Medium Mark A Whippet British Tank

The Medium Mark A Whippet Tank of World War 1

The Medium Mark A Whippet was a British tank of the First World War. 

It was intended to complement the slower British heavy tanks by using its relative mobility and speed in exploiting any break in the enemy lines

his armoured fighting vehicle was intended for fast mobile assaults. Although the track design appears more “modern” than the British Tanks Mark I to V, it was directly derived from Little Willie, the first tank prototype, and was un-sprung

The crew compartment was a fixed, polygonal turret at the rear of the vehicle, and two engines of the type used in contemporary double-decker buses were in a forward compartment, driving one track each.

Whippets arrived late in the First World War, at a time when the entire British Army, recovering from the offensives in Flanders, was quite inactive. 

They first went into action in March 1918, and proved very useful to cover the fighting withdrawal of the infantry divisions recoiling from the German onslaught during the Spring Offensive

Whippets were then assigned to the normal Tank Battalions as extra “X-companies”. In one incident near Cachy, a single Whippet company of seven tanks wiped out two entire German infantry battalions caught in the open, killing over 400.

That same day, 24 April, one Whippet was destroyed by a German A7V in the world’s second tank battle, the only time a Whippet fought an enemy tank.

 

 

Sopwith Dolphin

The Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin of World War 1

The Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin was a British fighter aircraft manufactured by the Sopwith Aviation Company. It was used by the Royal Flying Corps and its successor, the Royal Air Force, during the First World War

The Dolphin entered service on the Western Front in early 1918 and proved to be a formidable fighter. The aircraft was not retained in the postwar inventory and was retired shortly after the war.

In early 1917, the Sopwith chief engineer, Herbert Smith, began designing a new fighter (internal Sopwith designation 5F.1) powered by the geared 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8B. 

The resulting Dolphin was a two-bay, single-seat biplane, 

with the upper wings attached to an open steel cabane frame above the cockpit. 

To maintain the correct centre of gravity, the lower wings were positioned 13 in (33 cm) forward of the upper wings, creating the Dolphin’s distinctive negative wing stagger

The pilot sat with his head through the frame, where he had an excellent view. 

This configuration sometimes caused difficulty for novices, who found it difficult to keep the aircraft pointed at the horizon because the nose was not visible from the cockpit. 

The cockpit was nevertheless warm and comfortable, in part because water pipes ran alongside the cockpit walls to the two side-mounted radiator blocks. 

A pair of single-panel shutters, one in front of each radiator core and operated by the pilot, allowed the engine temperature to be controlled.

 

Sopwith Snipe

The Sopwith Snipe

The Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe was a British single-seat biplane fighter of the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was designed and built by the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War, and came into squadron service a few weeks before the end of the conflict, in late 1918.

The Snipe was not a fast aircraft by the standards of its time, but its excellent climb and manoeuvrability made it a good match for contemporary German fighters.

It was selected as the standard postwar single-seat RAF fighter and the last examples were not retired until 1926.

In April 1917, Herbert Smith, the chief designer of the Sopwith Company, began to design a fighter intended to be the replacement for Sopwith’s most famous aeroplane, the successful Sopwith Camel

The resultant design, called Snipe by Sopwith, was in its initial form a single-bay biplane, slightly smaller than the Camel, and intended to be powered by similar engines. 

The pilot sat higher than in the Camel while the centre-section of the upper wing was uncovered, giving a better view from the cockpit. 

Armament was to be two Vickers machine guns.

In the absence of an official order, Sopwith began construction of two prototypes as a private venture in September 1917. 

This took advantage of a licence that had been granted to allow construction of four Sopwith Rhino bomber prototypes, only two of which were built. 

The first prototype Snipe, powered by a Bentley AR.1 rotary engine was completed in October 1917.

The second prototype was completed with the new, more powerful Bentley BR.2, engine, which gave 230 horsepower (170 kW) in November 1917. This promised better performance, and prompted an official contract for six prototypes to be placed, including the two aircraft built as private ventures