The first tanks apeared in 1917 with the British Mark 1 Heavy tanks, that were developed from what they learned from the Willie tank. But British were not the only country developing tanks. German designed and built the mostrust A7V SturmPanzerWagen. But it suffered from bad cross country performence and just not being a very good tank. Not that the British tank was any better (it was) it had its own problem such as poor visibilty, poor speed, poor armor, poor engine the engine was the big problem, it vented out into the crew compartments so they were breathing in posion plus the tanms had not supesnion what ao ever the the ride was very rough and meny got sea sickness.
Nut the major tank breakthrough during world war 1 was the French FT-17. What mad it so special was it's gun was housed in a rotating structure called a turret. It was the first tank to have such a feature, but it is by far the last. Many future tanks (evan our to day tanks) are based apon the FT-17 and it's turret.
After the war Germany could not buuld any tanks but every one else sure did. Such as the British A1E1 Indapendint tank, the Russian T-35 Heavy tank, American and British Mark VIII Libirty tank, and so on. But the BIG breakthrough on tanks was when world war two broke out. Many countries used tanks as infentry support, but the Germans used their tanks on mass, useing them to hunt down enemy tanks and destroy them (I know I didn't explian it as good as I wanted to). This was aparint the most when Germany invaded France. They had good tanks but used them the wrong way.
Through out world war 2 tanks were tested and inprooved apon. The best tanks that were used during the war were the American M4 Shermans, the German Panther, and Tigers, and the Russian T-34 and IS tanks.
After the co flict not as meny tanks were built and tested but the ones that were, were very good, such as the British Centurian Main battle tank, the Russian T-54 Medium tank, the American Patton tanks, and the German Leopard 1. All of these tanks evolved into the tanks were know today. The centurian became the challanger, the Pattons became the Abram, the T-54 became the T-90, and the Leopard 1.beacme the Leopard 2. All of these tanks use the most modern of tank systems but they all have their ties all the way back to the world war 1 tank FT-17.