Background on the Fiat-Ansaldo M 11/39
Designed in 1936, the role of the Fiat-Ansaldo M 11/39 was primarily for infantry support in mountainous terrain. The main armament consists of a 37 mm Vickers-Terni L/40 gun and a storage capacity of 88 rounds. Production commenced in July 1939 and Fiat-Ansaldo built 100 units by May 1940. Production halted in favor of the newer M 13/40.
Deficiencies of the M 11/39
Originally designated the Fiat-Ansaldo 8 T, the M 11/39 had a fixed 37/40 gun with limited traverse. The power plant is a 130 HP Fiat SPA 8T V-8 engine with a maximum speed of 20 mph. The relatively thin armor ranged from 6 mm to 30 mm. The armor could only protect against 20 mm fire. The engine and transmission were susceptible to breakdowns.
Fiat-Ansaldo M 11/39s had no radios installed and sidecar fitted motorcycles coordinated the attacks on the battlefield. Of the 100 Fiat M 11/39s, 72 went to Libya in July 1940 and 24 deployed in Italian East Africa (12 to Eritrea and 12 to Somalia). By 1941, every M 11/39 was either destroyed, immobilized or captured by the 9th Australian division.
|Model||Fiat M 11/39|
|Max Speed||21 mph or 33 km/h (15 km/h off-road)|
|Range||130 miles (210 km)|
|Length||15 ft 6" (4.72 m)|
|Width||7 ft 1" (2.16 m)|
|Height||7 ft 4" (2.25 m)|
|Vertical Traverse||-8° to +12°|
|Secondary Armament||Dual 8 mm Breda 38 MG (2,808 rounds)|