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The Ford 3-Ton M1918 was one of the first tankette designs by the U.S. It was a small two-man, one-gun tank. It was armed with a M1919 Browning machine gun and could reach a maximum speed of 8 mph. The 3-Ton had a 17-gallon tank that gave it a maximum range of 34 miles.
Design on the 3-ton tank started in mid-1918, before which American tank forces had been largely equipped with British or French examples. The 3-Ton was a two-man tank designed so that American forces could use another tank besides the Renault FT in battle, and was designed around the FT but as a cheaper alternative. Its two Ford Model T engines were controlled by the driver, seated at the front with a gunner beside him who had control of a .30-06 (7.62 mm) machine gun (either a M1917 Marlin machine gun or M1919 Browning machine gun) on a limited-traverse mount with approximately 550 rounds of ammunition.
The initial production run of the 3-ton was of fifteen vehicles; one of these was sent to France for testing. A contract for 15,000 of these vehicles was awarded; however, the U.S tank corps felt it did not meet the requirements they wanted. The contract for the 15,000 tanks was ended by the Armistice, leaving only the fifteen original vehicles produced.