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The First Tank Was Used 100 Years Ago Today. This is What it Looked Like

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One hundred years ago today, the first tanks were used during World War I.

As British and French soldiers fought the Germans at Flers-Courcelette, an attack during the famous Battle of the Somme on Sept. 15, 1916, the British forces unleashed a new weapon that could cover terrain previous military vehicles could not.

To mark the anniversary, a replica of the original Mark IV tank has been placed in Trafalgar Square in London, the BBC reports.

The first tanks were far from perfect. They were originally designed to travel at walking pace to support the British infantry, and not all the tanks the British made were ready to use that day in 1916. But the introduction of the tank ushered in a new era of modern warfare that brought more advances and much deadlier weapons.

The replica tank has been provided by the Tank Museum in Dorset, England, which is hosting a Tank 100 event on Saturday in honor of the vehicle’s centennial.

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Write to Abigail Abrams at abigail.abrams@time.com