The Damdami Taksal is a Sikh educational organization in India. Its headquarters are located in the town of Chowk Mehta 25 miles north of the city of Amritsar. In 1706, after the Battle of Muktsar, Guru Gobind Singh camped at Sabo Ki Talwandi; the place became known as Damdama i.e. a halting place, this place is now referred to as Damdama Sahib. Damdami Taksal claims to be over 300 years old and names Guru Gobind Singh as its founder. However, some scholars, such as Harjot Oberoi, assert that there is no firm evidence to support this claim; the word taksal refers to an education institute or community of students who associate themselves to a particular sant or prominent spiritual leader. "In 1706..... Gobind Singh...... is said to have founded a distinguished school of exegesis". It was headed up by Baba Deep Singh According to the Damdami Taksal, it was entrusted with the responsibility of teaching the reading and recitation of the Sikh scriptures by Guru Gobind Singh. Damdami Taksal's or Jatha Bhindran Mehta has its main center located at Gurdarshan Parkash gurdwara at Mehta near Mehta Chownk, Punjab in Amritsar.
Damdami Taksal is a branch of bhindran Taksal, a major religious school of traditional Sikh learning. The name Bhindran Taksal was made after the village of Bhindran Kalan where its head Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale lived. Jatha Bhindran Mehta or Bhindran Taksal is considered the current Damdami Taksal. During the first part of the 20th century Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale was a prominent Sant teaching a large number of students and today remains an influential figure. In 1975, a large event to commemorate the 300th anniversary martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur was attended by Indira Gandhi and the leader of the Damdami Taksal; this was the starting point of tensions between the Indian Congress Government. The dispute was about, the leader and who had the greater authority over the Sikh people, the Guru Granth Sahib or Indira Gandhi; the Damdami Taksal was brought to wider attention by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and the 1978 massacre, the Anandpur Resolution with the Dharm Yudh Morcha of 1982, the Khalistan movement.
During British Colonial rule, Sunder Singh Bhindranwale set about purging diversity in Sikh doctrine and practice, hoping to have a uniform Sikh community. Part of this strategy was to have a standardized code of conduct. Sant Kartar Singh established Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash at Amritsar district. Sant Sunder Singh was succeeded by Sant Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale in 1930, after whom Sant Kartar Singh Bhindranwale continued his work in 1961. In 1977, after the death of Sant Kartar Singh, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale became the head of Damdami Taksal. Baba Thakur Singh Bhinderwale took over his Taksal when Sant Jarnail Singh was killed in 1984 by the military assault on Harmander Sahib, referred to as Operation Bluestar. Baba Thakur singh is taken responsibility of damdami Taksal after the Saheedi of Sant Jarnail Singh ji in June 1984. Baba Ji continuing the taksal with the Grace of guru sahib,baba ji called as the mother of damdami taksal. Baba ji provided homes and money help to kharku families.
Baba ji visited countries like America,Australia,england for parchar of sikhism. Baba thakur singh choose Giani Ram Singh as a next sewadar of damdami takal gurudwaras in 17June, 2003 in USA, but due to some issues giani ram singh is rejected by baba Takhur Singh ji and release a press note about ram singh.ram singh started its own derra near sangrawan and named it new headquarters of damdami taksal in the presence of baba thakur singh ji. But after some time baba thakur singh ji left for sachkhand without announcing the next mukhi of damdami taksal on 24 December 2004. After antim sanskar of baba ji students of damdami taksal and jathedars choose new leader sant giani Harnam Singh Khalsa bhindrawle on the bhog ceremony of Baba Thakur Singh at Mehta Chowk.baba harnam singh is accepted by sangat,all jathebandis and students of damdami taksal with a large gathering at bhog ceremony. After being leader of damdami taksal baba harnam singh done some noteable works like placing images of sant jarnail singh ji and baba thakur singh ji in sikh azaibghar baba harnam singh started path bodh smagams at patiala.after some time in baba harnam singh khalsa is successful in constructing gurudwara yaadgar shaheeda in darbar sahib complex near akal takht sahib and inaugurated gurudwara janamasthan sant jarnail singh khalsa bhindrawale,gurudwara sant khalsa pind rode on 22 -feb-2018.
