WW1 1917 photo postcard disabled British Mark II tank, Arras France

$70.00 CAD

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German photo postcard of a British Mark II tank disabled during the Second Battle of Arras France April-May 1917.

Written on negative at bottom “Engl. Tanks bie Arras”.

Postmarked 'FELDPOST 25-5-17' to Germany.

Corner crease UR.

(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)

The Battle of Arras (also known as the Second Battle of Arras) was a British offensive on the Western Front during World War I. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British troops attacked German defences near the French city of Arras on the Western Front. The British achieved the longest advance since trench warfare had begun, surpassing the record set by the French Sixth Army on 1 July 1916. The British advance slowed in the next few days and the German defence recovered. The battle became a costly stalemate for both sides and by the end of the battle, the British Third and First Army had suffered about 160,000 casualties and the German 6th Army about 125,000.

….the Mark II would continue to be built, but would be used only for training. Due to this intended role, they were supposedly clad in unhardened steel, though some doubt was cast on this claim in early 1917. Initially, 20 were shipped to France and 25 remained at the training ground at Wool, Dorset in Britain; the remaining five were kept for use as test vehicles. As the promised Mark IV tanks had not arrived by early 1917, it was decided…to ship the 25 training vehicles in Britain to France, where they joined the other 20 Mark IIs and 15 Mark Is at the Battle of Arras in April 1917. The Germans were able to pierce the armour of both the Mark I and Mark II tanks at Arras with their armour-piercing machine gun ammunition.