Better late than never: the history of Italian tank building

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In 1911, Italy went to war with the Ottoman Empire and became the first country in the world to use armored cars in battle. The Isotta Fraschini machine was armed with a 7,62 caliber machine gun, had 4mm armor and performed well in battle, thereby becoming an incentive for the development of new types of equipment.

Three years later, a new war broke out near the borders of Italy - the First World War. After the country joined the side of the Entente, both classic troops and armored vehicles, represented mainly by Ansaldo-Lancia IZ and Autoblinda 3/40 vehicles, entered the battle. At the same time, it became clear: for specific landscapes of the front line, combat vehicles on tracks are needed. Designed and manufactured by Fiat and Ansaldo, the FIAT 41 soon arrived.The 2000-ton car was the world's first a tank with a rotating turret, but while it was being brought up to condition, the First World War was already over.



Although the Italian command assessed the tank's performance characteristics, the military doubted that the vehicle would be able to move through the mountainous terrain of the front. It was decided to buy Renault FT-17 light tanks, but the French gave almost all the equipment to their troops. The Italians had no choice but to start production at home. They made a tank with the same armor as the Renault FT-17, but lighter and faster. It was FIAT 3000. The first prototype was tested in 1920, and a year later the model was adopted. The series consisted of about 100 vehicles and remained in service until 1943.

After Benito Mussolini came to power, the country headed for the creation of a great Italian empire. Engineers began developing a turret version of the L3 tankette, which was later indexed L6. The vehicle was armed with a 20 mm automatic cannon. The hull and turret were assembled on rivets, and the thickness of the frontal armor reached 30 millimeters. However, the troops received the L6 only in 1942, when the time for light tanks had already passed.

At the same time, Italian designers put all their efforts into the development of heavy machines. The result was the Carro Armato M11 / 39, an 11-ton tank with a diesel engine and an unusual layout. The hull with 30mm frontal armor was assembled in the old fashioned way, using rivets and bolts. A 37 mm cannon was installed in the hull, and two machine guns were located in the turret.

The Carro Armato M11 / 39 was originally considered as a transitional model to more advanced machines, and therefore in the second half of 1940 the Carro Armato M13 / 40 went into series - the most common Italian tank weighing 13 tons and a 47 mm gun in the turret. A little later, an improved version of the car appeared - the Carro Armato M14 / 41. In 1940-1941, this technique fought almost on an equal footing with British cruiser tanks.

Yet Italian combat vehicles were far from ideal. The designers were preparing a modernized copy - Carro Armato M15 / 42. Unlike the rest of the M-series vehicles, it had a gasoline engine and 40mm frontal armor. The caliber of the gun remained the same, but the barrel length increased, and with it the muzzle velocity. It was the best Italian tank of the Second World War, which, according to tradition, was put into service with a delay.

After Italy's surrender in World War II, the country was occupied by German invaders. They disarmed the army and received factories with a streamlined production of a heavy Italian tank, which did not manage to get into the army. As a result, about a hundred new Carro Armato Pesante P26 / 40 cars went to Germany. The technique weighing 26 tons was created under the influence of the Soviet T-34. By the standards of medium tanks, it had good armor and a powerful weapon, but the big problem with the vehicle was the lack of a powerful engine.

As it turned out, the Italians planned to further develop the production of heavy tanks. Based on the P26 / 40, the P43 was developed with a greater mass and thicker armor. The work stopped at the stage of the layout. The P43 bis project with a 90mm gun was in the same state. The tank weighed 38 tons and could already be called heavy.

After World War II, there were restrictions on the development of military equipment in Italy. The main tank units were American and British tanks. However, already in the second half of the 50s, work began in the country to create its own equipment. In 1984, the C2 Ariete tank appeared on the basis of the German Leopard 1. It became the greatest success of the country's tank industry and to this day remains the backbone of the Italian armored forces.

More details about stories Italian tank building - in the video from the creators of the famous game World of Tanks.

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    29 comments
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    1. +1
      February 24 2021
      The 40-ton tank became the world's first tank with a rotating turret, but while it was being brought up to standard, the First World War had already ended.
      С - timeliness! laughing
      1. -1
        February 24 2021
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        С - timeliness!

        M-pasta. Combat use:
        Nevertheless, the "Italians" proved to be useful, especially because they walked along narrow mountain roads without any problems.
        An interesting episode: on January 17, 1939, according to the republican press, Corporal Celestino Garcia Moreno alone met 13 (!) Tankettes. He blew up three with grenades, then opened their hatches with a hoe and took five tankers prisoner. The remaining 10 tankettes were running ...
        1. +3
          February 24 2021
          Quote: Cowbra
          Corporal Celestino Garcia Moreno alone met 13 (!) tankettes ... blew up three with grenades, then opened their hatches with a hoe
          Hot Spanish guy! P - truthfulness!
          1. -4
            February 24 2021
            The demon knows him. After the ZuSuls in Africa smoked them out of tankettes with smoldering grass))) Do you know such a computer game - civilization? Do spearmen often win tanks there? It turns out that it was sketched from life laughing
            1. +2
              February 24 2021
              Quote: Cowbra
              how in Africa ZuSuls smoked them out of wedges with smoldering grass

              I will not say about the Zusuls, they fought against "J. Kaput", but the Ethiopians suffered the most severe losses during the implementation of the PTO with spears.
              1. +5
                February 24 2021
                In 1911, Italy went to war with the Ottoman Empire and became the first country in the world to use armored cars in battle.


