Semovente da 75/18 – Feared by Allied Tank Crews

Background on the Semovente da 75/18

The Semovente da 75/18 is an Italian Self Propelled Gun developed in part on Germany’s successful use of the StuG III during the French campaign. The first Semovente M40 da 75/18 prototype delivery occurred on 10 February 1941. Pleased with the results, the Regio Esercito ordered 60 units. Delivery occurred in 1941 and shipped to the Italian divisions in Libya by January 1942. The intention was to use it as an interim vehicle until the P40 heavy tank became available.

A battery of Semovente da 75/18 ready for inspection.

A battery of Semovente da 75/18 M40 ready for inspection.

Initially, the Semovente M40 da 75/18 used the same hull, suspension, and engine as the Fiat M13/40. In 1942, Ansaldo built 162 Semovente da 75/18 M41 using the upgraded Fiat M 14/41 chassis. In 1943, the Semovente da 75/18 M42 began using the Fiat M15/42 chassis and engine. Ansaldo built 190 Semovente da 75/18 M42s.

The vehicle mounted an obice da 75/18 mod. 34 field gun fixed in the superstructure. The front armor comprised of two 25 mm plates bolted together.

Most Feared by the Allied Tank Crews

Although mainly used as artillery, the Semoventi da 75/18 was quite effective against U.S. built M3 Grant and M4 Sherman medium tanks utilized by the British Army.

A Semovente da 75/18 opens fire in North Africa.

A Semovente da 75/18 opens fire in North Africa.

These units were of good quality and respected in the campaign in North Africa. In an anti-tank role, the 75 mm EP (Effetto Pronto; Ready Effect, or HESH rounds), was capable of piercing 3.14 inches (80 mm) of armor plating at 500 m.

Variant Differences

  • Semovente 75/18 M40 weighed 13.1 tons, a max speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). The powerplant is a V8 SPA 8 T M40, 11,140 cc with 125 hp. Maximum Range is 210 km. Armament includes an additional 6.5 mm Breda 30 MG.
  • Semovente da 75/18 M41 weighed 13.5 tons and max speed of 21 mph (34 km/h). The powerplant is a V8 SPA 15 T M41 11,140 cc with 145 hp. 6.5 mm Breda 30 MG  upgraded to 8 mm Breda 38 MG
  • Semovente da 75/18 M42 weighed 15 tons, max speed of 24 mph (38.4 km/h). The powerplant is an 8 cylinder SPA 15TB with 190 hp. Max Range is 200 km. Upgraded armor of 70 mm on front casemate, 45 mm on sides and 50-55 mm on the front nose.
  • Carro Comando: Command tanks lack the obice da 75/18 mod. 34 and have additional radio equipment.

A Semovente da 75/18 M41.

A Semovente da 75/18 M41.

Additional Specifications

Model Semovente da 75/18
Crew 3
Horizontal Traverse 40°
Vertical Traverse -12° to +22°
Rounds 44
Muzzle Velocity Approximately 450 m/s
Firing Range 9,500 m
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Jim H

I created Comando Supremo: Italy at War in 2000 because of the limited amount of information on Italian forces in WWII that was available online. Thanks to people like you, this site has grown to what it is today. Thank you for visiting and please bookmark us.