On This Day 15 September

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-09-15
In 1916 the first tank was used by the British; in 1928 penicillin was discovered; in 1940 the climax of the Battle of Britain; in 1965 Lost in Space premiered; in 1997 google.com was registered and in 2008 the largest bankruptcy in US history of Lehman Brothers

Little Willie

On the 15th of September, 1916 tanks were used for the first time in the battle of the Somme. The first tanks were known as Mark I, the prototype being the Little Willie. In 1915 William Foster & Co were contracted to build a prototype of a machine that would help in the war efforts. Their prototype would become the first tank ever used and was nicknamed Little Willie (not due to being built by William Foster & Co but rather a nickname given to Kaiser Wilhelm).

Originally they were called landships, however the "Landship Committee", which was headed by Winston Churchill, named them tanks in order to preserve secrecy. The word tank was supposedly chosen as the workers in the factory referred to the prototype as the tank given its similarity to a steel water tank.

The original prototype can still be found at the Bovington Tank Museum and is the only surviving Mark I.

Little-Willie-mod-1440x500

Other events on this day

  • 1916: the British used the tank for the first time in combat during WWI
  • 1928: Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin
  • 1935: Nuremberg Laws: deprived Jews of citizenship and made swastika official symbol
  • 1940: climax of the Battle of Britain - largest attack of the Luftwaffe
  • 1952: European Parliament formed in Strasbourg
  • 1965: "Lost in Space" premiered on CBS
  • 1997: google.com was registered as a domain name
  • 2008: Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy - largest bankruptcy in US history
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