However, he finally gave in and a first meeting between Louis Renault and Jean Baptiste Estienne took place on 1 August 1916. Renault offered him 11 tank designs.
Estienne decided on the last, that of a light tank crewed by two men, which could be made using a maximum of mass-produced parts, enabling quicker and less expensive manufacture. From this date on, there was a close and fruitful collaboration between Louis Renault and Estienne, culminating in the design of the FT 17 tank after a number of detours. A first prototype was delivered three months later. Estienne wrote: "I think it is possible to quickly manufacture a very light tank with caterpillar track, meeting the following conditions: Maximum weight: 4 tons. Maximum height: 1.75 m. Armour suitable for withstanding the latest armour-piercing bullets at 30 m. Armament: one machine gun or 37 mm canon, mounted in a fully rotating turret."
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION…
Book : Gilbert Hatry, Renault usine de guerre, Lafourcade, 1978
Video : 1er août 1916, available on : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4dAkE0bQrc
Source : fondation Berliet http://www.memoires-industrielles.fr/?q=doc/DB00971%20