Tank D51, known as 'Deborah', is currently displayed at a barn in Flesquières, near Cambrai (Photo: Nord Tourisme)

Cambrai tank veteran 'Deborah' prepares for Centenary move

Posted on centenarynews.com on 08 May 2017
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A British tank discovered under the battlefields of Cambrai after lying buried for decades is about to start its final journey to a new museum opening for the November 2017 Centenary.

Tank D51known as Deborah, will be moved to a purpose-built home at the Cambrai Tank Museum 1917.  

Two heavy-duty cranes and a special transporter will be used to carry out the complex operation over a week in June.

Months of preparation have gone into planning Deborah's short journey from a barn in the village of Flesquières, the current display site. 

Every stage will be closely monitored by technical experts to avoid any risk of damaging this fragile veteran of the first mass tank attack in history.


Deborah will be the centrepiece of the new First World War museum dedicated to the Battle of Cambrai, opening on November 26.

In November 1917, the British Army deployed 476 tanks to storm the fortified German defences of the Hindenburg Line in Northern France.

Deborah, a 26-ton Mark IV 'female' tank (less heavily armed than the 'male' equivalent), was knocked out on the opening day of the battle.

Research by local historian Philippe Gorczynski led to the discovery of the buried wreck in a field near Flesquières in 1998.

After being displayed in a barn for some years, the time has come to move Deborah, one of the few surviving Mark IVs, to a permanent new home at the Cambrai Tank 1917 Museum. 

The centenary site is nearing completion, close to Flesquières Hill British Cemetery, where four of Deborah's crew have their final resting place. 

Also in Centenary News:

Tanks were first used at the Battle of the Somme in September 1916 - see 'Families of Tank Pioneers Mark WW1 Tank Centenary', an event attended by Philippe Gorczynski and John Taylor, author of 'Deborah and the War of the Tanks 1917'.

Information & images courtesy of Nord Tourisme

Posted by: CN Editorial Team