I came across this picture of the Minifigs model of the Renault FT17 and was surprised to see that it has an ornamental dolphin on the hull (which gives it a distinctly steam punk look to my eye). I’ve looked online to try to find real life examples of this design but all the FT17s I have come across appear to be sans fish. So is the model correct? Did Renault manufacture tanks decorated with dolphins?
Damn! That’s really disappointing. For one thing it means that the French in the First World War weren’t as whimsical as I had hoped. And secondly it means I am seeing ornamental fish where there are none.
Thats the tail skid for trench crossing, often but not always fitted. That said, your example does have a particularly exuberant amount of excess metal & it does look like a face! Either that or there really was a Dauphin variant. (Actually wasn’t there Renault by that name?)
It turns out there was a Renault Dauphine but sadly it wasn’t a First World War tank and didn’t look especially like a dolphin. On the plus side, looking this up means that I now know why the heir to the throne of France was called the Dolphin; apparently it is all down to the coat of arms: