December 15, 2014

Polish FT-17 Tanks

Destroyed Polish Renault FT-17 tanks
Destroyed Polish Renault FT-17 tanks at the northern gate of Brest fortress.
Guderian’s XIX Armeekorps (mot.) occupied the famous fortress on September 17, 1939.


Renault FT-17
2. The Renault FT-17 was a WW I era light tank. 

SPECIFICATIONS
Weight:
6,500 kg
Length:
5,00 m
Height:
2,14 m
Armor:
22 mm (front)
Engine:
Renault – 4-cylinder, 39 HP
Max Speed:
 7 km/h
Range:
60 km
Crew:
2
Armament:
Puteaux SA 1918 37mm gun
Ammunition:
238 rounds

Column of Polish FT-17 tanks
3. Column of Polish FT-17 tanks near Lwow, circa 1919

The first Polish armored unit to be formed was the 1st Polish Tank Regiment of the Polish Army in France. The Regiment became operational on May 1, 1919 and was equipped with FT-17 tanks. One month later the first tanks arrived in Poland. The Regiment participated in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-21. In September 1939 three FT-17 tank companies were mobilized. Its company contained 15 tanks. The company numbers were: 111, 112 and 113. The latter two companies were deployed in Brest.

What’s like to be in an FT-17 tank during combat?


Bibliography & Internet Sources
Zaloga, Steven J. Poland 1939 The Birth of Blitzkrieg. Oxford: Osprey, 2002.


Photos attribution
1. Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-121-0007-24/CC BY-SA 3.0 de, via Wikimedia Commons
2. MG**** @@@-fr Accueil fr:Accueil, GFDL or CC BY-SA 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
3. http://www.iwm.org.uk/, via Wikimedia Commons


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