Background on the Semovente da 105/25
The Semovente da 105/25, also known as the “Bassotto” (Dachshund) is considered to be the most powerful Italian Self-Propelled Guns (SPG) built during World War Two. It utilized a 105 mm 25 caliber howitzer on an M43 chassis. This chassis was the same as the M 15-42, but widened 7.9 feet (2.4 meters). The hull superstructure had 70mm of armor protection and the rest of the vehicle’s armor ranging from 25 mm to 50 mm.
The Semovente da 105/25 came into production on 02 April 1943. The Italian Army put in an order of 200 units, but only 12-30 were delivered before the Armistice. The Semovente 105/25 proved its effectiveness when the 135th Armored Division “Ariete II” utilized them against the Germans near Rome following the Armistice.
The 105/25 had welded plates with the exception of the front slope and casemate which continued using bolts and rivets.
The 105 mm howitzer had a 36° horizontal traverse and a -10° to +18° vertical traverse. Secondary armament consisted of an 8mm Breda 38 machine gun.
The Germans built an additional 91 units after 08 September 1943 and renamed them the StuG M43 mit 105/25 853 (i). They were used effectively against the Allies in Italy.
Semovente da 75/34 M43: The Semovente da 75/34 M43 did not see Italian service. The Germans designated it the StuG M43 mit 75/34 (851) (i) and between 11 to 52 units were produced.
Semovente da 75/46 M43: The Semovente da 75/46 M43 was the last Tank Destroyer built in Italy after the armistice. With a three-man crew, it utilized a 75/46 C.A. Mod. 1934 / Mod. 40 with 40 rounds. The muzzle velocity increased to 750 mp vice 510 mps and could pierce 90 mm of armor from 500 m. The turret had a -12° to + 22° vertical and a 34 ° horizontal traverse. A Breda Mod 38 machine gun with 500 rounds served as secondary armament. Eleven to thirteen units were built between 1943-1944. The Germans designated it the StuG M43 mit 75/46 (852) (i).
|Specifications||Semovente da 105/25|
|Armor||25 mm to 70 mm|
|Range||120 miles (200 km)|
|Length||16.7 ft (5.1 m)|
|Width||7.9 ft (2.4 m)|
|Height||5.57 ft (1.7 m)|
|Armament||105 mm 25 caliber howitzer with 48 rounds 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun with 864 rounds|
|Speed||23.6 mph (38 km/h)|
|Powerplant||12-litre SPA 15 TB with 190 HP|
|Muzzle Velocity||1,673 fps (510 mps)|