The tank was invented by the British as an attempt to break the stalemate of World War One. Although initially slow, cumbersome and unreliable, the future potential of tanks was recognized at the time and they remain a mainstay of conflict to this day.
Tank development in the 1930s was variable depending upon the differing military philosophies held by the powers of the day. Having adopted the idea of Blitzkrieg, which was first conceived in Britain during the 1920s, the Nazis focused upon making the tank an instrument for line-breaking offensives through speed, armor and firepower. A similar perspective was also adopted by the Soviets. The British and French retained a more conservative approach, however, continuing to see the tank as an implement for reconnaissance and infantry support. This meant that Allied tanks were relatively inadequate until the introduction of American machines in 1942.