Italy became a nation-state belatedly - in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula and Sicily were united under King Victor EMMANUEL. The Fascist dictatorship of Benito MUSSOLINI that took over after World War I led to a disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany and Italian defeat in World War II. Revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and joined the growing political and economic unification of Western Europe, including the introduction of the euro in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, the ravages of organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the more prosperous north. - U.S. CIA World Factbook

Ita-Carro-di-Rottura.jpg (24017 bytes)
Carro di Rottura

The unadopted Italian "break through" tank design. This tank was designed as a result of needs that showed up the the Italo - Ethiopian war (1935 - 36).

Crew ?
Engine ?
Weight 8 tons
Speed ?
Armament 1 x 37mm Main Gun
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor ?

Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch---Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch---Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch---Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch

Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch---Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch---Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch
Pavesi Armored Car(s)

Two prototypes were built, one of a vehicle armed with a Hotchkiss machinegun with 1000 rounds, the other armed with a 75mm Schneider gun with 30 rounds. Both vehicles appear to have been based on the Pavesi M26 or M30 artillery tractor. The design was unique; the frame consisted of two separate sections that were articulated, all four wheels were powered, and all four steered. The wheels themselves were large diameter (1300 mm), and had grousers that normally were folded inward on the wheels, but could be folded outward to provide extra traction when necessary. Armor thickness varied from 4mm to 16mm. The motor was a Pavesi P 4, four cylinder, 7000 cc, water-cooled that developed 48 horsepower at 1250 rpm.

Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch---Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch---Diagram thanks to Ion Fonosch
Ansaldo Armored Car

The 1925 Ansaldo armored car was produced in prototype version only, and was based on a Pavesi heavy tractor. It was armed with a 45mm cannon. Length 4600 mm, width 2600 mm, height 2900 mm, wheels 1500 mm diameter, weight 8250 kg, max speed 40 kmh, crew 3, motor Fiat model 634, 6 cylinder, 8310 cc, 75 HP.

Alpha Romeo 800 RE
Alfa Romeo 800 RE, CSEM 800 RE, 800 RE CSEM

A half track version of the Alfa Romeo 800 RE six ton cargo truck. Details are lacking but there is evidence that this vehicle was known as CSEM (Centro Studi ed Esperienze della Motorizzazione - the Italian Army's vehicle research and development organization) and that it was produced in prototype form only.

Photo thanks to Ion Fonosch
Alfa Romeo Half Track

No Details.

(no picture)
Vickers Carden Loyd Tankette - Carro Veloce 29

Four units were purchased from the British in 1929. The purchase resulted in a short series production called Carro Veloce 29 tankette. The production encompassed 21 vehicles and occured between 1929 and 1930. Knowledge gained from this helped to develop the L.3 also known as the CV.33.

Crew 2
Engine 20hp gasoline
Weight 1.7 tons
Speed 25mph
Armament 1 x Machine Gun
Length 8'
Width 5' 6"
Height 4'
Armor 4 - 9mm

Fiat Ansaldo 5ton Experimental---Fiat Ansaldo 5ton Experimental (3rd prototype).
Carro Armato 5 ton

These tanks were experimented with while looking for a possible replacement for the L.3 tankette. Out of these experiments came the L.6/40 light tank. The L.6/40 was thought to be a tank made for export sales. The Italian army tested it, liked it, and ordered it. Production was slow and the L.3 was never totally replaced as a result.

L3 Prototype
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 and an 8mm MG located in the turret much like the German Panzer II. This tank was never ordered into production.

Ita-CarroArmato-8ton.jpg (39946 bytes)
Carro Armato 8 ton

An experimental tank with the main gun located in a superstructure and 2 Breda MG in a revolving turret. This tank became a prototype of a M11 series.

Crew 3
Engine diesel
Weight 8 to 10 tons (depending on the source)
Speed 19mph
Armament 1 x 40mm Gun and 2 x Machine Guns
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor 4 - 9mm

((no photo possible)
Carro Armato P.43

An experimental tank with the sole purpose of replacing the P.40 heavy tank. A provisional order was placed for 150 vehicles, but, the war ended before even a prototype was ready. Mock-ups of the P.43 bore and unmistakable resemblance to the P.40.

((no photo possible)
Carro Armato P.43 bis

An experimental tank with the sole purpose of replacing the P.40 heavy tank. The war ended before a prototype was ready.

Crew 4
Engine Gasoline 480hp
Weight 30 tons
Speed 25mph (an estimate)
Armament ?
Length 20.2'
Width 9.97'
Height 7.34'
Armor 50 - 100mm

(Cingoletta L.40
Cingoletta L.40

The Cingoletta (small tracked vehicle) L.40 was based on the L6/40 tank chassis and utilized the engine of the AB40 armored car. It was designed to be used as a light reconnaissance vehicle. It was armed with a 13.2mm MG and a Breda Model 38 8mm MG. Top speed was 50kmh.

(Cingoletta 2800
Cingoletta 2800

The Fiat Cingoletta 2800 was a obivious copy of the British Universal Carrier with an extra bogie wheel on each side. In many ways it bore and even closer physical resemblance to the US T-16 Ford Universal Carrier. The weight was 4.76 tons and it mounted a 8mm MG. With a one ton load it could reach 60kmh.

Carro Proterro A.S. 37
Carro Protetto A.S. 37

The A.S. 37 was a light desert truck and used as a basis for a armored personnel carrier. The 4 wheel drive was designed especially for desert operations. The unit could carry ten soldiers plus a driver at a top speed of 50kmh. It had an 8mm MG for armament.

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Autoblindata Vespa

The Vespa was a very unusual armored car with it's wheels arranged in a rhomboid pattern. It was developed by Caproni - the aircraft company, and presented for testing in early 1942. It was never produced in series. The Vespa had a 2 man crew and was armed with a 8mm MG for protection. The engine was rear mounted, had 8 cylinders, and developed 82hp. Top speed was 86kmh.

M.15 AA Tank
M.15 AA Tank

The M.15 AA experiment had armament consisting of a quad-mounted 20mm guns. Only one appears to have been made.

L.3 to L.6 Test Vehicle
L.3 to L.6 Test Vehicle

This shows the marriage between the L.3 and L.6. Note the left hand sponson and the suspension similar to the later L.6 tank. The engine was the same as in the L.3 tank. This prototype was built in 1935.

(Semovente L.3 da 47/32
Semovente L.3 da 47/32

This early (1939) attempt at realizing a tracked self propelled gun resulted in a ungainly vehicle mounting the 47/32 anti-tank gun on a modified L.3/35 chassis. The only armor protection for the crew was the gun shield. It is unclear if only one or two prototypes were built. Fiat provided the mechanical components and Breda provided the gun.

Carro Armato Celere Sahariano Medium Tank---Carro Armato Celere Sahariano Medium Tank
Carro Armato Celere Sahariano Medium Tank

Being impressed with the British cruiser tanks, the Italians attempted to make a copy for use in North Africa. The Italians lost the battle for North Africa before a prototype was completed in 1943 and the project was cancelled. A 75mm main gun was proposed for production models. A 47mm gun was used in the prototype.

Crew 4
Engine 200hp gasoline
Weight 18 tons
Speed 44mph
Armament 1 x 47mm Gun and 1 x Machine Guns
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armor ?mm



Last Update: Tuesday, March 04, 2003