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Robert Dunlop

And here are details of OP4 near Amiens. It is a quote in ‘Band of Brigands’ from an action that took place on 23 August 1918. This was 15 days after the opening of the Battle of Amiens, when the British Third Army took the lead in the rolling series of battles that characterised the last 100 days:

‘[2/Lt] Bell’s tank had not proceeded very far before a bullet struck the right-hand sponson severely wounding the gunner. He immediately jumped out and nothing more was ever seen of him afterwards. Several more bullets struck the tank and two more gunners were hit. The anti-tank rifle was spotted by the man who had taken the 6-pdr gunner’s place. He immediately layed the gun and fired, blowing the rifleman and all his gear to smitherens. [Another rifle opens up with AP rounds which] penetrated the cast-iron cylinder of the water jacket pouring out boiling hot steam.

Another pierced the front cab and wounded the hotchkiss gunners. There were now only three effective men in the crew; the engine would be too hot to run, so Bell started to return. Armour-piercing bullets still struck and penetrated the tank but so far the driver had escaped. After about 150 yards the engine seized up…’

Based on this one example, it is clear that multiple hits could be absorbed by late war British tanks. In this case, the tank was put out of action because of the hit on the water jacket. Prior to that, the tank (as opposed to individual crew members) could return fire. So long as there was a driver and an engine, it could still squash enemy too (a major part of the offensive capability of WW1 tanks).