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This Puny French Vehicle Was the First Great Tank

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: This Puny French Vehicle Was the First Great Tank
    Posted: 08-Aug-2014 at 04:51
Watch for more.
http://www.wired.com/2014/08/this-puny-french-vehicle-was-the-first-great-tank/

Edited by Centrix Vigilis - 08-Aug-2014 at 04:52
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2014 at 05:24
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2014 at 16:35
The British tanks pre-dated the French.



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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2014 at 17:06
That was never in question.

From the link:: ''French general Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, considered to be the “father of French tanks,” asked Renault to build a tank that was lighter and more nimble than the models already in service, which were large, heavy, and slow.''

The question if any, is whether you concur or non with the advocates that claim: "..The FT has been called the world’s first modern tank..''

As that might be defined.

Edited by Centrix Vigilis - 08-Aug-2014 at 17:11
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2014 at 21:59
Questionable.  The "whippets" were an evolutionary dead end, depsite the introduction of a turret.  In addition, they were totally unsuited to the battlefields of WWI, making their existence at the time questionable at best.

The British, for instance, fielded "Whippet A" in the same year as the Fench fielded the FT-7.  Here, one can clearly note the lineage of the Churchill tank, one of Britain's most successful designs.




Edited by Mountain Man - 08-Aug-2014 at 22:06
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2014 at 23:51
I think you just agreed with CV. Big smile
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2014 at 08:30
I think if we were going to really class a tank as being a modern type then it would have to include a large gun. So everyone, which was the first to incorporate a large bore gun?
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2014 at 12:14
Originally posted by red clay

I think you just agreed with CV. Big smile


No, I didn't.  He favors the French FT-7 and I'm arguing the Brit designs.
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2014 at 12:15
Originally posted by TheAlaniDragonRising

I think if we were going to really class a tank as being a modern type then it would have to include a large gun. So everyone, which was the first to incorporate a large bore gun?


The British tanks with their "males" armed with two sponson-mounted six pounders as shown in the photo above.

The better argument might be who introduced the turret; however, success on the battlefield is the ultimate yardstick, and the FT-7's were not suitable for crossing No Man's Land and the enemy trenches, while the British Rhomboids did that quite well.


Edited by Mountain Man - 09-Aug-2014 at 12:19
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2014 at 14:07
Originally posted by Mountain Man

Originally posted by TheAlaniDragonRising

I think if we were going to really class a tank as being a modern type then it would have to include a large gun. So everyone, which was the first to incorporate a large bore gun?


The British tanks with their "males" armed with two sponson-mounted six pounders as shown in the photo above.

The better argument might be who introduced the turret; however, success on the battlefield is the ultimate yardstick, and the FT-7's were not suitable for crossing No Man's Land and the enemy trenches, while the British Rhomboids did that quite well.
I would say that the turret alone doesn't improve it anywhere near to including it, unless it has a very big gun for firing reasonable distances, which with due respect those tanks you've shown about haven't. However, as any tank being conceived and built for what can be called a modern war could be classed a great tank if they impacted the field of battle.
Btw, Mountain Man, I used to set up meetings in the very room that first tank was conceived.
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2014 at 19:39
Originally posted by TheAlaniDragonRising

I would say that the turret alone doesn't improve it anywhere near to including it, unless it has a very big gun for firing reasonable distances, which with due respect those tanks you've shown about haven't. However, as any tank being conceived and built for what can be called a modern war could be classed a great tank if they impacted the field of battle.
Btw, Mountain Man, I used to set up meetings in the very room that first tank was conceived.


Since we are talking about WWI, you're not likely to find a lot of sophistication and large caliber cannon in tanks of that period.  By the time everyone figured out what was needed and what wasn't, the war was over and the R&D money dried up.  America, for example, turned down the best design to come out of the post-WWI period, the Christie suspension adopted by the Soviets with such great success.

France planned to fight an entirely defensive war based on its Linie Maginot, and America considered tanks as cavalry with motors.

Germany, for all of it's vaunted armor ion WWII and the introduction of armored Blitzkrieg warfare, began that war with a WWI design that carried two machine guns, period.  And, of course, things like this -





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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2014 at 21:03
Tons of stuff on this...from the original proponents bio's to Tech manuals still in existence.


A recent, comparably speaking, is: ''On Armor'' by BI Gudmundsson.
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2014 at 23:45
It was a modified tractor!With metalic shilds&lower cabin.
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Aug-2014 at 14:42
Maybe, but who's firing all those machine guns...and that small cannon...and reloading them? And what's he reloading them with?  His feet?


Edited by Mountain Man - 10-Aug-2014 at 14:43
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Aug-2014 at 17:13
We both know the relationship between tank and tractor design and the inter mixing of techs. Obviously when they were enlarged..turrets and weapons added, they were no longer 'tractors' in the conventional agricultural sense. Consequently both u and Meden are correct.

An interesting one that was a result of the ongoing tank designs between WW's as I recall, was the 'Bob Semple" from NZ. In this case, an experimentation of avaible materials tied to a tractor chassis.

My machine is fritzy on posting pics & links right now...so I look to MM to find us a pic and a link.

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Aug-2014 at 17:57
Originally posted by Mountain Man


Originally posted by red clay

I think you just agreed with CV. Big smile
No, I didn't.  He favors the French FT-7 and I'm arguing the Brit designs.


actually no. I didn't state I supported the FT over the Brit designs.
I brought the article forward for a variety of reasons.

1. to stimulate thought of the rapid mechanization that first occurred during ww1 to a significant degree.

2. to remind the audience of the anniversery of the event itself.

3. because of my military background and love of armor designs. and many years of study and boots on the ground experience in dealing with armored vehicles design-testing and implementation. first with the HTLD at Fort Lewis, later the controversies surrounding the procurement of the M8 Buford/AGS/LT. the designs and field testing of the M2/3 Bradley. etc.

And finally because when I'm on my right meds for my Kidneys/Crohns and not swilling tiswin and cheap bourbon all day;


I can reflect, and still appreciate the systems and their historical developments. And impact on the 20thce. version/extension of the 'combined arms force' doctrine. And more importantly question the probability for continued use in an ever increasing asymmetrical warfare ongoing in the 21stce.



Actually my preference for a variety of reasons would be the Brits and Soviets and later American improvements; with the caveat that the French designers were not so much at odds with their contemporaries as it was they perceived different tac usage.
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  Quote AnchoritSybarit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2017 at 17:27
Maybe I just have a different understanding than everybody else.  It seems to me that in discussing this "puny" tank, you have to look at in context of the time.  The purpose of this new fangled weapon was to enable troops to traverse the area between the opposing trench lines without being mowed down.  Secondarily to provide suppressive fire once the gap has been bridged.  In WW I terms there is not much difference in the utility of a machine gun vs some type of artillery/big gun.

When I saw this thread the word puny triggered a memory of my first viewing of the CSS Hundley.  It was still in the process of being cleaned.  In fact the next week it was removed from public view for 2 years until it's preservation could be finished.  I walked up the walkway to look down on the sub immersed in liquid and my first thought was how TINY it was.  Immediately after I thought how HUGE it was.  In absolute terms it was not much larger than a station wagon.  But in terms of the face that this metal canister was propelled for MILES by 4 men turning a crank to turn a propeller, it was enormous.
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