Object of the Week: The First World War Mark IV tank used in Steven Spielberg's War Horse

By Culture24 Reporter | 06 July 2016

The Mark IV tank - a cameo star of Steven Spielberg's War Horse - has travelled to France for the Somme commemorations

A photo of a world war one mark four tank at thiepval near the somme site in belgium
© Tank Museum
The Tank Museum’s incredible collection of original First World War tanks are too precious and fragile to run under their own power or venture far afield.

A photo of a World War One mark four tank at thiepval near the somme in belgium
The Mark IV in Thiepval© Tank Museum
But curators in Bovington reckon this replica, which was first used in Steven Spielberg’s First World War blockbuster War Horse, has all the "presence and menace" of the real thing, and say they have been “honoured” to send her to the Somme Centenary Commemorations in France.

A photo of a World War One mark four tank at thiepval near the somme in belgium
A female Mark IV tank, photographed with German forces after the Battle of Cambrai in December 1917© Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1998-098-10 / Wikimedia Commons
Although the replica is a tenth smaller, it is constructed around the engine and transmission of a modern commercial excavator.

A photo of a World War One mark four tank at thiepval near the somme in belgium
A knocked out Mark IV female tank© By Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1984-059-02A / Wikimedia Commons
Its fleeting appearance in the film symbolised the brutal impact of technology on the battlefield and the changes in warfare that the First World War ushered in.

Award-wining special effects company Neil Corbould Special Effects LTD built this version following several visits to the museum in 2010.

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More Objects of the Week from Culture24

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