Baba harnam singh started 6 june shaheedi smagam at mehta chowk celebrated every year with large number of gathering. Current leader of Damdami Taksal is Sant giani harnam singh khalsa and Gurdwara Gurdarshan Prakash, Jatha bhindran mehtaas a Headquaters of Damdami Taksal. Http://damdamitaksal.co.in/historyofdamdamitaksal/ Baba ram singh created his own headquarters at sangrawan The Damdami Taksal have their own Sikh Code of Conduct, the Gurmat Rehat Maryada, which differs from the Rehat Maryada published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. Some differences include the reading of Ragmala after Akhand Path and not eating meat and eggs. Damdami Taksal is somewhat influenced by the Nirmale school of thought as the eleventh leader of Damdami Taksal, Sant Baba Bishan Singh Muralewale, studied under Nirmale Sants such as Pundit Tara Singh and Pundit Sadhu Singh during the late 19th century. Khalsa Nirmale Giani Jaswant singh Manji Sahib Book ~ Chi
Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan plateau. It is third-largest state by area in India. Spread over 307,713 km2, it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa to the south and Chhattisgarh to the east and Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the north west, Madhya Pradesh to the north, it is the world's second-most populous subnational entity. It was formed by merging the western and south-western parts of the Bombay State and Vidarbha, the north-western parts of the Hyderabad State and splitting Saurashtra by the States Reorganisation Act, it has over 112 million inhabitants and its capital, has a population around 18 million making it the most populous urban area in India. Nagpur hosts the winter session of the state legislature. Pune is known as'Oxford of the East' due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions; the Godavari and the Krishna are the two major rivers in the state.
The Narmada and Tapi Rivers flow near Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Maharashtra is the third-most urbanized state of India. Prior to Indian independence, Maharashtra was chronologically ruled by the Satavahana dynasty, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukyas, Deccan sultanates and Marathas, the British. Ruins, tombs and places of worship left by these rulers are dotted around the state, they include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Ellora caves. The numerous forts are associated with the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Maharashtra is the wealthiest state by all major economic parameters and the most industrialized state in India; the state continues to be the single largest contributor to the national economy with a share of 15% in the country's gross domestic product. Maharashtra accounts for 17% of the industrial output of the country and 16% of the country's service sector output; the economy of Maharashtra is the largest state economy in India with ₹27.96 lakh crore in GDP and a per capita GDP of ₹180,000.
The modern Marathi language developed from the Maharashtri Prakrit, the word Marhatta is found in the Jain Maharashtri literature. The terms Maharashtra, Maharashtri and Maratha may have derived from the same root. However, their exact etymology is uncertain; the most accepted theory among the linguistic scholars is that the words Maratha and Maharashtra derived from a combination of Maha and rashtrika, the name of a tribe or dynasty of petty chiefs ruling in the Deccan region. Another theory is that the term is derived from Maha and ratha / rathi, which refers to a skilful northern fighting force that migrated southward into the area. An alternative theory states that the term derives from Rashtra. However, this theory is somewhat controversial among modern scholars who believe it to be the Sanskritised interpretation of writers. Chalcolithic sites belonging to the Jorwe culture have been discovered throughout the state. Maharashtra was ruled by the Maurya Empire in the fourth and third centuries BCE.
Around 230 BCE, Maharashtra came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty for 400 years. The greatest ruler of the Satavahana dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni. In 90 CE, son of the Satavahana king Satakarni, the "Lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder of the unchecked wheel of Sovereignty", made Junnar, 30 miles north of Pune, the capital of his kingdom; the state was ruled by Western Satraps, Gupta Empire, Gurjara-Pratihara, Kadambas, Chalukya Empire, Rashtrakuta Dynasty, Western Chalukya before the Yadava rule. The Buddhist Ajanta Caves in present-day Aurangabad display influences from the Satavahana and Vakataka style; the caves were excavated during this period. The Chalukya dynasty ruled from the sixth to the eighth centuries CE, the two prominent rulers were Pulakeshin II, who defeated the north Indian Emperor Harsha, Vikramaditya II, who defeated the Arab invaders in the eighth century; the Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled Maharashtra from the eighth to the tenth century. The Arab traveller Sulaiman described the ruler of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty as "one of the four great kings of the world".
