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Carro M15/42

Carro M15/42

The Carro Armato M 14/41 was essentially the M13/40 fitted with a more powerful diesel engine that was equipped with air filters designed to cope with the harsh conditions of the desert. Production amounted to just over 1,100 of these vehicles which had a similar specification to the M 13/40 except for an increase in speed to 20mph (33kmh) and in weight to 14.5 tonnes. Further development resulted in the Carro Armato M15/42 that entered service in 1943. A total of 82 of these were built, most being issued to the Ariete Division that took part in the Italian attempt to deny Rome to the Germans in September 1943. Some of these vehicles were captured and then used against the Allies.

The M 15/42 was slightly longer than the M 14/41 and distinguishable from it by the lack of a crew access door in the side of the hull. The M 15/42 was driven by a more powerful engine that made it slightly faster and had improved armor protection.

The hull was of all riveted construction that varied in thickness from 14mm to 45mm. The driver was seated at the front of the hull on the left with the bow machine gunner on his right, the latter operating the twin 8mm machine guns as well as the radios. The turret was in the center of the hull and armed with a 47mm/40 caliber gun with an elevation of +20 degrees and a depression of –10 degrees. The turret could traverse 360 degrees and was electrically operated. An 8mm Modello 38 machine gun was mounted co-axial with the main armament with a similar machine gun mounted on the roof for anti-aircraft defense. 111 rounds of 47mm and 2,640 rounds of 8mm ammunition were carried. Suspension on each side consisted of four double wheel articulated bogies mounted in two assemblies each carried on semi-elliptical springs, with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. There were three track return rollers. The engine was at the rear of the hull and coupled to the manual gearbox with eight forward and two reverse gears. By the time the M 15/42 had been introduced into service it was already obsolete and design of another tank, the P 40, had been underway for years.

Specifications
Powerplant 192hp SPA 15 TB M42 8 cylinder gasoline engine
Weight 34,800lbs (15,500kg)
Speed 25 mph (40 kmh)
Range 136 miles (220 km)
Verticle Obstacle 2ft 8in (.8m)
Trench 6ft 11in (2.10m)
Gradient 60%
Length 16ft 7in (5.04m)
Width 7ft 4in (2.23m)
Height 7ft 11in (2.39m)
Crew 4
Armor 14mm to 45mm
Armament One 47mm 40 caliber gun and four 8mm machine guns (one co-axial, one on roof and one twin in front hull Fording 3ft 3in
(1m)

Sources:
The Encyclopedia of Weapons: From World War II to the Present Day
Illustrated Directory of Tanks and Fighting Vehicles: From World War I to the Present Day
Article by JDG.

I created Comando Supremo: Italy at War in 2000 because of the the limited amount of information on Italian forces in WWII that was available online. Thanks to people like you, this site has grown to what it is today. Thank you for visiting and please bookmark the site!
jim h
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Comments

  1. 2
    Jim H says:

    Thanks for the catch!

  2. 1
    Aspern says:

    an error in the first line: The Carro Armato M 14/41 … (not 14/51)