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Post Info TOPIC: Ernest Swinton - an appraisal.


Legend

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Ernest Swinton - an appraisal.
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I came across this site and thought it might be of interest: https://warspot.ru/1408-tvortsy-tankovogo-mira-ernest-suinton

A translation of a Russian description of Ernest Swinton's role in the invention of the tank:

At the end of World War I, the British Royal Commission for Inventions denied Ernest Swinton the right to be called the creator of the tank, giving the palm to industrialist William Tritton and Major Walter Wilson.

But Swinton is really not a British Kulibin [1], he is taller, he is a demiurge [2], the creator of the idea of ​​a tank and the conductor of its embodiment. It was Swinton who came up with what kind of technical base is needed for its construction, he proposed to use the very word “tank” (“tank”), only thanks to his authority and reports to the Ministry of War, the development began, he was entrusted with the preparation of the first tank crews, and, finally, he created the first tank memo (with exquisite English humor), which has not lost its force to this day.

How many excellent technical ideas perished in those years under the cloth of the military ministries of the warring countries! But Swinton was lucky: his proposal to create a new powerful weapon, taking the “Holt” tractor as an example, hit the table of the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. Funds were allocated and a special committee was created, which included, in particular, William Tritton, Executive Director of Foster & Sons. This company, which also produced agricultural machinery, built the first English tanks.

A year and a half of development and testing was required to create a prototype of the Mark I. This prototype, lovingly called “Mother”, was successfully tested on February 8, 1916 in the presence of King George V. Forty cars were ordered right away, but the persistent Swinton achieved the production of a hundred.

Although the main inspirer and promoter of the British tank building was a military engineer and journalist Ernest Swinton (he "punch" a tank project in the War Department and proposed using American Holt tractors as a technical base), the Royal Commission for the Promotion of Inventors in 1919 recognized the tank inventors William Ashby Tritton ( William Ashbee Tritton, 1875–1946) and Walter Gordon Wilson (1874–1957).

[1] Ivan Petrovich Kulibin, an eighteenth/nineteenth century Russian mechanic and inventor.

[2] In Platonism, a deity or creative force that shaped the material world.

Swinton himself could have written it . . .



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Legend

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Damn - I was waiting for the punchline where the author pulled all the threads together and asserted that Swinton was in fact

Russian of working class origins. Then I remembered the USSR isn't around any more. I guess the CCP doesn't do that sort of 

propaganda.

Charlie

 



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Legend

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I think Swinton should be given a little credit in the (British) invention of the tank because he laid out the design brief, ie what the tank should be capable of, but he didn't do anything 'mechanical' so only a little credit. Of course he should be given the lion's share of the credit for inventing tank tactics, without which tanks would be merely a pretty mechanical toy.



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Legend

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That's probably fair. What rankles is Swinton's decades-long insistence that he "initiated" or "originated" the tank, and the extent to which sources perpetuate his claims. I've just read a thesis by a U.S. Army major which is the most appallingly garbled stuff, but it was accepted and can now be seen quoted as a reliable source on Wikipedia . . .



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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.

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