Historical Development of Vehicles for WWI

Historical Development of Vehicles for WWI

The Industrial Revolution has had far-reaching effects on the world, none so obvious as the advancements seen in combat during WWI. Compared to wars of the past, this was the first time which fast advancements in technology made a real difference on the battleground.

Looking through historical photos taken from the beginning of the war until the end, you'll see the clear changes which took place during this short time. You'll often see cavalry riding alongside some of the first tanks and armored vehicles used in combat. A wide array of vehicles was invented, developed, and put into use in very quick succession. Several styles of trucks, jeeps, tanks, and other heavy-duty vehicles became the forefathers of the technology used today.

Take for example the Panzer Auto 1. This early version of the well-known Panzer tank was developed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire and looked like a tractor covered in thin metal panels with cannons haphazardly sticking out in different directions.

The most iconic World War I vehicle has to be the D-Type Vauxhall which paved the way for modern cars. It was used primarily as transportation for high-ranking commanders and royalty throughout the war. During a time when travel by horseback was still the preferred method of transportation, this particular car made the "horseless carriage" a truly feasible alternative for the first time. The Vauxhall D-Type first rolled off assembly lines in 1915 and crisscrossed the battlefields of the Western Front. It featured a 4-cylinder 3,969cc engine which could transport up to five passengers at just over 60mph.

Although the D-Type only had 25hp, it was a big deal at the time. Nearly 8 million horses died during the four years of fighting, a number which would have undoubtedly been higher if not for the 1,500 D-Types used during the war. At the height of production, Vauxhall produced up to eight D-Types each week.