Tanks first used in the Somme campaign, 9/15/16, but not very successfully--terrain was unsuitable and numbers of tanks not sufficient. "Haig...was desperate for any success...." "The tank's unspectacular performance only confirmed the skepticism of the War Office, who mistrusted scientific innovation. The tank's potential was also lost on the Germans, who made no attempt to produce their own. The British public and press, however, were jubilant over the tank's premiere, newspapers dubbing the new weapon a 'land dreadnought', 'motor monster', 'giant toad', and a 'jabberwock with eyes of flame'. A vast range of miniature tank 'novelties' were commercially produced in china, metal, and wood, serving as pin cushions, jewelry boxes, watch holders, ink wells, cigarette lighters, savings banks, and paperweights. People were eager for signs of national inventiveness and the British public idolized the tank as a weapon of almost uncanny power."
[p. 197, George Robb, British Culture and the First World War]