No.1 Lincoln Machine “LITTLE WILLIE” (experimental)

The “Number 1 Lincoln Machine“, known worldwide as “Little Willie“, can be considered as the predecessor of all the armored vehicles that work or have worked in the World. All started in 1915 when Ernest Swinston and Maurice Hankey, both Colonels of the British Army, convinced the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, that armoured tractors would be able to withstand machine-gun fire and could pass through enemy trenches without any problem. Then, began the works directed by the “Landship Committee” that culminated with the Little Willie prototype presented by William Fosters & Company of Lincoln in September 1915. While this vehicle is not properly a tank, because it lacks armament, it was the first finished armoured vehicle prototype in the World, and this is why it has been used ever since as a reference in all subsequent tank designs. The only manufactured example belongs to the collection of the Tank Museum of Bovington, England.

LITTLE WILLIE gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

United Kingdom


Fosters & Company


Medium tank


December 1915



Combat weight

18,300 kg

Dimensions (length x width x height)

5.87 (hull) – 8.07 (with steering wheels) x 2.87 x 2.51 meters

Armour, (maximum)

Steel: 6mm

Power plant

1 x Daimler 6-cylinder petrol engine, 105 hp


3.2 km/h


Projected: 1 x 2 pdr gun (40mm) + 4 x 7.7mm MG


1 experimental prototype