The Germans captured a lot of French tanks in 1940. In 1944 they were obsolete. Some of the turrets, Like this Renault FT tank turret, were detached from the tanks and were used on defensive fighting positions known as 'Tobruks' along the Atlantic Wall costal defences. This gave the Tobruk enhanced firepower and the gunner protection from shrapnel and small arms
Utah Beach D-Day Landings Museum Renault FT Tank Tobruk polygonal riveted Turret made by the Berliet Company
The Utah Beach Memorial Museum is a on the D421 coast road near the junction with the D913. It is problematic to locate using some Sat-Nav systems as there are no large towns near to the museum. If you set your Sat-Nav to Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and the Rue du General Eisenhower, that is the D913. If you head north east out of town that will take you to Utah Beach and the Museum. Look for the sign posts.
The original WW1 Renault FT tanks were armed with just a machine gun for use against German troops in their trenches. The French installed a Hotchkiss 8mm machine gun that used a 250-round articulated metal belt to enable the gun to be operated by one man. It could maintain a rate of fire of 450 rounds a minute of 8mm Lebel ammunition. The tank crews had to be careful of not over heating the gun barrel with too much continuous firing. They were instructed to use short bursts. The gun in the museum turret is a replica.
Renault FT Tank Tobruk riveted Turret Utah Beach Memorial Museum in Normandy with replica machine gun barrel.
The Omnibus Turret
The Berliet Company made a polygonal riveted armour plate turret for the Renault FT-17 tank that was easier to produce than the original cast turrets and could accept the mount for the Hotchkiss 8mm machine gun and the Puteaux SA 1918 37mm cannon. Because it could accept both weapons the turret was given the name 'Omnibus'.
Renault FT Tank Tobruk Turret used in the Atlantic Wall beach defenses. It is missing it domed cover.
Renault FT Tank with the Berliet Company made polygonal riveted armour plate turret witted with the Hotckiss 8mm Machine gun.