Imagined tank (Scientific American)
Imagined tank (Scientific American) Imagined tank (Domenica del Corriere)

The tank was not decisive in the First World War: its success was linked in the beginning to the surprise factor and later to their number, since Germany never seriously invested in the technology and produced few models. Its effect on the collective imagery was nonetheless deep. Two illustrations from the Scientific American and the Domenica del Corriere  show, for example, how the tank was imagined by popular magazines in the months between its first use and the diffusion of its first photographs in the civilian world: land dreadnoughts, invulnerable to the enemy fire and able to trample everything in their path.

This fantasy was not completely abandoned once it was disproved by the reality of trench warfare: if tanks could not overwhelm the enemy surely bigger machines could...