The First tanks
The first tank created was dubbed "Little Willie". It was designed by Lieutenant W. Wilson and William Tritton. It actually wasn't designed for combat, and was rather a template for future, upgraded tanks. Like so, "Little Willie" soon developed into "Big Willie", which resembled the British Mark I tanks used later for the remainder of the war. Military officials approved the design, despite it having several flaws, and ordered 100 "Big Willies" for the war effort. "Big Willie" was essentially bulletproof and was armed with machine guns and/or cannons.
The first Mark I tanks were rolled into battle on September 15th, 1916, on a mass British attack on Somme, France. Originally, 50 tanks were released but 14 broke down or got stuck in the harsh terrain. While the overall effect was very little, this attack started a new era for war.
Evolution of the tank
"Little Willie". The first tank.
"Merkava" Modern day Israelian tank.
While the tank wasn't extremely helpful in World War I, it certainly has seen action in the past and is still in use today. One could say the tank's use in WWI sparked a new era of land combat. In the wars following WWI, tanks became the backbone of ground operations. They were upgraded dramatically in World War II, and usage was also increased. The Cold War saw the rise of the modern tank. These new designs brought along more destructive weapons, thicker armor, and increased mobility. Soon, an army without tanks was next to useless, because the armor benefits the tanks gave couldn't be matched. New corps were founded, such as the U.S Tank Corps or the Armored Divisions. Even today tanks are used. The U.S used them to invade Iraq in 2003 and they have been used in the Middle East since the early 2000's. The tank still provides the mainstay of land combat in the 21st century.