Background on the Fiat M11/39 Tank
Designed in 1936, the role of the Fiat M11/39 tank 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 M13/40.
Deficiencies of the Fiat-Ansaldo M11 Tank
Originally designated the Fiat-Ansaldo 8 T, the M11/39 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 M11/39s had no radios installed and sidecar fitted motorcycles coordinated the attacks on the battlefield. Of the 100 Fiat M11/39s, 72 went to Libya in July 1940 and 24 deployed in Italian East Africa (12 to Eritrea and 12 to Somalia). By 1941, every M11 tank 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)|