                Italians ... Yes

                Moreover, it was they who, in this war, for the first time in history, used aviation in the database.
                At that time, the Italian Air Force had:
                22 French-made Nieuport and Bleriot-2 aircraft and 6 Etrich Taube and Bristol units, two balloons - P1 (volume 4200 cubic meters, speed 50 km / h) and P2 (volume 4700 cubic meters, speed 54 km / h ).
                Turkey had no air assets at all.

                For the first time in world history an aviation sortie was carried out on October 22, 1911 in the Aziziye area. Captain Piazza performed an hour-long reconnaissance flight on a Bleriot aircraft. In the following days, flights in the Aziziye and Zuvar area continued. They were piloted by Captain Piazzo at Blerio and Captain Moizo at Newport.

                Captain Carlo Piazza, 1911



                Bole later photo of Riccardo Moizo in the rank of lieutenant general



                In November 1911, Captain Giolio Gavotti bombed Turkish positions for the first time.
                Then, due to the significant threat of destruction of equipment and pilots by fire from the ground, the first ever night combat missions of aviation.

                Giulio Gavotti - the first aviator to carry out aerial bombing, 1910



                In the same conflict, the first losses occurred, so on March 13, 1912, Captain Piazzo was wounded by a shot from the ground during the flight, and on September 10, 1912, during a reconnaissance flight, Captain Riccardo Moizo's Newport, which was damaged by rifle fire, made an emergency landing. It was the first aircraft in aviation history to be shot down during hostilities.

                1. +10
                  February 24 2021
                  In November 1911, Captain Giolio Gavotti bombed Turkish positions for the first time.

                  And here's how it was, let me add:
                  During this raid, Lieutenant Gavotti, having climbed 700 meters and being above the Aïn-Zara oasis, 8 km away. to the southeast of the outposts, noticed two large groups of the enemy, about one and a half thousand people each. Taking a hand grenade from his pocket, he clamped it between his knees and with one hand (the other hand was busy with control) prepared it for action. Then, flying over the spotted group, he tore off the fuse with his teeth and threw a grenade through the right wing. For about two or three seconds, he could watch her fall, but then he lost sight of the grenade. Having made a turn, he saw on the ground a cloud of sand and dust and a panicky flight in all directions of the people of the group. Due to the noise of his engine, he did not hear the sound of the explosion.

                  This is how the first aerial bombardment took place, and I think the reader will involuntarily smile when comparing the conditions in which it took place with modern aerial bombardments.
                  1. +2
                    February 24 2021
                    Quote: Destiny
                    This is how the first aerial bombardment took place.I think that the reader will involuntarily smilecomparing the conditions in which it took place with modern aerial bombardments.

                    Yes Yes Yes - smile
                2. -13
                  February 24 2021
                  It's not about aviation in the article. Would you like to discuss Italian cuisine?
                  1. +5
                    February 24 2021
                    Quote: Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
                    It's not about aviation in the article. Would you like to discuss Italian cuisine?

                    Will somehow Italian Cuisine overlap with the theme of the Italo-Turkish war - DISCUSS Yes .

                    But without YOU Yes

                    For you in general, even approximately did not comment on the article, "calling out" to the comment ...
                    1. -9
                      February 24 2021
                      Quote: Insurgent
                      "calling out"

                      Well, well, easier.
                      What a touchy person you are.
                      1. +2
                        February 24 2021
                        Quote: Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
                        Well, well, easier.


                        How much easier? I dont know request No. ... I didn't call you an earthworm feel

                        By the way recourse ... Your substantive comment , on the topic of the article, "not about Italian cuisine and aviation", will we see soon?

                        Or did you go into the topic purely exclusively to bully, troll?
                        1. -8
                          February 24 2021
                          Quote: Insurgent
                          "not about Italian food and aviation", we'll see soon?

                          As far as I understand, you have not watched the video, and there is nothing to tell you about the Italian tank building?
                        2. +2
                          February 24 2021
                          Quote: Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
                          As far as I understand, you have not watched the video, and there is nothing to tell you about the Italian tank building?

                          Well, where am I to YOU Yes what who has watched less than half an hour of a popular science video from a game developer, and who understood EVERYTHING about Italian tank building...

                          You GURU, expert Yes good
                        3. -6
                          February 24 2021
                          Quote: Insurgent
                          You are GURU, expert

                          I never dress like that. Only amateurs have gathered here, and phallometry, I think, is not appropriate. But I am for the thematic chatter to take place nevertheless in the mainstream of the subject, and not to spread like slurry. hi
                3. +3
                  February 24 2021
                  Quote: Insurgent
                  Moreover, it was they who, in this war, for the first time in history, used aviation in the database.
                  Well, the Douai doctrine did not appear out of nowhere.
                  1. +2
                    February 24 2021
                    Quote: Vladimir_2U
                    Well, the Douai doctrine did not appear out of nowhere.

