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Original French Pre-WWII Graisse a Chars Tank Grease In Storage / Protective Can

Regular price $150.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The development of tanks in World War I was a response to the stalemate that developed on the Western Front. Although vehicles that incorporated the basic principles of the tank (armor, firepower, and all-terrain mobility) had been projected in the decade or so before the War, it was the alarmingly heavy casualties of the start of its trench warfare that stimulated development. Research took place in both Great Britain and France, with Germany only belatedly following the Allies' lead.

In Great Britain, an initial vehicle, nicknamed Little Willie, was constructed at William Foster & Co., during August and September 1915. The prototype of a new design that became the Mark I tank was demonstrated to the British Army on 2 February 1916. Although initially termed "Landships" by the Landship Committee, production vehicles were named "tanks", to preserve secrecy. The term was chosen when it became known that the factory workers at William Foster referred to the first prototype as "the tank" because of its resemblance to a steel water tank.

The French fielded their first tanks in April 1917 and ultimately produced far more tanks than all other countries combined.

The Germans, on the other hand, began development only in response to the appearance of Allied tanks on the battlefield. Whilst the Allies manufactured several thousand tanks during the war, Germany deployed only 18 of its own.

The first tanks were mechanically unreliable. There were problems that caused considerable attrition rates during combat deployment and transit. The heavily shelled terrain was impassable to conventional vehicles, and only highly mobile tanks such as the Mark IV and FTs performed reasonably well. The Mark I's rhomboid shape, caterpillar tracks, and 26-foot (8 m) length meant that it could negotiate obstacles, especially wide trenches, that wheeled vehicles could not. Along with the tank, the first self-propelled gun (the British Gun Carrier Mk I) and the first armored personnel carrier came along because of the invention of tanks.

There are no dates that we can find on either the grease can or carrier, but it appears to be late WWI era to immediate post war era. The top of the grease can is partially marked with Graisse a Chars which translates to “Tank Grease”. There is a partial marking above this but most of it is worn away and unable to be read. The green paint is retained nicely on the canister and the leather securing strap, which doubles as a carry strap is in wonderful condition.

The grease can itself is full but the contents have started to separate due to many years of storage.

Comes more than ready for further research and display.

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