By 1915 it was clear the Germans needed an edge. The government ordered Kraufman-Benz to begin constructing a machine capable of surviving machine gun fire and striking fear deep into the enemy. Development was a hurried affair, starting in June of that year and ending in December.
First deployed on the 13th of March 1916 in the less muddy conditions of the south of the western front, successfully stopping an allied advance towards Saint-Maurice-de-Satonnay. Three days later the German forces attacked and pushed the Allied forces back as far as Cluny, destroying its abbey with shell fire. However, the Thor did not perform as well in the streets of the town, leading to a German withdrawal and the formation of the Cluny Salient.