French Light Tank Renault FT US Six Ton Tank M1917
By Witold J. Lawrynowicz
Series: Armor Photo Gallery # 15
Softcover, 72 pages, drawings, and photographs
Published by Model Centrum Progres, January 2006
Dimensions: 8.0 x 11.2 x 0.2 inches
The Renault FT was a French light tank which saw initial service during the First World War. It is notable for introducing what has since become the standard tank configuration – a rotating turret containing the main armament, engine to the rear of the hull, and driver in the front. Over 3,000 were produced in France, with several other nations producing copies of the design. Although obsolete by the standards of WWII, there were several hundred still in service during the Battle of France, and captured examples were retained in Wehrmacht service in secondary roles through the end of the war.
This book is number 15 in the Armor Photo Gallery series and is intended to be a visual reference for modelers. Two-thirds of the pages are devoted to well-captioned full-color photographs of preserved vehicles presented in a walk-around style. There are two tanks presented – a Renault FT in the Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire in Brussels and a U.S.-built M1917 which was at the West Point Museum. The two vehicles exhibit a number of construction differences which the captions point out.
Also included are drawings in 1/48 and 1/35 scale, but nothing for 1/72 scale enthusiast. There is a short history of the type and several pages of black-and-white photographs of the tanks in service. I purchased this book at a model show, and was not familiar with the series at the time. These happy little discoveries are one of the best reasons to go to shows, you can always find something you didn’t know you needed! It is a quality publication and judging by what is listed on Amazon, somewhat sought after. Recommended.