Shilahara dynasty began as vassals of the Rashtrakuta dynasty which ruled the Deccan plateau between the eighth and tenth centuries. From the early 11th century to the 12th century, the Deccan Plateau, which includes a significant part of Maharashtra, was dominated by the Western Chalukya Empire and the Chola dynasty. Several battles were fought between the Western Chalukya empire and the Chola dynasty in the Deccan Plateau during the reigns of Raja Raja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Jayasimha II, Someshvara I, Vikramaditya VI. In the early 14th century, the Yadava Dynasty, which ruled most of present-day Maharashtra, was overthrown by the Delhi Sultanate ruler Ala-ud-din Khalji. Muhammad bin Tughluq conquered parts of the Deccan, temporarily shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in Maharashtra. After the collapse of the Tughluqs in 1347, the local Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga took over, governing the region for the next 150 years. After the break-up of the Bahamani sultanate in 1518, Maharashtra split into five Deccan Sultanates: Nizamshah of Ahmednagar, Adilshah of Bijapur, Qutubshah of Golkonda, Bidarshah of Bidar and Imadshah of Elichpur.
These kingdoms fought with each other. United, they decisively defeated the
The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, it is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff, a four-star general. Two officers have been conferred with the rank of field marshal, a five-star rank, a ceremonial position of great honour; the Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which became the British Indian Army, the armies of the princely states, which became the national army after independence. The units and regiments of the Indian Army have diverse histories and have participated in a number of battles and campaigns across the world, earning a large number of battle and theatre honours before and after Independence; the primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity, defending the nation from external aggression and internal threats, maintaining peace and security within its borders. It conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances, like Operation Surya Hope, can be requisitioned by the government to cope with internal threats.
It is a major component of national power alongside the Indian Air Force. The army has been involved in four wars with neighbouring one with China. Other major operations undertaken by the army include: Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Cactus. Apart from conflicts, the army has conducted large peace time exercises like Operation Brasstacks and Exercise Shoorveer, it has been an active participant in numerous United Nations peacekeeping missions including those in: Cyprus, Congo, Cambodia, Namibia, El Salvador, Mozambique, South Sudan and Somalia; the Indian Army has a regimental system, but is operationally and geographically divided into seven commands, with the basic field formation being a division. It comprises more than 80 % of the country's active defence personnel, it is the 2nd largest standing army in the world, with 1,237,117 active troops and 960,000 reserve troops. The army has embarked on an infantry modernisation program known as Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System, is upgrading and acquiring new assets for its armoured and aviation branches.
A Military Department was created within the Government of the East India Company at Kolkata in the year 1776. Its main function was to sift and record orders relating to the Army that were issued by various Departments of the East India Company for the territories under its control. With the Charter Act of 1833, the Secretariat of the Government of the East India Company was reorganised into four Departments, including a Military Department; the army in the Presidencies of Bengal and Madras functioned as respective Presidency Armies until 1 April 1895 when they were unified into a single Indian Army. For administrative convenience, it was divided into four commands at that point, namely Punjab, Bengal and Bombay; the British Indian Army was a critical force for the primacy of the British Empire both in India and across the world. Besides maintaining the internal security of the British Raj, the Army fought in many other theatres: the Anglo-Burmese Wars and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, First and Third Anglo-Afghan Wars and Second Opium Wars in China and the Boxer Rebellion in China.
In the 20th century, the Indian Army was a crucial adjunct to the British forces in both world wars. 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War I with the Allies, in which 74,187 Indian troops were killed or missing in action. In 1915 there was a mutiny by Indian soldiers in Singapore; the United Kingdom made promises of self-governance to the Indian National Congress in return for its support but reneged on them after the war, following which the Indian Independence movement gained strength. The "Indianisation" of the British Indian Army began with the formation of the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College at Dehradun in March 1912 with the purpose of providing education to the scions of aristocratic and well-to-do Indian families, to prepare selected Indian boys for admission into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Indian officers were given a King's commission after passing out and were posted to one of the eight units selected for Indianisation; because of the slow pace of Indianisation, with just 69 officers being commissioned between 1918 and 1932, political pressure was applied leading to the formation of the Indian Military Academy in 1932 and greater numbers of officers of Indian origin being commissioned.
