- "A Master-piece light tank that became the model for modern tanks."
The Renault FT-17 was a French light tank that was among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. It's considered to be the world's first modern tank.the world's first modern tank.
The FT was the first production tank to have its armament within a fully rotating turret. The Renault FT's configuration – crew compartment at the front, engine compartment at the back, and main armament in a revolving turret – became and remains the standard tank layout.
Over 3,000 Renault FT tanks were manufactured by French industry, most of them during the year 1918. Another 950 of an almost identical licensed copy of the FT (the M1917) were made in the United States, but not in time to enter combat.
The Renault FT was widely used by French forces in 1918 and by the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front in the later stages of World War I.
The battlefield debut of the Renault FT occurred on 31 May 1918 east of the Forest of Retz, east of Chaudun, between Ploisy and Chazelles, during the Second Battle of the Marne.
After the end of World War I, Renault FTs were exported to many countries. Renault FT tanks were used by most nations having armoured forces, generally as their prominent tank type. The tanks were used in many later conflicts, such as the Russian Civil War, Polish-Soviet War, Chinese Civil War, Rif War, Spanish Civil War, and Estonian War of Independence.
Renault FT tanks were also fielded in limited numbers during World War II, in Poland, Finland, France, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, although they were already obsolete. In 1940, the French Army still had eight battalions, each equipped with 63 FTs, as well as three independent companies, each with 10, for a total organic strength of 534, all equipped with machine guns. These were put to use after most of the modern equipment was lost in earlier battles.
Many smaller units assembled after the start of World War II also used the Renault FT. Earlier, 115 sections of FTs had been formed for airbase defence. The Wehrmacht captured 1,704 FTs. They used about 100 for airfield defence and about 650 for patrolling occupied Europe.
Some were used by the Germans in 1944 for street-fighting in Paris, but by this time they were hopelessly out of date. Vichy France used Renault FTs against Allied invasion forces during Operation Torch in Morocco and Algeria. The French tanks, however, were no match for the newly arrived American M4 Sherman and M3 Stuart tanks.
In Girls Und Panzer
The FT-17 is mentioned only briefly in the Anzio OVA. During the Ooarai's briefing for the upcoming match against Anzio, on the board it's stated that in Anzio's previous match Maginot fielded 3 FT-17.
Fierce Fight! It's the Maginot Battle!
The FT-17 makes no less than three seperate appereances in the manga. First when Eclair introduces Maginot's tanks, then during the duel for the head of the school Eclair vs Madeleine and finally during a training that proves the uselessness of FT-17 for mobile warfare.
Gekkan Senshado Magazine
It's said that Bonple High School owns an unknown number of FT-17 (37mm gun version).
- The manga stated that the letters "FT" stands for "Faible Tonnage" which means "Reduced Weight" in French which is wrong, FT was just a product code for Renault internal use. Additionnaly the tank was only named Renault FT during the Great War, it became "FT-17" after the war.
- The future General George "Old Blood and Guts" Patton used it during the Battle of St. Mihiel as part of the newly formed United States Tank Corps.
- Before it arrival in GuP the oldest tank that was seen being actually used in a match was the Type 89B which was designed in 1928. But now the FT-17 take the lead being designed in 1916 and although various tanks such as the Mark IV, Whippet and A7V are shown these only appear during a presentation.