World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Landships Committee

Article Id: WHEBN0001336663
Reproduction Date:

Title: Landships Committee  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Landship, Little Willie, Lancelot de Mole, Tanks in World War I, Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment
Collection: Trial and Research Tanks, United Kingdom in World War I
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Landships Committee

The Landships Committee was a small British committee formed during the First World War to develop armoured fighting vehicles for use on the Western Front. The eventual outcome was the creation of what is now called the tank. Established in February 1915 by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, the Landships Committee was composed mainly of naval officers, politicians and engineers.[1]

The committee was chaired by Eustace Tennyson d’Eyncourt, Director of Naval Construction at the Admiralty.


  • Formation 1
  • Tank development 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • Footnotes 5
    • References 5.1
  • Further reading 6


The committee was formed at Churchill's instruction in February 1915. It started with only three: d’Eyncourt, as chairman, Thomas Hetherington and Col Wilfred Dumble of the Naval Brigade. Hetherington had proposed a large wheeled landship, estimated to weigh some 300 tons. A former Royal Engineer, Dumble had managed the London Omnibus Co. and been brought back to service in response to the urgent need for transport by the Royal Naval Division in Antwerp - he had been an adjutant to Colonel Crompton who was trying to develop cross-country vehicles for the Army.[2] Dumble recommended Crompton to the committee as an expert on heavy traction. The committee's activities were concealed from Kitchener at the War Office, the Board of the Admiralty and the Treasury - all of whom were expected to block the project.[2]

Tank development

The Committee conducted a number of trials with various wheeled and tracked vehicles, and work was in progress on a prototype vehicle when in July 1915 the War Office became aware of the Committee's existence. This led to its operations being taken over by the Army and a number of its members transferring from the Navy. From December, 1915 the word "tank" was adopted as a codename for the vehicles in development, and the Landships Committee became known officially as the Tank Supply Committee.

See also

Little Willie



  1. ^ Miles 1938, p. 247.
  2. ^ a b Miles 1938, pp. 248.


  • Miles, W. (1938). Military Operations, France and Belgium, 1916. 2nd July 1916 to the end of the battles of the Somme (IWM & Battery Press 1992 ed.). London: HMSO.  
  • Encyclopædia Britannica. Admiralty Landships Committee. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  • Fletcher, David; Harley, Dick. Tankette, Volume 15, Issue 6.
  • Glanfield, John. The Devil's Chariots, 2001.
  • Stern, Albert. Albert Stern Papers, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London.
  • Sueter, Murray. The Evolution of the Tank, 1937.

Further reading

  • Todd, R. "The Macfie Landships". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.