In World War II Indian soldiers fought alongside the Allies. In 1939, British officials had no plan for expansion and training of Indian forces, which comprised about 130,000 men, their mission was internal security and defence against a possible Soviet threat through Afghanistan. As the war progressed, the size and role of the Indian Army expanded and troops were sent to battlefronts as soon as possible; the most serious problem was lack of equipment. Indian units served in Burma, where in 1944–45, five Indian divisions were engaged along with one British and three African divisions. Larger numbers operated in the Middle East; some 87,000 Indian soldiers died in the war. By the end of the war it had become the largest volunteer army in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in August 1945. In the African and Middle-Eastern Campaigns, captured Indian troops were given a choice to join the German Army to "liberate" India from Great
The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India; the region under British control was called British India or India in contemporaneous usage, included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, called the princely states. The whole was informally called the Indian Empire; as India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, 1936, a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria, it lasted until 1947, when it was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was a part of British India. The British Raj extended over all present-day India and Bangladesh, except for small holdings by other European nations such as Goa and Pondicherry; this area is diverse, containing the Himalayan mountains, fertile floodplains, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, a long coastline, tropical dry forests, arid uplands, the Thar Desert. In addition, at various times, it included Aden, Lower Burma, Upper Burma, British Somaliland, Singapore. Burma was separated from India and directly administered by the British Crown from 1937 until its independence in 1948; the Trucial States of the Persian Gulf and the states under the Persian Gulf Residency were theoretically princely states as well as presidencies and provinces of British India until 1947 and used the rupee as their unit of currency. Among other countries in the region, Ceylon was ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. Ceylon was part of Madras Presidency between 1793 and 1798.
The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, having fought wars with the British, subsequently signed treaties with them and were recognised by the British as independent states. The Kingdom of Sikkim was established as a princely state after the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861; the Maldive Islands were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965, but not part of British India. India during the British Raj was made up of two types of territory: British India and the Native States. In its Interpretation Act 1889, the British Parliament adopted the following definitions in Section 18: The expression "British India" shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-General of India or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India; the expression "India" shall mean British India together with any territories of any native prince or chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India.
In general, the term "British India" had been used to refer to the regions under the rule of the British East India Company in India from 1600 to 1858. The term has been used to refer to the "British in India"; the terms "Indian Empire" and "Empire of India" were not used in legislation. The monarch was known as Empress or Emperor of India and the term was used in Queen Victoria's Queen's Speeches and Prorogation Speeches; the passports issued by the British Indian government had the words "Indian Empire" on the cover and "Empire of India" on the inside. In addition, an order of knighthood, the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, was set up in 1878. Suzerainty over 175 princely states, some of the largest and most important, was exercised by the central government of British India under the Viceroy. A clear distinction between "dominion" and "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament and the legislative powers those laws vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local.
At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were administered either by a governor or a lieutenant-governor. During the partition of Bengal, the new provinces of Assam and East Bengal were created as a Lieutenant-Governorship. In 1911, East Bengal was reunited with Bengal, the new provinces in the east becam
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the liberation war in East Pakistan from 3 December 1971 to the fall of Dacca on 16 December 1971. The war began with preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air stations, which led to the commencement of hostilities with Pakistan and Indian entry into the war of independence in East Pakistan on the side of Bengali nationalist forces. Lasting just 13 days, it is one of the shortest wars in history. During the war and Pakistani militaries clashed on the eastern and western fronts. East Pakistan had earlier called for its secession from the unity of Pakistan on 26 March 1971. 90,000 to 93,000 Pakistani servicemen were taken prisoner by the Indian Army, which included 79,676 to 81,000 uniformed personnel of the Pakistan Armed Forces, including some Bengali soldiers who had remained loyal to Pakistan. The remaining 10,324 to 12,500 prisoners were civilians, either family members of the military personnel or collaborators.
It is estimated that between 3,000,000 civilians were killed in Bangladesh. As a result of the conflict, a further eight to ten million people fled the country to seek refuge in India. During the 1971 Bangladesh war for independence, members of the Pakistani military and supporting Islamist militias called the Razakars raped between 200,000 and 400,000 Bangladeshi women and girls in a systematic campaign of genocidal rape; the Indo-Pakistani conflict was sparked by the armed liberation struggle in East Pakistan between the dominant Bengalis and the multi-ethnic West Pakistanis over the right to govern and the constitution. The political tensions between East Bengal and West Pakistan had its origin in the creation of Pakistan as a result of the partition of India by the United Kingdom in 1947; these led to the resignation of President Ayub Khan, who invited army chief General Yahya Khan to take over the central government. The geographical distance between the eastern and western wings of Pakistan was vast.
