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Semovente 75/18

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The Semovente 75/18 was a self-propelled gun that was used by Italy during World War II.

Description

The Semovente 75/18 had a diesel powered SPA 15T engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 38 km/h.[1] It also had crew of three and was based on the Carro Armato M13/40 chassis. The Semovente 75/18's armament consisted of a single 75 mm L/18 main gun and either a 6.5 mm machine gun or an 8 mm machine gun depending on when the model was produced.

The total weight of the Semovente was about 13,000 kg while its total length including gun was about 5 meters. It utilized a 4 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission system along with a leaf spring type suspension system. Armor thickness ranged from 10 mm to 50 mm thick along all sides of the vehicle. The Semovente had a maximum range of about 91.4 kilometers.[2]

Additionally, the Semovente was capable of carrying up to 44 rounds of ammunition for its main gun and 1,000 for its anti-aircraft mounted machine gun. Field reports show a good success record against the British operated M4 Shermans and M3 Lees and reliability was also ranked as high. Also, improvements and optimization for the desert environment further improved the reliability and service record of the series. There were no variants of the original model but some models were produced on the Carro Armato M14/41 chassis instead.

History

The Semovente was produced by Italy in an attempt to create a self-propelled gun similar to the highly successful German StuG III. The first prototypes of this model were created and tested in 1941 and production started later that year. However, Semoventes were only supplied to Italian units early in 1942. They were used well into 1943 and even when Italy capitulated, Germany took the remaining models and used them in combat against the Allies. In total, about 150 models of both chassis' were produced which by Italian standards, was actually quite good.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/italy/self-propelled-guns/semovente-m41.asp
  2. http://www.comandosupremo.com/semovente7518.html


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