Semovente M 41M da 90/53
The Semovente da 90/53 was the best armed Italian armoured vehicle of WWII. Its design was prompted by a desperate request from the Russian front. The CSIR urgently asked for ’something’ capable of knocking out the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks. Ansaldo industries were asked to mount the 90/53 anti-aircraft gun on an armoured carriage to overcome this problem.
The designers and engineers worked quickly, and enlarged and lengthened M14/41 chassis with a diesel engine positioned centrally, this was used to mount the 90/53 gun.
The gun was positioned towards the rear and the crew served the gun from behind the vehicle.
The engine was moved forward from its original position in the M14/41 tank so that the gun could be placed at the rear of the chassis. The Semovente da 90/53 had to be accompanied by an ammunition carrier based on the L6/40 light tank carrying 26 rounds.The first prototype was completed on 5 March 1942 and after some tests a first order was placed for thirty vehicles to be delivered no later than the end of April.
The gun had an excellent range (effective anti-tank out to 2000-2200 meters) and armed with new EP rounds (EP ~ Effetto Pronto, rapid effect, the Italian High Explosive Anti-tank round ~ HEAT).
None were ever sent to the Russian Front. 24 Semovente 90/53s did see service against the Allies in the 10° Ragruppamento Semoventi, which was stationed in Sicily.