Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 update.
Today is 10th May, which marks the 82nd anniversary of the start of the German Invasion of France. As such today we have a couple of treats for you that you might not have expected to see. Before that however, we have a couple of desktop background download options for the amazing release image commissioned from Olivier Debras of Bataille d’un jour.
Our first render today shows the MAS 38 submachinegun, a very uncommon weapon in 1940 but issued out nonetheless to various units. One place they ended up was with some of the drivers of Lorraine 37L armoured supply vehicles, and it is in this context that we have included it. As for the FT, you will be able to see these prominently placed as non-drivable statics in the barricades of La Horgne. It did seem a shame to have them available just as statics though...
The submachinegun had first appeared on the battlefield in the tail end of the First World War, and while few in number had established themselves as a new category of infantry weapon. The French had taken notice of this, and had included developing one into their post war re-armament plans. Progress however was slow, with the light machinegun taking priority. A couple of prototype designs were presented in the early 20s, but nothing much came of this.
With the looming threat of war in the late 30s, a 1935 design by the Saint-Étienne arsenal was adopted as the MAS 38, however it wouldn't be until the 3rd of May 1940 that the first delivery of guns made it to the army. Available in only small numbers, they would be handed out piecemeal to various units during the May invasion. By the capitulation in June, only 1958 were delivered. They would continue in production both during the occupation and after the war, and ours was made by Spycer42 and Ashton.
The FT grew out of an idea of Colonel Estienne of a swarm of light tanks, five or six to the price of a single of the larger and more cumbersome St Chamond vehicles that were in development. These light tanks should be small, fast and agile, able to climb out of shell holes and be fitted with a revolving turret to maximise the effect of a limited armament. This idea sat well with Louis Renault, who set to work on designing a vehicle that could fulfil it.
What emerged was a small armoured hull with a driver sat up front, the commander stood in the turret in the centre and the 18 HP 4 cylinder engine behind a firewall in the rear. It would take until the summer of 1917 before large orders were made, and it wasn't until May of 1918 that they first saw combat. All in all, about 3520 were made before the end of the war, with approximately 60% armed with the Hotchkiss Mle 1914 and the remainder with the 37mm SA18 Puteaux gun.
In the inter war period, the FT in French service was supposed to be replaced by the R35 and H35 tanks, and many of the Puteaux guns were removed from the FTs to arm their replacements. About 1000 of the machinegun armed FTs were upgraded to the newer Reibel guns as the modifié 31. At the time of the German Invasion, there were still a large number of these tanks in active service in France and her colonies. Our FT and FT m31 were made by Seth Soldier.
Lastly we'd like to thank everyone who turned up to watch our Devstream on Sunday for their questions and comments. The VOD is now on our Youtube Channel if you missed it.
That's all for today, but be sure to come back tomorrow for Part 6. Until then, feel free to visit our Discord, our public forums, our Twitter, our subreddit, and/or Facebook pages to discuss this update and other news.