The Tank

Australian T3 - - TABLET -

Lancelot de Mole - an Aussie en­gi­neer and in­ven­tor - had his place in his­tory com­pro­mised by a lack of vi­sion from Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties. He ap­proached the Bri­tish War Of­fice in 1912 re­gard­ing his idea for “a chain-rail ve­hi­cle that can be eas­ily steered and is ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing large loads over var­i­ous types of ter­rain all while pro­tect­ing the pas­sen­ger.” He sub­mit­ted fur­ther pro­pos­als in 1914 and 1916, with­out any luck.

It wasn’t un­til 1919, af­ter the Bri­tish had al­ready used a tank dur­ing World War I, that de Mole’s ef­forts were recog­nised by a Royal Com­mis­sion. It ac­knowl­edged the im­por­tance of his work and noted that had he not been over­looked the Bri­tish would have had a far bet­ter tank at their dis­posal than the one they con­structed with­out de Mole’s in­put. The tank would have been built at an ear­lier date, too. A model of de Mole’s tank can be found at the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial in Can­berra.

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