Renault FT-17 Tank

The Renault FT-17 was a French tank which was extensively used in World War I as it was manufactured in 1917. It was the first tank made with a fully rotating turret on top, engine in the back and the driver in front; a configuration that has been repeated in the majority of tanks until today.

The Renault FT-17 was a light tank designed by Rodolphe Ernst-Metzmaier in 1917 and was manufactured by Renault the same year. It weighed 6.5 tonnes, measured 5 m in length, 1,47 m in width, and 2.14 m in height, and had a capacity for a crew of two. The Renault FT-17 was powered by a Renault 4-cylinder, petrol engine of 39 hp. The tank was armed with a 37 mm gun, or a 7.92 mm machine gun. It had an operational range of 60 km and a speed of 7 km/h. Its armor was 22 mm wide.

The Renault FT-17 saw action for the first time by the end of 1917. Then the tank was widely used by the French and the Americans after May 31, 1918, during the Hundred-day Offensive. Because the FT-17 was unexpensive, it was well-suited for mass production. 84 were produced in 1917, but 2,697 were delivered before the end of the war. Around 3,177 FT-17 tanks were produced in total. After World War I this light tank was used in many other conflicts, such as the Russian Civil War, Polish-Soviet War, Chinese Civil War and Spanish Civil War.

Leichter Panzerspähwagen

The Leichter Panzerspähwagen was a type of light 4×4 armored vehicle which was manufactured by Germany from 1935 to 1944. It was designed and produced by Eisenwerk Weserhütte of Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, in a series of different models.

The Leichter Panzerspähwagen was propelled by a rear-mounted Horch 3.5 petrol engine, which was capable of reaching a speed 50 mph on road, and 25 mph cross-country. It had a maximum range of 185 miles. Its armor at the front and sides were made of 8 mm steel. 5 mm plates protected the top, rear, and bottom. Cast vision ports later replaced ports cut into the armor.

The Leichter Panzerspähwagen 221 was armed with a 7.92 mm machine gun 34, MG34, manned by a two man crew, and had 4-wheel drive. The Leichter Panzerspähwagen 222 was equipped with a 28 mm armored piercing cannon.

This series of light armored vehicles was used by reconnaissance battalions of the Panzer divisions. They performed well in countries with good road networks, like those in Western Europe. Nevertheless, this class of vehicles was hampered by bad roads and rough terrains on the Eastern Front and North Africa. In those theaters, it was gradually replaced by the Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250 half-track.