The Six Ton M1917 was the United State’s first mass-produced tank. The tank was a slightly larger version of the successful French designed Renault FT-17 light tank that was deployed during WWI. Tanks like the FT-17 were used mostly as infantry support vehicles, charging through large networks of ditches, trenches and barbed wire with troops close behind. Rarely were tanks like the FT-17 pitted against each other on the battlefield.
The M1917 had a crew of two. The driver maintained a position directly in the center with the engine behind. The gunner/commander occupied the cramped turret and managed the armament. The M1917 featured angular armor to help deflect small arms fire and artillery shrapnel. The single 37mm M1916 or Marlin M1917 machine gun was fitted within a traversing turret with an entry/exit hatch at the top.