Background on the Fiat-Ansaldo M 13/40 Tank
The Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 was first accepted for service in March 1940, with a production rate of 22 per month. The “M” in the designation M 13/40 signifies it as a medium tank. Although the M13/40 was designated as a medium tank, it was more in step with a light tank. A total of three battalions were deployed into Libya in October 1940, most of which were destroyed with the British counter-offensive. The Fiat M13/40 never achieved significant numbers until the end of the African campaign, but it did not take long before this tank and other armored Italian vehicles to be outclassed by Allied armor.
The eventual evolutions of this tank, M 14/41, and M 15/42′s, did little to help. In fact, it was very unreliable and caught on fire easily after being hit by rounds. The Carro Armato M13/40 mounted a respectable 47/32 gun whose muzzle velocity was 2,060 feet per second. Unfortunately, this velocity could only penetrate 38 mm of armor plating at 750 yards and 32 mm of armor plating at 1,000 yards. Most Italian tank operators, receiving new M13/40′s straight from the factory had to manage with an outclassed tank, no radio and approximately one week of actual training.
Fiat M13/40 Varients
A command version of the M13/40 with the nomenclature Semoventi Comando M.40 removed the turret in order to fit command and communication equipment. The same chassis was used on a number of Italian self-propelled guns such as the Semovente 75/18.
|Specifications||Fiat-Ansaldo M 13/40|
|Length||16.12 ft (4.915 m)|
|Width||7.48 ft (2.28 m)|
|Height||7.7 ft (2.37 m)|
|Armament||47mm Ansaldo 47/32 104 Rnds (4) 8 mm Breda Model 38 MG’s|
|Powerplant||SPA 8T V-8 Deisel Engine rated at 125 HP|
|Speed||18.6 mph (30 Km/h)|
|Armor||6mm to 42mm|