The First Fighting Tank. The first ever use of the tank in battle happened during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. In this video we look inside a unique survivor – the last British Mark I Heavy Tank in existence and examine the first tank action at Flers, an event that changed the face of warfare. Video produced by The Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset. If you haven’t been, you really should, it is an amazing museum. Like me, once you go, you’ll never want to leave.