume 2 of the original publication so readers can follow the footsteps of the tanks over the battlefield,” said Head of Commercial Operations, Simon Prager.
The speed of the creation of the tank is at odds with the view of blundering, old-fashioned generals repeating their tactical mistakes, instead demonstrating the desire for innovative solutions to prevent catastrophic losses.
The Tanks at Flers explores in depth the dawn of tank development and how the inexperienced and young tank crews were selected and trained to go into action with an untried and new weapon of war.
Details of the action in the villages of Flers and Courcelette are also discussed, drawing on war diaries, operational orders, plans, field maps, correspondence, detailed first-hand accounts of the fighting, and photographs from both sides of the battle.
After seeing the impact of the Mark I tank on the battlefield, British Commander Douglas Haig stated: “Go back and make as many more tanks as you can.”
Pre-order your copy of Tanks at Flers in time for Christmas 2023.