Renault FT & UEThe Renault FT (frequently referred to in post-World War I literature as the FT-17, FT17, or similar) was a French light tank that was among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in 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. Consequently, some historians of armoured warfare have called the Renault FT the world’s first modern tank.
Over 3,000 Renault FT tanks were manufactured by French industry, most of them during 1918. Another 950 of an almost identical licensed copy of the FT (the M1917 light tank) were made in the United States, but not in time to take part in World War I. The Renault UE The Renault UE Chenillette was a light tracked armoured carrier and prime mover produced by France between 1932 and 1940.
In 1930 the French Infantry decided to develop a light armoured vehicle able to tow and supply small cannon and mortars. In 1931 the Renault company was given the contract for production of its Renault UE, combined with the Renault UK trailer. In 1937, from a number of competitors, the Renault UE2 was chosen as an improved type for large-scale production.
Of both types combined over five thousand were built, including licence production in Romania, and they were part of the standard equipment of all French infantry divisions. Most Renault UE vehicles in French service were unarmed; those in 1940 captured by Germany were used for a variety of purposes, including being armed with machine-guns, antitank-guns and rocket artillery.