World’s first modern tank.

During our honeymoon in Paris recently, Mr. and Mrs. Monkey-Wrench came across this neat old tank at the “Musée de l’Armée
It’s a Renault FT17 from 1917, and saw action during “The Great War”.

It was called the first modern tank, because it was the very first tank to feature a fully revolving cannon, a driver in the front and the engine in the back. Most modern day tanks still have these features.

It is a very small tank, only 5′ 9″, and 16′ 5″ long. It had a crew of two, one commander/gunner in the turret, and the driver in the front. For reference: A 2009 Chevrolet Suburban is longer, wider and taller…

The tank was powered by a 39hp Renault 4 cylinder gasoline engine, and with its weight of 7.2 Tons it was able to reach a top speed of a blistering 4.3mph.

This particular one was equipped with a 37MM cannon. Very effective for destroying machingun nests, pillboxes and other hold-ups for advancing troops.

The .87″ thick armor used protected the crew from most small arms fire thrown at it.

The biggest problems these tanks faced were cooling fan belt problems, and they were famous for “smoking the crew out”….


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