To overcome the Bengali domination and prevent formation of the central government in Islamabad, the controversial One Unit program established the two wings of East and West Pakistan. West Pakistanis' opposition to these efforts made it difficult to govern both wings. In 1969, President Yahya Khan announced the first general elections and disestablished the status of West Pakistan as a single province in 1970, in order to restore it to its original heterogeneous status comprising four provinces, as defined at the time of establishment of Pakistan in 1947. In addition, there were religious and racial tensions between Bengalis and the multi-ethnic West Pakistanis, as Bengalis looked different from the dominant West Pakistanis; the general elections, held in 1970, resulted in East Pakistan's Awami League gaining 167 out of 169 seats for the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly, a near-absolute majority in the 313-seat National Assembly, while the vote in West Pakistan was won by the socialist Pakistan Peoples Party.
The Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman stressed his political position by presenting his Six Points and endorsing the Bengalis' right to govern. The League's election success caused many West Pakistanis to fear that it would allow the Bengalis to draft the constitution based on the six-points and liberalism. To resolve the crisis, the Ahsan–Yaqub Mission was formed to provide recommendations, its findings were met with favourable reviews from the Awami League, the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League as well as from President Yahya Khan. However, the mission was not supported by the elements in the National Security Council and was subsequently vetoed. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, endorsed the veto and subsequently refused to yield the premiership of Pakistan to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman; the Awami League called for general strikes in the country. President Yahya Khan postponed the inauguration of the National Assembly, causing a shattering disillusionment to the Awami League and their supporters throughout East Pakistan.
In reaction, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for general strikes that shutdown the government, dissidents in the East began targeting the ethnic Bihari community, which had supported West Pakistan. In early March 1971 300 Biharis were slaughtered in riots by Bengali mobs in Chittagong alone; the Government of Pakistan used the "Bihari massacre" to justify its deployment of the military in East Pakistan on 25 March, when it initiated its military crackdown. President Yahya Khan called on the military -, overwhelmingly led by West Pakistanis - to suppress dissent in the East, after accepting the resignation of Lieutenant-General Yaqub Ali Khan, the chief of staff of the East-Pakistani military. Mass arrests of dissidents began and, after several days of strikes and non-cooperation, the Pakistani military, led by Lieutenant-General Tikka Khan, cracked down on Dhaka on the night of 25 March 1971; the government outlawed the Awami League, which forced many of its members and sympathisers into refuge in Eastern India.
Mujib was taken to West Pakistan. Operation Searchlight, followed by Operation Barisal, atte
Eastern Command (India)
The Eastern Command of the Indian Army is one of the seven operational commands of the army. It is headquartered in Fort William in the city of Kolkata in the state of West Bengal. Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane is the current commander; the Presidency armies were abolished with effect from 1 April 1895 when the three Presidency armies became the Indian Army. The Indian Army was divided into four Commands each under a lieutenant general. In 1908, the four commands were merged into two Armies: this system persisted until 1920 when the arrangement reverted to four commands again. Prior to 1 May 1963 Lucknow was the headquarters of the Eastern Command. 23rd Infantry Division – Ranchi III Corps – Dimapur, Nagaland 2nd Mountain Division – Dibrugarh 57th Mountain Division – Leimakhong 56th Mountain Division – Zakhama IV Corps – Tezpur, Assam 71st Mountain Division – Missamari 5th Mountain Division – Bomdila 21st Mountain Division – Rangia XXXIII Corps – Siliguri, West Bengal 17th Mountain Division – Gangtok 20th Mountain Division – Binnaguri 27th Mountain Division – Kalimpong XVII Corps** – Panagarh, West Bengal59th Infantry Division –Panagarh 72 Infantry Division** – Pathankot General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Army General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command Richard A. Renaldi and Ravi Rikhe,'Indian Army Order of Battle,' Orbat.com for Tiger Lily Books: A division of General Data LLC, ISBN 978-0-9820541-7-8, 2011
Armoured warfare, mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war; the premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate conventional defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units. Much of the application of armoured warfare depends on the use of tanks and related vehicles used by other supporting arms such as infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, other combat vehicles, as well as mounted combat engineers and other support units; the doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front, return to the 19th century school of thought that advocated manoeuvre and "decisive battle" outcomes in military strategy. Modern armoured warfare began during the First World War with the need to break the tactical and strategic stalemates forced on commanders on the Western Front by the effectiveness of entrenched defensive infantry armed with machine guns—known as trench warfare.
