Semovente 47/32 (x2)
Semovente L40 da 47/32
During the Second World War Italy did not distinguish itself for any particular innovations in the design and production of armoured vehicles. However towards the end of the 1930s they had built a reputation in the field of self-propelled anti-tank guns. They were leaders in doctrine and development, producing an L3 mounting the excellent 47/32 gun.
The gun was mounted on a gun carriage located in the front part of one small and low hull of the fast L.3 tankette. But the L3 version was never put into production as it didn’t offer the crew of two enough protection.
When Italy entered the war in 1940 it soon became apparent that their much-publicised armoured force was insufficient, in both gun calibre and armour.
That was particularly true of the L3 and L6 series of light tanks. The L6/40 tank proved too lightly armed and armoured to stand up to most of the British vehicles encountered in the desert. Work soon began on arming the L6/40 hull with the 47/32 anti-tank gun. The now standard anti-tank weapon of the Italian army, the licensed produced Böhler 47/32 gun, was mounted on new the Semovente L.40 da 47/32 in one simple superstructure attached directly on the hull of the vehicle.
Weight: 6,500 kg
Motor: SPA 18D, 4 cylinders petrol producing 68 HP
Dimensions: Length: 4 meters; Width: 1.92 meters; Height: 1.63 meters
Performance: Maximum speed on road: 42.3 km/h; Range on road 200: km
Ammunition stowage: 70 rounds. While this simple arrangement worked well enough the superstructure still lack sufficient armour to full protect the crew. It went straight into service from 1942 onward. About 280 were produced and in action they proved capable of dealing with the lighter British and US armour in North Africa. As well as serving with various units in North Africa they were also issued to XIII Gruppo “Cavalleggeri di Alessandria” (which contained two squadrons of Semovente L/40 da 47/32 tank destroyers). This unit served with 3rd Celere Division “Principe Amedeo Duca d’Aosta” as part of the Armata Italiana in Russia (A.R.M.I.R.).