Although similar in appearance to earlier models the Mark V was a much better tank, more powerful and easier to drive.
It was equipped with the new Ricardo six-cylinder engine and Wilson’s epicyclic steering system which meant that one man could handle all the controls, compared with four in the Mark IV.
Among the new features was a rear cab for the commander, complete with signalling apparatus and a rear machine-gun position. Our exhibit also carries an unditching beam, which was first introduced in the Mark IV. This would be used if the tank got stuck in mud – chained to the tracks it was drawn under the tank and gave it something solid to grip.
The Tank Museum’s Mark V
This Mark V is shown in the Markings of 8th (H) Battalion (No. H41), Tank Corps at the time of the Battle of Amiens (8 August 1918). Commanded by a young officer named Whittenbury this actual tank took part in the battle and its young commander was awarded the Military Cross.
It was issued to 8 Bn TC in July 1918 (the first Bn to receive Mark V), in 5 Tank Bde between 8 August and 11 November 1918 as part of last British offensive, 29 September at Bellincourt (France). The tank was grazed by a field gun shell on the left front horn which broke a track. Lt. T.R. Harding was in command. In 1921 went to 4 Bn Tank Corps, returned to Bovington in 1925 and was used for demonstration.