Under these conditions, any sort of advance was very slow and caused massive casualties. The development of the tank was motivated by the need to return manoeuvre to warfare, the only practical way to do so was to provide caterpillar traction to guns allowing them to overcome trenches while at the same time offering them armour protection against small arms fire as they were moving. Tanks were first developed in Britain and France in 1915, as a way of navigating the barbed wire and other obstacles of no-man's land while remaining protected from machine-gun fire. British Mark I tanks first went to action at the Somme, on 15 September 1916, but did not manage to break the deadlock of trench warfare; the first French employment of tanks, on 16 April 1917, using the Schneider CA, was a failure. In the Battle of Cambrai British tanks were more successful, broke a German trenchline system, the Hindenburg Line. Despite the unpromising beginnings, the military and political leadership in both Britain and France during 1917 backed large investments into armoured vehicle production.
This led to a sharp increase in the number of available tanks for 1918. The German Empire to the contrary, produced only a few tanks, late in the war. Twenty German A7V tanks were produced during the entire conflict, compared to over 4,400 French and over 2,500 British tanks of various kinds. Nonetheless, World War I saw the first tank-versus-tank battle, during the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918, when a group of three German A7V tanks engaged a group of three British Mark IV tanks they accidentally met. After the final German Spring Offensives of 1918, Entente tanks were used in mass at the Battle of Soissons and Battle of Amiens, which ended the stalemate imposed by trench warfare on the Western Front, thus ended the war. Tactically, the deployment of armour during the war was typified by a strong emphasis on direct infantry support; the tank's main tasks were seen as crushing barbed wire and destroying machine-gun nests, facilitating the advance of foot soldiers. Theoretical debate focused on the question whether a "swarm" of light tanks should be used for this or a limited number of potent heavy vehicles.
Though in the Battle of Cambrai a large concentration of British heavy tanks effected a breakthrough, it was not exploited by armour. The manoeuvrability of the tank should at least in theory regain armies the ability to flank enemy lines. In practice, tank warfare during most of World War I was hampered by the technical immaturity of the new weapon system causing mechanical failure, limited numbers, general underutilisation, a low speed and a short range. Strategic use of tanks was slow to develop during and after World War I due to these technical limitations but due to the prestige role traditionally accorded to horse-mounted cavalry. An exception, on paper, was the Plan 1919 of Colonel John Fuller, who envisaged using the expected vast increase in armour production during 1919 to execute deep strategic penetrations by mechanised forces consisting of tanks and infantry carried by lorries, supported by aeroplanes, to paralyse the enemy command structure. Following the First World War, the technical and doctrinal aspects of armoured warfare became more sophisticated and diverged into multiple schools of doctrinal thought.
During the 1920s, only few tanks were produced. There were however, important technical developments. Various British and French commanders who had contributed to the origin of the tank, such as Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, B. H. Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller, theorised about a possible future use of independent armoured forces, containing a large concentration of tanks, to execute deep strategic penetrations. Liddell Hart wrote many books about the subject propagating Fuller's theories; such doctrines were faced with the reality that during the 1920s the armoured vehicles, as early road transport in general, were unreliable, could not be used in sustained operations. Mainstream thought on the subject was more conservative and tried to integrate armoured vehicles into the existing infantry and cavalry organisation and tactics. Technical development focussed on the improvement of the suspension system and engine, to create vehicles that were faster, more reliable and had a better range than their WW I predecessors.
To save weight, such designs had thin armour plating and this inspired fitting small-calibre high-velocity guns in turrets, giving tanks a good antitank capacity. Both France and Britain built specialised infantry tanks, more armoured to provide infantry