The conquest of man to create machines of destruction did not only start during the First World War. However, that era definitely saw a lot of innovations in terms of weapons, vehicles, and all those other machines used in medieval times. If you think they stuck to battering rams, catapults, and heated sand being poured down the heads of their enemies, then you have to check out these war machines of their time.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Fighting Tank

Before the first-ever modern tank was used in the Western Front during the First World War, the one and only Leonardo da Vinci designed what was believed to be the real first armored vehicle in 1487, while he was under the patronage of Ludovico Sforza.

His armored vehicle with a conical cover was said to be inspired by a turtle’s shell. The covering was made of wood with a metal sheet on the outside that adds to the thickness of the cover. The conical design was to allow the vehicle to move in all directions and fire outwards on all sides. Its slanting angles were made to deflect enemy fire. Leonardo’s machine was powered by two large cranks operated inside by four strong men, while another group inside worked on firing the cannons.

Da Vinci's Fighting Vehicle Design Flaw and Dimensions
Da Vinci’s Fighting Vehicle Design Flaw and Dimensions. Created according to the original da Vinci’s drawing with emphasis on proportions. (Ľuboš ČernákCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The major flaw of this vehicle was that the gears were located in reverse order, which made the vehicle unworkable. It was said that Leonardo did it on purpose in case his design was stolen and used irresponsibly. Another issue was that the vehicle was so heavy that it was impossible to take and use it on the terrains of the battlefield. The armored vehicle became a sort of intimidation instead due to its impressive size and appearance.