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Italy's Fiat L6/40 light tank

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Design

Fiat Ansaldo built the L6/40 the vehicle in the 1930s intending to export them.3 The L6/40 was based on the Carden-Loyd Mark VI tankette.6

Bolted and riveted construction.

Crew

In the front of the L 6/40 the driver sat on the right.3 The turret was manually turned and the commander could enter through the turret roof or a door in the right side of the hull.3

Suspension

The drive sprocket was in the front and idler in the rear.

Prototype

The earliest prototype of the L6/40 had two machine guns in the turret and was finished in 1936.3 There was a sponson that had a 37 mm gun installed.3 The next prototypes had the 37 mm gun moved to the turret.3

Production

  • L6/40: 2833,6
    • Production: 19391

Variants

  • L6/40:
  • Flamethrower: Had 20mm replaced by flamethrower.3,6 Had 44 gallons / 200 liters of flame liquid.3 May not have seen action.
  • Command: Had open roof and radios were added.3,6
  • Semovente L40 47/326: Had turret removed and added a 47 mm gun with 70 rounds.3 Crew of 3.

Usage

Issued to the Italian Army from 1940-41.5 The L 6/40 was primarily used by reconnaissance units and cavalry divisions.3,6

First units were cavalry and then later Bersaglieri.5 Used in Africa, Russia, Greece, France, and Italy.5,6

Used by reconnaissance units.4

Specifications

  L6/40
Crew Commander, driver.3
21,2,3,5,6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 14,960 lb6, 14,991 lb3
6.6 tons4, 6.79 tons1, 6.8 tons2,5
6,800 kg3, 6,900 kg1
Length 12' 5"1,3,5,6, 12.6'2
3.78 m1,3,6
Height 6.15'2, 6' 8"1,3,5,6, 7' 2"
2.03 m1,3,6
Width 6.1'2, 6' 4"1,3,5,6
1.92 m1,3,6
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 6.87 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main

37 mm Vickers-Termi L/21 (early models)4
20 mm Breda1,4
20 mm Breda Model 353,6
20 mm2,5

Secondary  
MG 8 mm Breda1
MG2
MG - coaxial 8 mm MG5
8 mm Breda Model 383,6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 256, 2963
Secondary  
MG 1,5603
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 301,3, 6 - 402,6, 305
Hull Front, Upper 30
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 6
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) SPA 18 D1,3,6, Spa5
Cylinders 43,6
Net HP 682,5, 701,3,6
Transmission (type)  
Fuel (type) Gasoline1,2,3,6
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse 360°3
Speed - Road 25 mph, 26 mph2,3,5,6, 26.1 mph1
42 kph1,3,6
Speed - Cross Country 15.5 mph
Range - Road 124 miles3,6, 125 miles1,5
200 km1,3,6
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -12° to +20°3
Fording depth 2' 8"3,6
0.8 m3,6
Trench crossing 5' 7"3,6
1.7 m3,6
Vertical obstacle 2' 4"3,6
0.7 m3,6
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar5
Wheels each side 2 bogies with 2 wheels
Return rollers each side 3
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Italian Medium Tanks in Action, Nicola Pignato, 2001
  5. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  6. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site