This page is intended to provide information on the 505e Regiment Artillerie Speciale (RAS) and the Renault FT Tank, or Char Renault FT.The French Light Tank FT is among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. It was the first tank with an armament in a fully rotating turret, and its configuration with the turret on top, engine in the back and the driver in front became the classic tank design still in use today. For this reason, the Renault FT is considered the first modern tank in history. The Renault FT first saw action in 1918 and continued to see service up to the beginning of the Second World War.
The 505e RAS was a typical French Light Tank Regiment that saw considerable action in the Argonne sector fighting in support of both French and US formations. It was composed of 225 tanks organized into 3 battalions with 3 Companies each:
13* Battaillon de Chars Legers: 14* Battaillon de Chars Legers: 15* Battaillon de Chars Legers:
AS 337: (1st Company) AS 340 AS 343
AS 338: (2nd Company) AS 341 AS 344
AS 339: (3rd Company) AS 342 AS 345
The 2nd Section (or 2nd Platoon) from AS 338 (2nd Company) of the 13* Battaillon de Chars Legers is being recreated for living history and simulated combat with the Great War Association. A single operational tank from this platoon will be assigned in direct support of the 18e RI. This page will chronicle the construction of that reproduction Renault FT from AS 338.
Design on the Renault FT (matricule #66464, production #721) began in 2008 with research and design using numerous books and 1:35 scale models. Much credit during this the design phase is owed to members of the Scaled Tanks forum consisting of scale drivable tank building enthusiast from around the world. Projected completion of project is planned for fall 2012 or spring 2013. The following are a few photos of construction up to this point:
Turret assembled and primed
Out of the shop!
Sitting on her own wheels
Engine and transmission taking shape
Looking like a tank! Still much to be done.