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World War I Tanks: Topics in Chronicling America

At the start of World War One, Tanks were created and used as weapons of war. This guide provides access to material related to "WII Tanks" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Illustration of the "Caterpillar" tank. August 12, 1917. The Washington Times. (Washington, DC), Image 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Tanks: New Weapons of War. “Hurdling trenches, crawling over shell craters, and walking through forests unhalted by intense gunfire, the tanks cannot be stopped by anything less than a direct hit from shells of considerable caliber,” reports The Ogden Standard of October 21, 1916, 4 p.m. City Edition. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


September 15, 1916 The first British tanks, developed from American tractors, are sent into action.
April, 1917 The first tanks developed by France are used.
September 12, 1918 American tank units first enter combat at St. Mihiel.