By Steven J Zaloga.
It is a little known fact that France fielded more tanks in World War I than any other army. However, France's early tanks - the Schneider CA and the St-Chamond - suffered from poor mobility and armour compared to their contemporaries. Indeed, the Schneider's initial use on the Chemin-des-Dames in 1917 was a bloody fiasco. In spite of initial set backs, the French army redeemed its reputation with the Renault FT.
The Renault pioneered the modern tank design, the armament in a revolutionary central turret and the engine in the rear. More importantly, it was designed to be cheap and easy to manufacture.
Discover the history of early French armour developments and the triumphant Renault FT design that helped to turn the tide of war in favour of the Allies.