German Tanks in WWI – The A7V and Early Tank Development

At the very beginning of the war consideration was given in Berlin to the construction of overland vehicles for use in transporting supplies in areas without roads. A contract was issued by the War Ministry to engineer Hugo G. Bremer on July 19, 1915 for the production of a so-called “overland wagon.” On October 6, 1916 a model was introduced in Neheim. Two pairs of tracks, of which only the rear ones were driven, were installed under a normal 4-ton truck. Fifteen of these “Bremer Wagons” were to be built in Marienfelde, near Berlin. But they were in no way satisfactory and were either rebuilt into normal trucks or developed further into the “Marienwagen.” In the Marienwagen I, the running gear of the tracks was supported by two springs from the frame, with the tracks running over small road wheels as well as two return wheels. Since the front tracks were, as before, not powered, and tended to slide off in turns, they were replaced by a front axle with normal wheels. To meet the need for tanks, which had mean while become acute, the Bremer-Wagen was equipped with a body of 9-millimeter steel armor. But the truck was not capable of carrying this burden, and so the remaining chassis and the modified Marienwagen II were used as carriers for anti-aircraft and antitank guns. A fully tracked vehicle (Bremer-Wagen III) was designed later but not built.


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