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Italy's Carro Armato (Army Tank) M15/42 medium tank

Photos

Carro Armato M15/42 medium tank:
Italy's Carro Armato M15/42 medium tank

Carro Armato M15/42 medium tank in use by the Germans:
Italy's Carro Armato M15/42 medium tank in use by the Germans

Carro Armato M15/42 experimental anti-aircraft medium tank:
Italy's Carro Armato M15/42 experimental anti-aircraft medium tank

Design

Hull was all riveted.3

Turret

On each side was an oval pistol port.4

Superstructure / Hull

At the rear of the hull was 2 circular ports, and on each side of the hull was a single circular port.4 The right side had an access door for the crew.4 Later models had a smoke candle rack installed on the rear hull.4

Crew

The driver of the M15/42 was at the front and to the left in the hull.3 The machine gunner/radio operator was on the right in the front.3

Engine

The engine was changed to a gasoline model as diesel stocks were dwindling.4

Suspension

There were four sets of two wheel that were mounted to assemblies that had semi-elliptical springs.3 The drive sprocket was located at the front of the M15/42 and the idler at the rear.3 There were also three return rollers.3

Track

Late models had a new drive sprocket with four large guide teeth.4

Production

  • M15/42: 82 - 90, 821,3, 2194
    • Production: 1942 - 1943, January - February 19435
    • Manufacturer: Ansaldo-Fossati, FIAT-Ansaldo2, Ansaldo4

Variants

Usage

The M15/42 became operational in early 1943.3

Most of the M15/42s were issued to the Ariete Division.3 Saw action in Italy against the Germans in Rome with the Ariete II Division.3

German Use

  • PzKpfw M15/42 738(i): 92 were confiscated from the Italian Army in September 1943, and 28 were produced in 1944.2 Had RF 1 CA radio installed.2
    Issued to 3 Panzer detachments and the 22nd SS Maria Theresa division in April 1944.

Specifications

  M15/42
Crew 41,2,3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 34,800 lb3, 32,408 lb
14.37 tons1, 14.7 tons2
14,600 kg1, 15,500 kg3
Length 16' 0.75", 16' 6.5", 16' 2"1, 16' 7"3
4.92 m1, 4.04 m2, 5.04 m3
Height 7' 9.25", 7' 10"1, 7' 11"3
2.39 m2,3, 2.4 m1
Width 7' 2.75", 7' 3.75", 7' 3"1, 7' 4"3
2.2 m1, 2.23 m2,3
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 47 mm L/40 Ansaldo4
47 mm L/402,3
47 mm1,5
Secondary  
MG 2: MGs1
3: 8 mm Model 382
MG - coaxial 1: 8 mm Breda Model 383,4
MG - hull 2: 8 mm Breda Model 383,4
MG - anti-aircraft Some had 8 mm mounted as AA3
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1112,3,4
Secondary  
MG 2,6403,4, 3,0482
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 14 - 423
6 - 421
Hull Front, Upper 42
12+30@11°2
Hull Front, Lower 30 round2
Hull Sides, Upper 25@9°2
Hull Sides, Lower 25@0°2
Hull Rear 25@0°2 & 25@20°2
Hull Top 14@90°2
Hull Bottom 6@90°2
Turret Front 45
12+37@16°2
Mantlet: 30 round2
Turret Sides 25@22°2
Turret Rear 25@22°2
Turret Top 14@85°2
Engine (Make / Model) SPA 15TB M423
SPA 8TM411
15TB2,5
Fiat SPA 15T4
Cylinders 81,2,3
Net HP 1451 @ 1,900 rpm
1852 @ 2,400 rpm2
1923,5
Transmission 8 forward, 1 reverse3
Fuel type Gasoline3,4
Diesel1
Octane  
Capacity 97 gallons4
367 liters4
Reserve tank: 10.6 gallons4, 40 liters4
Performance  
Traverse 360°2,3, electric2,3
Speed - Road 25 mph3,5, 23.6 mph, 22 mph1
35 kph1, 38 kph2, 40 kph3
Speed - Cross Country 9 mph
Range - Road 111.8 miles, 136 miles3, 175 miles5
25 (probably should be 125) miles1
180 km2, 200 km1, 220 km3
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +20°3
-15° to +25°2
Fording depth 3' 3"3
1 m3
Trench crossing 6' 11"3
2.1 m3
Vertical Obstacle 2' 8"3
0.8 m3
Suspension (Type) 4 double-wheel bogies mounted on 2 assemblies3
Wheels each side 8
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. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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