Pioneering tank strategist, General Giffard le Quesne Martel had this mini First World War tank on his car bonnet – it was recently donated to The Tank Museum.
This well-crafted, and unique, steel and copper riveted mascot of a First World War Tank took pride of place on the bonnet of General Giffard le Quesne Martel’s car as he toured various British military establishments during the Inter-War period.
In 1916 Martel was appointed Chief Staff Officer for General Hugh Elles in the newly formed Heavy Section-Machine Gun Corps. A Royal Engineer by trade, Martel replicated trenches for the secret tank trials and made major contributions to the Medium D tank design.
Post-war Martel maintained his advocacy of the tank, publishing ‘In the Wake of the Tank’ in 1931 which looked at British mechanization. In addition, he spoke at numerous conferences to push the concept of Light Infantry Tanks, which directly influenced the design of the Carden-Lloyd Tankette.
10.4 cm wide and 24 cm long, with tracks, sponsons and guns the detail is very high and we counted 66 rivets on just one track!
The bonnet ornament was donated to the Tank Museum by the family of Martel’s chauffer Army Service Corps Staff Driver, 265100 J.H. Munns