Infantry has long been described as the “Queen of Battles,” and while the quote was first attributed to Sir William Napier of the British Army in the 19th century, its origins likely date back even further. By contrast, artillery was long known as the king for its ability to strike over vast distances with lots of force while remaining mobile and accurate.
However, the First World War may have upended that traditional view when the first tanks rolled across the battlefields of the Western Front. A generation later the tank combined (and even exceeded) the speed of the cavalry, the range of the artillery, and the defensive capabilities of infantry, and has been the dominant weapon of the modern battlefield.
This is why more than 100 years after the first armored behemoths were deployed in action there are still 73,000 tanks in the military arsenals of the world, according to Nicholas Drummond, a British military consultant, and commentator.
“Of these 24,000 belong to potential adversaries and 20,000 are in storage and at least 10,000 have been modernised over the last decade,” wrote Drummond on social media, whilst citing data from the International Institute for Strategic Studies.