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Thread: Italian tanks and AFVs.

  1. #1
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    Default Italian tanks and AFVs.

    Probably the most unknkown of the armored divisions. I



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    Carro Armato M-11/39.

    In 1933 it was clear the the tankettes were not the answer for replacing the overaging FIAT 3000s and a new tank was commisioned. After experimenting about a bigger and heavier 12 tons tank based on the CV.33 design, a lighter 8 tons tank version was chosen. In 1935 new tank appeared with its 37mm L40 gun with a limited traverse of 15º on the left and on the right and 12º on top and bottom thanks to an hydraulic device on the horizontal plane. The gunner seated on the right and the driver, lightly reared, on the left while the commander manouvered the turret two Breda 8mm MGs. The engine, still of commercial version, transmitted its move through a gear box to the forward sprocket. The drive was possible because of an epicyclic lever and the brakes.


    M-11/39 Prototype.



    Ground tests demonstrated that the vehicle needed improvements on the engine and transmission systems; a new rounded turret was designed to speed and make easier the production and so, in 1937, the new tank, designed "Carro di rottura" (breaktrough tank) was requested in a first (and only) batch of 100 exemplaries.
    Lack of materials delayed the production until 1939 when it begun to be delivered with the signature M. 11/39 (which states for "Medium tank weighting 11 tons and accepted in service in 1939"): this vehicle was taller, heavier (about 10 tons) and hard to explain the tank was lacking the radio (that instead was mounted on the prototype).
    In May 1940 24 M. 11/39s were sent in A.O.I. ("Africa Orientale Italiana", Italian Eastern Africa) grouped in a "Compagnia speciale carri M.", special M. tanks company to reinforce the Italian positions in the colony. On the start of the conflict field commands required new tank reinforcements because the light CV. 33s were unuseful, as demonstrated in first encounters with British armored units. 70 tanks were placed at disposal of the 4th Tank Regiment and landed in Bengazi in July of the same year.


    When first employed against the English the M.11/39 got enough succes while being used in infantry support role during the first advance to Sidi Barrani. Similarly to the L. 33s this tanks were mechanically unreliable: in September when the Armored Groups were re-created the I Battailon of the 4th Tank Regiment's 31 tanks only nine were still in service. The first engagements with the british tanks immediatly proved the inferiority and weakness of the M.11 in both gun and armor thickness and shape, without speaking about the weak trasmission/suspension system.


    A shot of the rear of a M. 39 captured by the British in North Africa.

    The disaster was near: when the British launched their offensive in December 1940 the II Bataillon (2 M.11 companies) detached to Maletti Group was surprised near Nibeiwa and 22 of its tanks were knocked out. The I Battailon, while being part of the new Special Armored Brigade with a M.13 Battaillon and 2 L.33 battailons, was able to take only a minor part in the fight because the most part of its tanks were in Tobruk for repairs.
    The following defeat in early 1941 took the destruction or the capture of almost all the M.11/39s: because of their unreliability and lack of any recovery vehicle the immobilized vehicles were abandoned in the enemy hands: the Australians equipped an entire regiment with the captured M.39 but they were soon put out of service because of their faults. The remnants six(!) tanks were used in Italy for training purposes and were officially put out of service after the armistice of September 1943.


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    Characteristics M-11/39:





    Weigth: 10,970 tons
    Crew: 3
    Weapons: Vickers-Terni 37mm L40 gun with 84 rounds, 2 8mm MG Breda model 38 with 2800 rounds.
    Armor: hull 8-30mm (nose 30mm, sloped plate 14mm, front 30mm, sides 14-15mm, top 8mm, bottom 7mm, rear 14mm); turret 7-30mm (front 30mm, sides and rear 14mm, top 7mm).
    Engine: 43hp diesel FIAT Spa 8T, 8-cylinders on V, liquid cooled
    Speed: 34Km/h
    Autonomy: 200Km
    Length (max)4,73m
    Width: 2,18m
    Height: 2,25m


    Layout of the transporte device.



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    Extracted from "encyclopedia of Weapons of WW2"

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    Gallery of light and Medium tanks, note the 20 mm AT rifle armed tankette.




    Plate from "Italian Armored Vehicles of WW2" Squadron Armor.

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    Carro Armato L3 Light Tank



    An experimental model produced by Fiat Ansaldo in 1937 on a chassis of a L.3 tankette. It had a 20mm Breda automatic cannon and an 8mm MG located in the turret much like the German Panzer II. This tank was never ordered into production.

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    Can someone please post some photos of the M13/40?
    Bog i hrvati tko nije neka pati!!!!

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    Here you got M-13/40 and M-14/41, almost the same desing but the 14/41 was slightly heavier due the desert equipment.








    The maximum armor was 35mm.


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    More pics of the M-14/41 and M-13/40 this are extracted from "Italian armored vehicles" Nicola Pignato, Squadron Armor.










    One of the few advantages of this desing over the Britsh ones was that his 47mm gun was capable of fire HE ammo til 3500 meters, the 2 pounder gun only receive He ammo after the war in desert was over.

    In the other hand the 47/32 mm gun was not very fast one with 640 m/s initial muzzle speed for his AP projectile.

    in Rommel words "Is scary to see what kind of tanks the Duce has given to his soldiers"

    And where Rommel speak I just keep a respectful silence.

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    Thanks Panzerknacker i asked because i am finishing my bersagileri diorama in the desert so i wanted to see if i missed something.And i did not :-)!!!
    Bog i hrvati tko nije neka pati!!!!

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    And i did not
    You like the precise works.

    M-13/40 in color :




    Characteristics of the M-13 armament, the penetration power of the Ansaldo 47/32 gun seems a little optimistic.





    Source of the pics: same as above described.

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    Default the Semovente - armed with the standard 75mm field gun!

    serious piece of gear, Ariete had a lot by 1942, IIRC!

    Timbo
    Skeptical mensurer, and audio scavenger.

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    Italian tank picture in color. The picture shows a 47mm Ansaldo 47/32 Gun. This tank was very much used in North Africa. With a AA gun and great muzzle velocity gave it a great fighting chance.

    It is no doubt that Italian tanks played an important role in many of their victorys, but I would not want to be a tanker in one of the Italian tanks.
    Good Conduct Medal
    "The Russian colossus...has been underestimated by us...whenever a dozen divisions are destroyed the Russians replace them with another dozen."
    General Franz Halder-Army Chief of Staff-August 1941

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    With a AA gun and great muzzle velocity gave it a great fighting chance.
    Nice picture but the muzzle velocity of gun that war relatively poor, 630 m/s compared to 800 m/s of a british 2 pounder.

    is no doubt that Italian tanks played an important role in many of their victorys, but I would not want to be a tanker in one of the Italian tanks
    Rommel hated all the italian weapons (not the soldiers ) but you are corret most of the "PanzerArmee Afrika" was formed with italian armor.

    In this video you can see italian armor and artillery, including the M-14/41 tank wich was the first vehicle to reach the Tobruk harbour when that fortress fell to the axis Forces in 21th June 1942.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJHrnVeNgIc

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    [QUOTE=Panzerknacker;95089]Nice picture but the muzzle velocity of gun that war relatively poor, 630 m/s compared to 800 m/s of a british 2 pounder.
    Thank you for pointing that out for me. Thanks for the compliment on the picture.
    Good Conduct Medal
    "The Russian colossus...has been underestimated by us...whenever a dozen divisions are destroyed the Russians replace them with another dozen."
    General Franz Halder-Army Chief of Staff-August 1941

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