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October 3, 2016

Presenting the third in David Fletcher’s series of tank ancestors: the Scottish War Cart.

The Scottish War Cart has been described as a true ancestor of the tank because it had a crew of eight men and mounted two small cannon; just like a tank of 1916. However those are the only parallels.

The men in the War Cart occupied the upper deck which enabled them to fire down upon the opposition but the motive power was limited to a pair of horses and four large wheels.

Such carts could only be used on fairly firm and level ground. They do not appear to have been able to steer and if the horses were disabled they would not be able to go anywhere either.

Having been invented by the Scots their use soon spread to England and they are said to have been employed at the siege of Boulogne. However with the advent of artillery they soon proved too vulnerable and were no longer of any use at all.

Read Part 4: Valturio’s War Chariot here or Part 2: The Armoured Knight here.

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