Tanks. Got to love them. Bet you didn’t know the first tank was called ‘Little Willy.’ The lads must have been having a chuckle coming up with that one. Not entirely sure what Churchill would have thought broadcasting that information to the nation, but it turns out that ‘Little Willy’ was really just a prototype for ‘Big Willy’ – a beast of a machine that could cross an 8ft trench if handled right. Pretty impressive stuff. No smirking when that one came at you, and 12th February 1916, 100 ‘Big Willies’ were commissioned into action and so began the era of the tank.
At that point, someone said enough was enough, and tank names rapidly altered to being much more business like. Worlds best tank? I hear you ask – tricky one, depends on the situation. Some would plump for the Korean K2 Black Panther, a snip at a mere $8.8million, top speed 44mph, big guns that do bad things to buildings, other tanks and people.
Others would argue that the Germans always seem to have had a good eye for tank design – Leopard 2 looks the business and is even cheaper at only $5.5million whereas the British Challenger 2 has the most battle experience. Bit on the heavy side – 62 tonnes of meaty metal. I could go on, but you probably aren’t reading by this point anyway.
As you may have guessed, one of the recent highlights in the Gamble family household these last two weeks, aside from my advanced ‘chicken course’ was a trip down to the Bovington Tank Museum. Noah and Sheba, aged 4 and 2 respectively, gave the Challenger a run for its money whilst baby Gideon had his eye on the Panzer in case it sprung into action.
Personally, I’m torn between monster trucks and tanks as my favourite choice of vet vehicle and Noah and I had a long discussion about the pros and cons of this over the last few days. We have of course, designed a monster tank – Noah has equipped it with lasers. The MOD are missing a trick with this one – designs are in the post to the war office as I write and I’ll even give them a discount off the first 10 orders. That would be a cool $1000million – I’ve decided to give a portion to WVS, could neuter a lot of stray cats with that. Of course, even with a turbo laser monster tank, catching them is still going to be a dark art – I’ll keep you posted on the design modifications…