In July 1915, William Tritton and Walter Wilson set up an office in a small hotel room in Lincoln.

Their task: to design a machine that could cross a trench 1.2m wide.

In September their design was approved … the first prototype ready in December …

The first time he saw one, General Butler (England’s Commander in Chief’s representative) lent over to a colleague and said:

How soon can we have them?

The Devil's Chariot

The Devil’s Chariot

By July 1916 the first tanks – The Devil’s Chariots – were sent into battle. Their effect was immense; wreaking slaughter, bewilderment and terror:

The panic started, everyone from 1st and 3rd Companies jumped out of the trench and ran the fastest race of his life, pursued by the merciless tank machine-gun fire which cut down many men as if it were a rabbit-shoot.

    – German soldier Wilhelm Speck, of the 84th Reserve Regiment.

Now what can you learn from Tritton, Wilson and the tank?

Well necessity is certainly the mother of invention; when your back’s to the wall you’ll be surprised what you can do.

From opening the Lincoln office to the tank’s first appearance in battle took less than a year.

So does your sales letter, advertisement, or campaign really have to take that long to materialise?

Your life may not depend on your war with your competitors. But your livelihood certainly does.

Perhaps you could do with some help …

Just send me an email with a subject line of Tank. There’s no charge – and you’re not committing to anything.

It could be the smartest thing you do this year.