The Renault FT or Automitrailleuse à chenilles Renault FT modèle 1917, inexactly known as the FT-17 or FT17, was a French light tank; it is among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history.
The FT was the first operational tank with an armament in a fully rotating turret, and its configuration with the turret on top, engine in the back and the driver in front became the conventional one, repeated in most tanks until today; at the time it was a revolutionary innovation.
France still had several thousand First World War Renault FT tanks in 1940. Over 500 of them were still in service in independent bataillons de chars de combat (BCC) tank battalions in the front lines. Although adequate for infantry support, they were totally outclassed by German tanks in a mobile battle.
It is one of my favourite tanks, I have always had a fondness for this little tank, probably as a result of making that Matchbox plastic kit of the Renault and the Char B1 when I was young.
There was a nice looking Renault FT-17 at the Bovington Tank Museum.
The tank appears to have been part of the Imperial War Museum collection after the First World War and arrived at the Tank Museum as part of an exchange of exhibits in 1965. The tail skid turned up about 20 years later, having been discovered in a store at IWM Duxford.
No, not the train or the steam engine, but the tank…
Built as a Male Tank, No. 785. Took part in the battle of Arras, April 1917. Various features, in particular the hinged hatch on the cab roof and internal modifications show that this tank subsequently served in the supply role. Returned to the UK after the war. Exhibited as a Gate Guardian at Chertsey for some years. Around this time it was modified to resemble a Mark I, complete with tail wheel assembly and fitted with sample Male and Female sponsons In this guise it subsequently came to the Tank Museum, bearing the name HMLS Dragonfly. With the arrival of the Mark I Hatfield Tank, it reverted to a Mark II and was later renamed Flying Scotsman when the lettering was detected beneath later layers of paint. Strangely there is no trace of the name Flying Scotsman in 6th Battalion records.
The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrong.
Produced between 1934 and 1960, the vehicle was used widely by Allied forces during the Second World War. Universal Carriers were usually used for transporting personnel and equipment, mostly support weapons, or as machine gun platforms. With some 113,000 built in the United Kingdom and abroad, it was the most numerous armoured fighting vehicle in history.
This carrier was on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.
This carrier was part of the Imperial War Museum Duxford Land Warfare Exhibit.
Little Willie was a prototype in the development of the British Mark I tank. Constructed in the autumn of 1915 at the behest of the Landship Committee, it was the first completed tank prototype in history.
Little Willie is the oldest surviving individual tank, and is preserved as one of the most famous pieces in the collection of The Tank Museum, Bovington, England.
The Daimler Armoured Car was a successful British armoured car design of the Second World War that continued in service into the 1950s. It was designed for armed reconnaissance and liaison purposes. During the postwar era, it doubled as an internal security vehicle in a number of countries.
When the British Daimler Company took over BSA in 1939 they inherited two superb armoured vehicle designs. One was the famous Dingo scout car, which was already in production, the other this armoured car, which was still in the design stage.
This car was on display at Duxford.
The car at Duxford has mismatching chassis and turret numbers and was built using parts obtained from range wrecks in the late 1970s.
There is also a Daimler Mark II Armoured Car at the Bovington Tank Museum.
The Tank Museum’s example is a Mark II. It is painted in the markings of a unit that served in the successful counter insurgency operations against communist terrorists in Malaya in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The multi-barrel smoke grenade launchers fitted to the turret were a post-war modification.
This M10 Tank Destroyer in winter camouflage was on display at Bovington Tank Museum. This is a British variant armed with a 17 pounder anti-tank gun.
The M10 tank destroyer was an American tank destroyer of World War II. The prototype of the M10 was conceived in early 1942, being delivered in April of that year. After appropriate changes to the hull and turret were made, the modified version was selected for production in June 1942 as the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10. It mounted a 3-inch (76.2 mm) Gun M7 in a rotating turret on a modified M4A2 Sherman tank chassis.
I have a few 15mm Flames of War Self Propelled, Achilles, of the British variant of the American M10 Tank destroyer armed with the powerful British Ordnance QF 17 pounder anti-tank gun in place of the standard 3″ (76.2 mm) Gun M7.
The M3 Scout Car (known as the White Scout Car in British service) was an American-produced armored car. The original M3 Scout Car was produced in limited numbers, while the improved M3A1 Scout Car saw wide service during World War II and after.
This M3A1 Scout Car was on display at Bovington having been restored from a wreck.
This Somua S35 was on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.
The Somua S35 was a French cavalry tank of the Second World War. Built from 1936 until 1940 to equip the armoured divisions of the Cavalry, it was for its time a relatively agile medium-weight tank, superior in armour and armament to both its French and foreign competitors, such as the contemporary versions of the German Panzerkampfwagen III. It was constructed from well-sloped, mainly cast, armour sections, that however made it expensive to produce and time-consuming to maintain. During the German invasion of May 1940, the Somua S35 proved itself to be a tactically effective type, but this was negated by strategic mistakes in deploying its units.
I have a few of these in 15mm scale including a Flames of War Objective.
This Marmon-Herrington Mark VI Armoured Car was on display at Bovington Tank Museum.
The Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car was a series of armoured vehicles that were produced in South Africa and adopted by the British Army during the Second World War. RAF Armoured Car companies possessed them, but seem never to have used them in action.
The Mark VI was a return to the 8-wheeled design. Powered by two Mercury V8 engines with an eight-wheel drive steered on the front and rear wheels. Two prototypes were built, one with a 2 pounder and other with a 6 pounder gun in an open-topped three-man turret with electric powered traverse and protected by 10 to 30 mm of sloped armour. Additional armament consisted of 2 or 3 machine guns. The two-pounder equipped version was sent to the UK for assessment, the transmission proved unreliable suffering several axle failures. The 2-pdr is now in the Bovington Tank Museum, the other in South Africa.