The Mark IV entered service in May 1917 and was the most prolific tank of the First World War.
The Mark IV was the first tank to be produced and used en masse. Following the modest success of the Mark I tanks on the Somme in 1916 the British Commander-in-Chief, Sir Douglas Haig, ordered 1,000 more tanks for 1917. This was a surprising act of faith in a new weapon for an officer with such a reactionary reputation.
They went into action for the first time in the summer of 1917, they were the mainstay of the Tank Corps at Cambrai in November and fought through to the end of the war with 7th and 12th Battalions of the Tank Corps. It was a male Mark IV tank which won the very first ‘Tank versus Tank’ action in April 1918 by knocking out the German A7V tank Nixe.
There are six Mark IV tank left worldwide, three can be found in the UK.
The Tank Museum’s Mark IV
This tank was presented to the Royal Navy Gunnery School at Portsmouth in recognition of their help training Tank Corps gunners.