                    Here, and General Douai, "in a basket" Yes ...
                    In general, against the background of the general weakness of Italy in military terms, its military theorists sometimes "pushed" thoughts that have not lost their relevance to this day Yes

                    Notes of the Italian General D. Douai:

                    «For it would be childishness to indulge in illusion: all restrictions, all international agreements that can be established in peacetime, will be swept away like dry leaves by the wind of war.

                    The one who fights not for life, but for death - at the present time it is impossible to fight otherwise, 
                    - has the sacred right to use all the means at his disposal so as not to perish.

                    Military means cannot be qualified as civilized or barbaric.

                    The war itself will be barbarism, but the means that are used in it,
                    you can distinguish one from the other only by their effectiveness, by their power and by the damage they can inflict on the enemy.

                    And since in war it is necessary to inflict maximum damage on the enemy,
                    the means most suitable for this purpose will always be used, whatever they may be.
                    A madman, if not a patricide, could be called someone who would come to terms with the defeat of his country, so long as not to violate formal conventions that limit the right to kill and destroy, but the methods of destruction and murder.

                    The restrictions allegedly applied to the so-called barbaric and brutal military means represent only demagogic hypocrisy of an international nature ”...
      2. +1
        February 24 2021
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        С - timeliness

        The slowness of the Italians in relation to the development of 2000 is understandable - such a bulky machine did not fit the relief of their theater of operations at all. This is still not plain Flanders)
        1. +1
          February 24 2021
          Quote: Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
          The slowness of the Italians with respect to the debugging of 2000 is understandable - such a bulky machine
          Slowness, say too! Gentlemen of the macaroni took a wide step with this bandura, and their pants burst.
          1. -1
            February 24 2021
            Quote: Vladimir_2U
            Gentlemen of the macaroni took a wide step with this bandura, and their pants burst.

            Widely or not, but the countries of the European "third world" because of their poverty, FIATs 3000 were bought - Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Albania. Plus Japan and Argentina. Simplicity and low cost were, of course, the "strengths" of this machine. Yes, and the Sov. Russia has purchased three pieces "for review". In general, only Latvia considered it as the main tank for its FIAT 3000 aircraft - it bought 6 units. But the coolest thing is that the Itals gave Ethiopia one machine gun FIAT and later sold two cannon ones, which were then taken back during the Abyssinian war)
            1. 0
              February 25 2021
              Quote: Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
              Whether broadly or not, but the countries of the European "third world" in their poverty FIAT 3000
              3000 and 2000 are slightly different, don't you think?

              Well, Fiat-3000 with FT-17, of course, is not "seamless" but looks like a brother in utero.
    2. -3
      February 24 2021
      Yes, it was already about all this, now again from the most authoritative publisher, stamping toys for the underage. laughing
      Isotta Fraschini's armored car:

      In general, this company produced luxurious cars, which now cost a lot of money.




      1. -2
        February 24 2021
        In 1911, Italy went to war with the Ottoman Empire and became the first country in the world to use armored cars in battle. The Isotta Fraschini machine was armed with a 7,62 caliber machine gun, had 4mm armor and performed well in battle, thereby becoming an incentive for the development of new types of equipment.


        "Russian reading". Armored car of the Izhora plant, model 1917, on the platform of the Italian Fiat truck (long before the VAZ 2101 lol )

        1. -2
          February 24 2021
          Hi colleague. hi
          Apparently, the ignoramuses are offended at me, or someone doesn't like Izott's cars. laughing
          In any case, thank you for the interesting information about Italian aviation, I have not read anything about this before.
          1. -2
            February 24 2021
            Quote: Sea Cat
            Hi colleague.
            Apparently, the ignoramuses are offended at me, or someone doesn't like Izott's cars.

            Welcome Yes
            Well... what "The taste and color"... Someone didn't like my post about Fiat Izhora. And God is with them Yes
            Quote: Sea Cat
            In any case, thank you for the interesting information about Italian aviation, I have not read anything about this before.


            Actually, he himself obtained this information from a more or less thorough study of the Italo-Turkish war a long time ago (even before our war), and now, only updated his knowledge, having obtained the necessary materials and illustrations for a comment message on the network.
        2. 0
          February 24 2021
          Quote: Insurgent
          on the platform of the Italian Fiat truck

          no, not a truck. If you were misled by the dual-slope rear wheels, then this is just a deep tuning of the FIAT 50HP passenger chassis. The Americans have strengthened the rear axle for the "armor" functionality on the Russian order.
      2. -1
        February 24 2021
        Quote: Sea Cat
        from the most reputable publisher churning out baby toys

        for overgrown rather.
    3. +1
      February 24 2021
      What does the cover photo have to do with Italian tank building?
      These are French tanks in Strasbourg during the occupation of Alsace, December 1918.
    4. 0
      February 24 2021
      The WoT expert pleased with the revelation that the FIAT 3000, it turns out, had "a larger margin for modernization than the FT-17". If by modernization we mean the installation of a radio station and variations of weapons, then I personally do not see any special differences in the modernization potential of these two vehicles.

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