#TodayInHistory – September 153 min read
September 15 – Some important events on this day.
608 👉🏼 St Boniface IV begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1616 👉🏼 First non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in Frascati, Italy
1707 👉🏼 Ferenc Rákóczi II, Prince of Transylvania and Tsar Peter the Great sign social security agreement
1821 👉🏼 Act of Independence of Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua declare their independence from the Spanish Empire
1835 👉🏼 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board reaches the Galapagos Islands
1916 👉🏼 First use of tanks in warfare, “Little Willies” at Battle of Flers-Courcelette, part of the Battle of the Somme.
While the actual battlefield effect of a tank in World War I can be debated, it is known that the introduction of these menacing machines caused terror in the German ranks. Attempts to get the British government to construct armored machines went back to 1914, when a select group of Army officers tried to persuade the War Office to introduce them.
First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill convened a committee in 1915 to investigate if a mechanical solution to the trench warfare problem could be found, as a stalemate had ensued on the Western Front. So tanks were, in part, introduced to meet the unique challenges of traversing the trenches – they could be shot at without effect, could trample barbed wire, and were able to roll over wide trenches.
The name “tank” was adopted to maintain secrecy for its purpose while it was being developed. The first tanks, as seen above, were the Mark I vehicles, nicknamed Little Willies. They drove at a whopping maximum speed of 5.9km/h and had a crew of eight.
They were first used on the morning of this day, during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, which was itself a part of the infamous Battle of the Somme. Since then tanks have become a mainstay of warfare, offering heavy weaponry, mobility and defense against small arms.
1928 👉🏼 Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin while studying influenza
1940 👉🏼 Battle of Britain Day: climax of the Battle of Britain, tide begins to turn as the Royal Air Force repulses a major Luftwaffe attack, losing 29 aircraft to the Germans’ 57-61
1981 👉🏼 The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C.
1981 👉🏼 Pope John Paul II publishes encyclical “Laborem exercens” against capitalism/Marxism
1997 👉🏼 Google.com is registered as a domain name