The French Renault FT-17 Light Tank

The French Renault FT-17 Light Tank

The French Renault FT-17 Light Tank was an unsung hero in the time line of the history of the tank. Firstly it was the first to enter serial production in large quantity’s (4000 were built), it was the first to have a fully traversable turret on the top hull and it was copied by the USA, Russia and Italy.

Originally built by French Firm Renault following successful trials in 1917, production was further spread to other manufacturers in order to meet the demand for the 4000 ordered by the French Army.

The vehicle had a 2 man crew, the driver sat up front in the hull and the commander in the turret. He loaded the main gun, which was either a shortened 37mm or a 8mm Machine Gun which the commander also operated.

The vehicle was exported after the War to Brazil, China and Canada. The vehicle remained in service all the way up to World War 2, where German soldiers would use them for policing Occupied France or as a pulling tractor.

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