Earthbending-powered tanks, nicknamed by some as Earth Kingdom tanks or slinky tanks, are vehicles owned and operated by the Earth Kingdom military. They were used during the Invasion of the Fire Nation after being designed by Sokka and the mechanist, who consulted several earthbenders on how to perfect this vehicle.
The earthbending-powered tanks were first proposed shortly after the fall of Ba Sing Se when Sokka figured that vehicles were needed if the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribes were to successfully penetrate the defenses of the Fire Nation during the invasion. Sokka designed the tanks himself and introduced his plans to the mechanist, an expert inventor and ally of Team Avatar. The mechanist immediately set to the task of building these vehicles. A total of five tanks were known to have been produced.
During the Invasion of the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun, five earthbending-powered tanks were deployed on to the shores of the Fire Nation Capital from the waterbending-powered submarines. The tanks proved amazingly durable and were able to withstand repeated attacks by opposing tundra tanks. They crushed many of these tanks and entire battlements, as there were dozens of these small structures lining the capital grounds. The tanks successfully led the invaders to the Royal Plaza and then proceeded up the mountain to the Royal Palace.
When the invasion force moved forward to invade the Capital City, these tanks once again overwhelmed enemy troops and eventually captured the palace. However, the Fire Nation was ready for the invasion, and once the solar eclipse ended, they launched a fleet of airships to drive out the invaders, who tried to escape the capital in their tanks. However, it proved to be too late for them to reach the submarines, as the airships destroyed these crafts with their bombs. After the invasion failed and the Avatar's group escaped, the invasion force was left behind to surrender to the enemy. All but two tanks survived the battle.
A year after the Hundred Year War, the tanks were fully incorporated in the Earth Kingdom line of warfare and used in a large scale military campaign led by Earth King Kuei against the Fire Nation colonials of Yu Dao to enforce the Harmony Restoration Movement.
Earthbending-powered tanks are multi-segmented tracked vehicles powered by earthbenders. Articulated in the middle, the tanks can rear up and crush objects in their way. The treads are made of plates of earth strung together by a metal wire, allowing the earthbenders to control the tank. The vehicle can house many troops and cross almost any terrain. Their armor is invulnerable to fire, making them ideal for assaults on enemy positions.
The tanks sport side hatches that open up so that insiders can launch projectiles at enemy troops. Being made of very strong metal, they can also be used as barricades to protect warriors.
If the tanks are knocked on their sides or back, they become useless on the battlefield until they are returned to their upright position. The tanks can, however, be used as protection for soldiers from projectiles when they are overturned.
- Earthbending-powered tanks are inspired by caterpillars, as well as Leonardo da Vinci's tank designs.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Michael Dante DiMartino (writer) & Giancarlo Volpe (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. November 30, 2007. No. 10, Book Three: Fire
- ↑ "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Aaron Ehasz (writer) & Joaquim Dos Santos (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. November 30, 2007. No. 11, Book Three: Fire
- ↑ Gene Yang (w), Gurihiru (a). The Promise Part 2 (May 31, 2012), Dark Horse Comics
- ↑ The Art of the Animated Series, page 152.