The Tritton Chaser

The Medium Mark A Whippet Tank in Action on the Western Front 1918

R.M. Langham

The conception, design, prototype testing and operational service history of the British Army's Medium Mark A ‘Whippet' Tank of the First World War.
Publication date:
February 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
c 75 b/w ills, several maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781913336172

Dimensions : 234 X 156 mm
Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.


• First ‘proper' book on the Whippet tanks
• Account of the fast-paced war of the Whippet tanks (well, 8 mph)
• Use of archival sources and a new look at the use of tanks with a reasonable evaluation of their capabilities
• Written in an interesting style rather than dry prose

The idea for a smaller, faster, more manoeuvrable type of tank was thought up by Sir William Tritton as early as September 1916 shortly after the first tanks saw action, the War Office gave the go ahead for the design of the ‘Tritton Chaser' to proceed.

Emerging as a prototype in 1917, two hundred of the Medium Mark A tanks were initially ordered and the Army had high hopes for this fast tank, to act as a form of armoured cavalry, soon nicknamed the ‘Whippet'. Persuaded by new designs, only two hundred ‘Whippets' were built and at their peak equipped two Battalions of the Tank Corps. The first ‘Whippets' saw action in April 1918, and continued in service through to the end of the war. Despite the small numbers used, the ‘Whippet' was an effective tank for its time, using its faster speed and manoeuvrability compared to the Heavy tanks to good advantage in the fighting on the Western Front.

Based on Rob Langham's dissertation for his Masters degree in a History of Britain and the First World War at the University of Wolverhampton, this book looks in detail at the conception, prototype construction, manufacturing process and operational service history of the Medium Mark A ‘Whippet' Tank in great detail for the first time. Many original documents combined with Tank Corps histories have been examined and used to compile a narrative charting the development of this pioneering early tank design and its operational service on the Western Front in 1918.