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A Luftwaffe NCO stands next to three captured French Renault FT-17 tanks, parked in the square of an unnamed French town, summer of 1940. A revolutionary design that first saw action in the last year of World War 1, it still influences tank design a century later, as it was the first tank with the armament mounted in a rotating turret, and with the driver in front/engine in back layout. They might not look like much compared to the tanks that came after it, but the Germans issusd captured FT-17s, redesignated Pz. 739(f), to rear area security troops. Turrets from knocked-out tanks were salvaged and mounted on concrete pillboxes as part of the “Atlantic Wall” on the French coast.


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