Cannone da 90/53
If there was any weapon that was the equal of the Germans’ mighty 88 it was the Italian Cannone da 90/53. It was the most modern of all Italy’s gun designs, and excellent in combat.
The Cannone da 90/53 was designed and built by Ansaldo. The first prototypes were produced in 1939. Three different models were authorised to fulfil different roles. The most common model was the modello 41P intended for static emplacement in and around major cities, industries and on the coast.
A total of 1,087 modello 41Ps guns were ordered. The modello 41C was intended as a towed AA gun, much like the German 88, with 660 of this model being ordered. The final version was the self-propelled version to be mounted initially on trucks (57 guns), and later just the barrels being used on the Semovente 90/53 (30 guns). Though a large number were ordered, producing them proved more of a problem. Italy’s industry was under strain producing current ordinance, without adding the complexity of the modern 90/53. By July 1943 only 539 weapons of all models had been produced. By the end of July the production line fell into German hands and was continued for their purposes. The Italians used the 90/53 as a multi-purpose weapon, those on the towed and truck mounts being used for both anti-aircraft and anti-tank work. The emplaced versions in coastal positions soon found use as artillery as well as AA defence. The Italian Navy also used the 90/53 gun.
The Germans admired it and after the Italian armistice many found their way into German units.
Calibre: 90mm (3.54in)
Barrel Length: 4.736m (15ft 6.5in)
Travelling Weight: 8950kg (19,731lbs)
Weight in Action: 6240kg (13,757lbs)
Elevation: -2° to +85°
Muzzle velocity: 830m/s (2,723ft/s)
Maximum Ceiling: 12,000m (39,370ft)
Shell weight: 10.33kg (22.77lbs)