The British Army takes tea in N. Africa. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons).

British tanks armed with the most convenient lethal weapon — a tea-making facility — started to appear at the end of World War II. Most main battle tanks (MBT) and armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) are ready to make battle with a parched soldier anytime they need to.

Officially named as the Vessel Boiling Electric, the main purpose of this is not only to make tea, but also to boil water or cook food. This has been one of the most convenient additions to a war-time equipment considering that during the early days, servicemen would get famished from battle.

A convenient and safe way to make food for a fleet

The early days of the Great War were often muddled with hardships especially when preparing food for your troop. Rising smoke can easily be detected, giving away your location to the enemies. As often, an army would just nibble whatever they could find or stay hungry for days. But tea making facilities changed all of that.

Boiler vessels fitted into the post-war British Centurion tanks made a big change at how preparing food is approached. It can be done for the convenience of your army team without any of the possible effects of outside food preparation. This has been one key element of British tanks that make them different from the world and something that has been copied by a few other nations.

The evolution of the British boiling vessel

The vessel boiling electric or BV started to appear with the Centurion tank model.  In the previous wars, tank gunmen had to disembark when brewing their tea, something that is often dangerous during a war. The first VBE 1 was replaced with a stainless steel material during the 1950s.

The current ones being used, known as the VBE 3 has modern accompaniments including an electrical socket to connect it with the tank inside. It is specially designed to be leak-proof and convenient enough to be carried on-board.

Read more about less-practical wartime creations.