Cambrai 100 - The Tank Comes of Age

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Stephen White
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Cambrai 100 - The Tank Comes of Age

Post by Stephen White » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:29 am

Tomorrow is the centenary of the first day of the Battle of Cambrai, when the tank operated for the first time in mass, on good ground and with all-arms co-operation. This included air power, armoured communications and logistics, all of which set the principles by which armour has been used to achieve manoeuvre on the battle field ever since.

Brigadier-General Hugh Elles, commanding the Tank Corps, issued his "Special Order No 6" on the eve of battle:


David Pentland captured the essence of Cambrai here:


David Willey, Curator at the Tank Museum, has made three excellent videos and other blogs on Cambrai here:

On this Facebook page, you can follow the day by day activity leading up to and into the battle: ... Qw&fref=nf

I was able to do a battlefield tour to Cambrai earlier in the year and some photos of the battlefield today are here:


and more here, thanks Chris Hall:


Spare a thought tomorrow for those on both sides who fell during the battle. I know of at least one member of this Forum, whose grandfather was present at Cambrai, on the German side:

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Re: Cambrai 100 - The Tank Comes of Age

Post by Tim Page » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:04 am

Hi Stephen, I watched the 3 part series about Cambrai on YouTube done by the Tank Museum earlier this week. Very well done and interesting.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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Re: Cambrai 100 - The Tank Comes of Age

Post by Chris Hall » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:06 pm

Stephen -

Thanks for the post, and the link back to my earlier comments. It's deeply ironic that, having developed such a passion for Mark IV's and aspects of this particular battle, I'm going to be away for the exact period of the centenary ! I will, however, monitor t'interweb and chip in if there's something to comment on. But I'm delighted that the 100th Anniversary of this key battle in the evolution of warfare is being properly commemorated by historians, engineers (there seem to be a plethora of full-sized replicas out there now !), tankies serving and retired and, most importantly of all, relatives (on all sides).

As for the historical bit, further research has revealed that my ideas a year ago were wrong ! My current research has identified the following for the F Battalion 17th Company attack on Bourlon Village on 27 November 1917:

F21 Five Knights
2/Lt. Cyril James Hastings Tolley, MC, aged 22 (PoW) (he commanded this tank at 3rd Ypres, so I'm assuming he stayed in command)

F27 Fighting Mac II (proved from Post-Battle Report, written by 2/Lt Wetenhall on his return from captivity)
2/Lt. James Percy Wetenhall, aged 22 (wounded, PoW)
Cpl. Joseph William Griffiths, aged 30 (KIA)
Private Charles Arthur Roberts (KIA)
Private Frank Arthur Cheshire, aged 19, Gunner (KIA)
Private Charles Albert Harris (KIA)
Private Thomas Henry Bevan, aged 21 (KIA)
Private Walter Smith, Gunner (wounded, PoW)
Private Edward Haslam Tyson, Gunner (KIA)

F30 Flaming Fire II
2/Lt. Henry Donald Curry, aged 25 (wounded, PoW) (by process of elimination, but not proved yet)

F31 Fearnought (proved by account of L/Cpl Goodenough)
2/Lt. Frederick George Eckley, aged 31 (KIA)
Corporal Benjamin Hunter, MM, Driver (wounded, escaped)
L/Corporal James Goodenough (wounded, escaped)

To the Green Fields Beyond.
Their Name Liveth for Evermore.


Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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