Friday, January 20, 2017

Renault FT-17 - Oh so Cute

Yes a tank can be cute, or at least that is what my first wife said of the Italian and French tanks down in Aberdeen Maryland. She laughed when I told here some were made by Renault and Fiat. :-)

A friend to the entire hobby community, Craig of Gaming Models  has now released my favorite tank of all time, but the Cromwell/Comet/Centurion line is a close second, the Renault FT-17.

This is a tank that was designed in 1917 and saw combat in 1918 and has seen action often ever since, with copies found in Iraq and Afghanistan today.

From the plains of China in the 1920s and 30s, France in 1940 or the streets of Washington in 1932 this was a versatile yet slow tank. Easy to operate and maintain, great for a national army or a local warlord. See your local arms dealer, or Craig, to get yours. Even MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton were endorsers, or at least users of the FT-17 during there wartime and peacetime careers.

As for the arms dealer comment, there is a lot of truth in this.  If you have cash or better yet gold you to could become an armoured power. Useful to test out, and copy (see Soviet T-18), or use to put down brigands in Manchuria or Spanish Morocco.

For me it is in World War II that interests me the most, from German use of captured tanks for air field defense, anti-partisan actions and coastal positions the Germans kept these museum pieces in action at the same time they were using Tigers and Panthers.

In 1939 Poland had a significant number of FT-17s to use in Operation Case White. From PIBWL Poland had the following tanks in service, more or less.
  • 112 light tanks Renault FT-17 (numbers: 1001-1112)
  • 6 radio tanks Renault TSF (numbers: 2001-2006)
  • 27 training tanks Renault FT-17 CWS (nos:3001-3027)
  • 5 tanks Renault M26/27
  • 24 tanks Renault NC-27 (in fact, 1 tank, the rest might be FT-17s)
  • 174 tanks in total
So I can see a platoon of these for Poland and maybe a couple for some Imagination based in Central Asia where I can use my Ottomans, British and Arabs. May even need to look at the Ottomans from Peter Pig. So many options here.

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