The A7V was a tank introduced by Germany in 1918, near the end of World War I. One hundred vehicles were ordered during the spring of 1918, but only 20 were delivered. They were used in action from March to October of that year, and were the only tanks produced by Germany in World War I to be used in operations.
Following the appearance of the first British tanks on the Western Front, the Allgemeines Kriegsdepartement, 7. Abteilung, Verkehrswesen ("General War Department, 7th Branch, Transportation"), was formed in September 1916.
The project to design and build the first German tank was placed under the direction of Joseph Vollmer,
a reserve captain and engineer. It was to have a mass of around 30
tons, be capable of crossing ditches up to 1.5 meters wide, have
armaments including cannon at front and rear as well as several
machine-guns, and reach a top speed of at least 12 km/h. The running
gear was based on the Holt tractor, copied from examples loaned by the
Austrian Army. After initial plans were shared with the Army in December
1917 the design was extended to be a universal chassis which could be
used as a base for both a tank and unarmoured Überlandwagen ("Over-land vehicle") cargo carriers.
The first prototype was completed by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft
at Berlin-Marienfelde and tested on 30 April 1917. A wooden mockup of a
final version was completed in May 1917 and demonstrated in Mainz with
10 tons of ballast to simulate armor. During final design the
rear-facing cannon was removed and the number of machine-guns was
increased to six. The first pre-production A7V was produced in September
1917, followed by the first production model in October 1917. The tanks
were given to Assault Tank Units 1 and 2, founded on 20 September 1917,
each with five officers and 109 NCOs and soldiers.
In the internet I found a printable plan of a papermodel of the A7V. It is a very easy kit and looks - painted with email-colours - very fine and authentical. Some added details with woodglue and wire are nessesary and not too much work - I did it while watching TV. In future times it will be a part of a big WWI-diorama which will be placed in the Automuseum Melle.
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