Military Wiki

The Six Ton Tank (or Special Tractor) M1917 was a US tank accepted by the army in October 1918 and is primarily based on the plans of the French Renault FT-17.


  • Armament: One 37mm cannon or one colt 7.62mm machine-gun.
  • Armour: 17mm
  • Crew: 2
  • Dimensions: Length - 5m; Width - 1.9m; Height - 2.3m
  • Weight: 6.4 tons
  • Power Plant: Budha HU modified 4-cylinder water cooled 42 hp.
  • Speed: 8 km/h 5.5 mph
  • Range: 48 km 30 miles (on road).


31 tanks were built during World War I and 10 were sent to Europe. After the war Van Dorn Iron Works created 950 more. 374 had cannons and 526 had machine guns and 50 were signal tanks. The US tank, the M1917A1, was a lengthened, rebuilt updated version compared to the French one with a 100 hp Franklin engine and an electric self-starter rather than a crank starter. The crew, mainly a driver and gunner, were separated from the engine by a bulkhead. All steel wheels were fitted as well as a turret, which were found on some French examples. In 1940 the Canadian Army bought 250 surplus examples at scrap value (about $240 each) and the Armoured Corp gained valuable experience and training on them before embarking on Europe and using the more modern equipment.


The Encyclopaedia of Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles; Published in 2007 by Amber Books Ltd.

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