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FT-17
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"A Master-piece light tank that became the model for modern tanks."
―Fondue

The Renault FT-17 was a French light tank that was among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. Some historians consider it to be the world's first modern tank.

History

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Some were used by the Germans in 1944 for street-fighting in Paris, but by this time they were hopelessly out of date.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.

The Renault FT was so popular that it was exported in several countries or was cloned and derivated. Clones such as the American M1917, the Soviet T-18 and the Italian FIAT 3000.

In Girls Und Panzer

Anime

The FT-17 is mentioned only briefly in the Anzio OVA. During the Ooarai briefing for the upcoming match against Anzio, on the board it's stated that in Anzio's previous match, Maginot fielded three FT-17.

Fierce Fight! It's the Maginot Battle!

The FT-17 is used during a duel between Eclair and Madeleine for the position of school commander then when Eclair made a review of Maginot's tanks and finally during a training that proves the uselessness of FT-17 for mobile warfare.

Gekkan Senshado Magazine

Maginot Girls' Academy fielded three FT-17 during the tournament first round match against Anzio. Their role in the battle is except that they seems to fall in Anzio trap by following the CV.33 leaving the flag tank behind, the FT-17s continue the pursuit of the tankettes while the SOMUAs attempt to backup the flag tank.

It's said that Bonple High School owns an unknown number of FT-17 (37mm gun version).

Ribbon Warrior

During the Cauldron tournament in the eighth match of the first round against Viggen High School, Maginot Girls' Academy fielded a least one FT-17 commanded by Eclair, where it seems that it destroyed all opposing tanks.

Das Finale

BC Freedom High School fielded one (with a Red Heart) commanded by Marie as flag tank during the Winter Continuous Track Cup first round match against Ooarai Girls Academy. Its role was to "leisurely" stand in a strategic position seemingly defenseless to lure its enemy on the bridge, after trapping Ooarai on the bridge and failing to take them out the FT-17 return in formation with the rest of the team.

Trivia

  • 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's internal use. Additionally 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 its 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 only followed very closely by the Mark IV tank as the FT prototype was presented in March 1917 while the Mark IV was produced on May 1917 and although various tanks such as the Whippet and A7V are shown these only appear during a presentation.
  • It was the slowest tank in the franchise with its 7.7 km/h (or 5 mph) before the appearance of the Mark IV with its 6.4 km/h (or 4 mph).
  • Some of Maginot's FT-17 were fitted with coaxial machine guns in the turret while no such modification existed in real life.
  • BC Freedom fielded their FT-17 (a tank that could only contain two crew member) with three crew members, a driver, a gunner (that should have been the commander too) and Marie that sat on a cushion with her legs inside the turret through its back opening. Which means that she hasn't any means to go inside the tank in case of heavy fire and thus could be in great danger.
  • Both the FT and the Mark IV are the only WWI tanks to see combat in the anime series. Both are introduced in Das Finale.

Gallery

Main article: FT-17/Gallery
Tanks ☰ 
Light Tanks and Tankettes Poland7TPFranceAMR-35FinlandBT-42UKCrusaderItalyCV.33FranceFT-17UKHarry HopkinsUnited StatesM22 LocustUnited StatesM24 ChaffeeUKMark VIGermanyPanzer IICzechoslovakiaPanzer 38(t)FranceR35SovietT-60SovietT-70UKTetrarchPolandTK TanketteJapan2Type 94 TanketteJapan2Type 95 Ha-GoJapan2Type 97 Te-Ke
Medium Tanks UKCenturionUnited StatesM3 LeeUnited StatesM4 ShermanItalyM13/40UKMatilda IIItalyP26/40GermanyPanzer IIIGermanyPanzer IVGermanyPanzer V "Panther"FranceSOMUA S35SovietT-34SovietT-44Japan2Type 89BJapan2Type 3 Chi-NuJapan2Type 97 Chi-Ha
Heavy Tanks FranceARL 44FranceB1 BisUKBlack PrinceUKChurchillSovietIS-2SovietKV-2United StatesM26 PershingUKMark IVGermanyPanzer VI "Tiger"GermanyPanzer VI Ausf. B "Tiger II"GermanyPanzer VIII "Maus"GermanyVK45.01 Porsche Tiger
Tank Destroyers GermanyElefantGermanyHetzerSovietISU-152GermanyJagdpanzer IVGermanyJagdpantherGermanyJagdtigerRomaniaMareșalItalySemovente da 75/18GermanyStuG IIIUnited StatesT28 Super-Heavy Tank
Self-Propelled Artillery GermanyKarl-Gerät 040
Main Battle Tank Japan2Type 10
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