Early in the war Winston Churchill came into my room at the Admiralty with a rough sketch of a motor car built and designed to cross rough ground, trenches, streams etc.
The proposal was new to me.
He asked me whether the Admiralty or the Navy should look into it. I advised the Admiralty as it had well trained mechanics and engineers, and that there was nobody better than Eustace D'Eyncourt to deal with the matter. This was done.
Early in the war Mr. Churchill came into my Room at the Admiralty with a rough sketch of a Motor Car constructed and armed to be used in the War for assaults over rough ground, trenches, streams of water, etc,
The proposal was new to me.
He asked me whether I thought the Admiralty should look into it or whether the War Office should deal with it. I thought the Admiralty should look into it as we had well trained mechanists able to deal with such schemes whereas I did not think the War Office had, and I thought he could not do better than hand it over to Sir Eustace D'Eyncourt to have the matter dealt with. This was done.
These are notes written by Colonel Sir Philip Watts who, until 1912, had been Director of Naval Construction and after that acted as an advisor to the Admiralty.
Watts had been intimately involved in the development of the Dreadnought battleships in the period leading up to the First World War. Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911, would have known Watts well. D'Eyncourt became Director of Naval Construction in 1912, following the resignation of Sir Philip Watts.
Churchill was midway through publishing his series of books, 'The World Crisis.' The volume on 1915 had appeared in 1923 and at the time of this note he was preparing the volumes on 1916-1918, which appeared in 1927. Watts gave this document to Churchill to help him write the history of the development of the tank.
Remember we are hoping that this source can be useful to us in investigating who deserves the credit for developing the tank. Sources usually help historians in two ways:
Which of the inferences below can be made from this source?
|On a scale of 1-5 how far do you agree that this source supports this inference?||Which extract(s) from the source support your argument?|
|Sir Philip Watts thinks the 'motor car constructed and armed' was Churchill's own idea|
|Sir Philip Watts thinks the tank could win the war|
|Both Churchill and Watts wanted to keep the Admiralty in control of the invention|
|These notes support the view that Churchill invented the tank|
Sir Philip Watts worked for the Admiralty and Churchill was his boss during the war. The two men worked closely together. It seems likely that both Churchill and Watts felt that they would have more influence over the development of the tank if the Admiralty retained control of the project. Watts may have prepared this document to explain the reasons why the War Office were not involved. When Watts gave this document to Churchill, Churchill was working on his history of the First World War. So historians could think that Watts felt that Churchill hadn’t been given sufficient credit for the tank.