The Mark IX tank was a British armoured fighting vehicle from the First World War. It was the world’s first specialised armoured personnel carrier (APC).
During the first actions with tanks, it became clear that infantry often could not keep up with the tanks, It wasn’t that the soldiers were too slow, the early tanks themselves could only move at a walking pace, but because soldiers on foot remained vulnerable to enemy machine gun fire. In many actions, positions gained at great cost were immediately lost for lack of infantry to consolidate.
At the end of the Great War only three had been finished, out of a total ultimate production run of thirty-four, following an order for two hundred.
These metal monsters designed in an era when they didn’t really know what they were doing and there was a lot of trial and error. The Mark IX reminds us that the APC is as old as the tank.