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Mark VIII Tank
Photograph: Mark VIII Before It Found A Home in the Museum
The Mark VIII tank was sometimes referred to as the Liberty Tank due to its 12-cylinder Liberty engine.  The tank, a joint venture of the United States and Great Britain, was based on the British Mark series of tanks.  The Mark VIII was designed to be an "anti-machinegun" weapon capable of traversing a battlefield scarred by trenches, shell holes, and debris while clearing a path for the infantry to follow.

By the time the first of these tanks came off the assembly line the war had ended.  One hundred were made and used in training exercises throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s.

The tank displayed in the Museum was made in 1920 at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.  It was assigned to the 301st Tank Battalion (Heavy), later redesignated the 17th Tank Battalion (Heavy).  Throughout most of 1921-1922, MAJ Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded this unit.