Renault FT – French Light Tank


Renault FT with a 37 mm gun – French Light Tank – photo 2011

The Renault FT tank was a role model for a lot of tank models in his time. It was in service from 1917, during the Great War until 1949 and in almost twenty wars and on numerous continents. It saw action in the Soviet Republic, in China, In Brazil, French Indochina, Japan, Turkey and Palestine. It seems it was in action during the Soviet – Afghan war which occurred during 1979 – 1989. It was revolutionary, not because it was the first tank ever, that was the French Schneider CA tank, but it was the first tank that had a fully armored and rotating turret. It was the prototype of all tanks, in past and recent times.Sometimes the Renault FT is referred to as FT-17 or FT17 but original it is just FT.

Renault FT 37 mm gun – French Light Tank, – photo 2011
Renault FT 37 mm gun – French Light Tank, – photo 2011
Renault FT 37 mm gun – French Light Tank, – photo 2011

The Renault FT tank was built around 3000 times, most of them in 1918 during World War One. There were several versions, with a Machine gun, with a short 37 mm gun or a short 75 mm gun, or in Poland there were variants with smoke dispensers etc. The first type had a round iron cast turret to hold an Hotchkiss 8 mm machine gun, later types had a polygonal turret to house a 37 mm gun. It was a role model for other tanks like the Russian T-18 light tank.

Its armor was 8 to 22 mm thick, it was 5 meters long and weighed 6500 kilogram it had a top speed of 7 km/h and a crew of 2, one driver, one commander/ gunner. It had an operational range of 60 kilometers.

Renault FT 37 mm gun – French Light Tank, – photo 2011
Inside Renault FT 37 mm gun – French Light Tank, – photo 2011
Inside Renault FT 37 mm gun – French Light Tank, – photo 2011
Renault FT 37 mm gun – French Light Tank, – photo 2011

On the photos is the Renault FT seen in Koblenz in 2011 with a 37 mm cannon, and with the original manufacturer plate with number: 1934.18.

Original manufacturer plate with number: SN 1934.18 on the Renault FT 37 mm gun – photo 2011

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