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The Carro Armato L6/40 was a light tank that was used by Italy during World War II.

Description

The L6/40 had a 7- bhp SPA 180 engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 42 km/h. The armament of the L6/40 consisted of a single 20 mm Breda Model 35 cannon and a 8 mm Breda machine gun.[1]

Its total length was about 3.84 meters, a width of 1.85 meters, and height of 2.03 meters while its total weight was 6,800 kg. Inside the vehicle were only two crew members who were protected by a maximum of 30 mm of armor plating.[2]

Variants

While the L6/40 didn't have any major variants, it had several specialized versions. One of these was a version called the Lf that replaced the tank's main turret with a flamethrower and carried 44 gallons of fuel. However, it is unknown if this variant ever saw combat.[3] Several L6/40s were also fitted out as command vehicles with open rooves and additional radio equipment. The L6/40's chassis was also used for the Sevomente 47/32 self-propelled gun, which was armed with a 47 mm turret.[3]

History

Carro Armato L6-40

A Carro Armato L6/40 operating in Albania

The L6/40 was based on the British Carden-Loyd Mk. VI tankette, and was designed in the late 1930s by Fiat-Ansaldo with the intention of being exported. Production began in 1939.[3]

When World War II began, the L6/40 was primarily used for armed reconnaissance by the Italian Army.[3] They were deployed in the Eastern Front, as well as in the North African and Mediterranean Campaigns, commonly paired with self-propelled artillery. However, as Italy lost more and more tanks, L6/40s began to be used as frontline cavalry units, a role in which they proved to be decidedly obsolete. Production ended in 1944 with approximately 283 examples built.[3] After the Italian armistice, L6/40s continued to be used by Nazi Germany.

References

  1. http://www.comandosupremo.com/CarroL640.html
  2. http://www.onwar.com/tanks/italy/data/l640.htm
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 http://wwiivehicles.com/italy/tanks-light/l6-40.asp


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