Yeah, they're a real sweet deal when everything's going fine.
But what if a tank gets stuck?
"AAA says we're out of their service area."
Despite them being portrayed as the modern-day cavalry, you really did not want to be part of an armor crew in either the First World War or its illustrious sequel. The tanks of WWI were the first-ever tanks to be used in war -- and they were a total nightmare. They broke immediately, and when they did work, they got bogged down and generally could not cope with the terrain at all. When the first tanks arrived in Europe, one tank commander wrote:
"I and my crew did not have a tank of our own the whole time we were in England. Ours went wrong the day it arrived. We had no reconnaissance or map reading ... no practices or lectures on the compass ... we had no signaling ... and no practice in considering orders. We had no knowledge of where to look for information that would be necessary for us as tank commanders, nor did we know what information we should be likely to require."
Out of 50 tanks sent to attack the Somme, only 36 made it. The rest broke down and/or got stuck in the mud, with horrendous results. WWI's Siege of Fray Bentos at Passchendaele, a very fancy name for what ultimately boils down to "a protracted assault against a tank that got stuck in the mud," is a perfect example of this. Cheekily named after a tinned meat company, the Fray Bentos was chugging along until it fell into a crater and couldn't get out again. One gun was pointing at the sky, the other at the ground -- and to make matters worse, the Germans had noticed.
via The Telegraph
They do have an infuriating attention to detail.