A tank is a heavily armoured military combat vehicle that moves on tracks and is armed with a cannon mounted in a revolving turret as well as lighter automatic weapons. The name ‘tank’ came from British attempts to ensure the secrecy of the new weapons under the guise of water tanks.
The first tanks were used during the First World War in 1916 by the British Army on the Western Front. Although its full potential was not immediately realised, the tank revolutionised warfare since rough ground, barbed wire, and machine-gun emplacements (all characteristics of trench warfare) failed to stop it.
The Second World War was, therefore, a conflict of mobile armies. Tanks often played a decisive role—for example, in the German blitzkrieg (lightning attack) that defeated France in 1940.
The greatest tank battles of the war took place between the British and Germans at El Alamein in North Africa and the Russians and Germans at Kursk, Russia. After World War II, tanks became larger and more heavily armed. Most modern main battle tanks weigh more than 50 tonnes yet are capable of road speeds of 30–40 mph (50–70 km/h).
Content for this question contributed by Claire Medlin, resident of Virginia Beach, southeastern Virginia, USA