90/53 AA in North Africa - ammunition types


New Member
I am sure I read somewhere (older version of this forum or Tanknet?) that the 90/53 on Lancias first deployed to North Africa in 1942 were only supplied with HE proximity rounds, for AA use.
The article stated that to operate in the ground role, the crews modified proximity fuses to impact fuses, so at least they had HE ammunition for ground direct fire.
The important point was the assumption that they never got AP rounds, even though we know they existed.
Is this true? Or did they ever receive the APHE rounds for anti-tank work during 1942?


David Wormell

New Member
I understand that your first sentence was true, but can note cite a reference. Certainly I recall reading somewhere that the crews had only received training in engaging air targets. Which would point to but not prove the absence of an A/T round.
I have not seen anything at all to point to them having dedicated A/T capability in 1942. (Yet!).
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New Member
In effect also these DW say it's not wrong.......in the first TOE the planned Groups (4.o Gruppo artiglieria Ariete, Littorio and Centauro) were 4.o Gruppo contraereo per divisione corazzata but the first configuration was changed in DI, DII and DIII Gruppi misti per divisione corazzata (two 20mm AA batteries were put in the new TOE) so the role of 90mm was (almost partially) change in AT......On the field the Gruppi DI and DIII (DII was demobilized in AS and cannibalized for Ariete refilling) fought mainly with 90mm in AT role and 20mm in AA role but in some cases also the 90mm fough in AA role....................
All the best


Staff member
From Cappellano pg. 223 and fns 55 and 56.

There were:
-HE round with a percussion fuze I.O.40 or R40 suitable against all types of landing craft.
-An anti-tank round (cartucccio-granata perforante) with fuze mod. 09. Fn 55 states three were three types: Carbon steel, 'Kos' steel (I haven't figured out what Kos means. Chromium?), and a mod 43 round which is a little heavier than the standard round but no other details provided.
-A semi-penetrator round (cartucccio-granita semiperfornate) da 90/42 for costal use and against armor. Fn 56 states this is a A-H round from the Skoda 90/42. I assume the 90/53 could fire this round.

Pg. 297 states the unit of fire for the autocannoni 90/53 was 1/2 c.a., 1/4 PP, and 1/4 HE with the fuze I.O.40. This is different the UNFOC for the same gun in a fixed c.a. or costal role.