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Brigata Corazzata Speciale

#21 User is offline   Inspecteur Clouzot 

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 08:59 AM

Davide Pastore said:

It simply disappeared. As noted, the Fiat 3000 was mechanically very unreliable, and the numbers steadily declined.


Thanks, this makes sense. The French had the same problem, but they were working from a much larger initial stock that they could cannibalize from.

Davide Pastore said:

Note that Littorio did not exist as such until later:


I had indeed noted that, just found it strange that no ® battalion be assigned to it as had been the case with the other two. On second thought, L.3s were better suited for an armored division than the Fiat 3000s, the latter being just too slow.

Strange that the Italians didn't keep the battalion, just filling it with L.3s.

Davide Pastore said:

Note that the cavalry had another three strong (four companies [squadrons] each) L3 battalions, part of the three Celere divisions.


Ok, so we have 24 battalions, down to 23 when V® disappeared, plus 3 cavalry ones, plus two (M) ones in 1939 plus the four mobilization ones in Libya for a total of 34 on June 1940, right?

Davide Pastore said:

I don't think so. The Mk VI was obviously superior to L.3, as was the Matilda I. Every Cruiser from the earliest Mk I [series production from 1937] was a supertank in comparison (ditto for the 1923 Medium Mk I).


I wouldn't rate the Matilda I as superior to anything: it had good armor but that was about all it had. Exactly how was the Mk VI superior to the L.3? Both had armor that was only good against MG fire, neither had an armament that could harm the other (except at close range, with rear shots etc), essentially they were both fairly ineffective as tanks. The MkVI had a 20 km/h advantage but that's about it.

Regarding the cruisers, I was going to mention how few of these there were, then I remembered that we are discussing Italian tanks here so 100+ tanks is a large number. Therefore you're right :-)

Another interesting point is how late the Italians were to wake up to the need of a heavier tank, at a time when everyone else was fielding them. As far as I can tell, they only started ordering what would become the M.11/39 in 1938, at a time when Germany was already producing PzIIIs and when France - the designated enemy - had since 1934-35 been deploying hundreds of light tanks which were in the same weight class as this Italian medium (10-13 tons) but with better armor and armament.
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#22 User is offline   Davide Pastore 

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:22 AM

Inspecteur Clouzot said:

Ok, so we have 24 battalions, down to 23 when V® disappeared, plus 3 cavalry ones, plus two (M) ones in 1939 plus the four mobilization ones in Libya for a total of 34 on June 1940, right?


23+3+2+4 = 32 (not all of them existing at any given time)

Inspecteur Clouzot said:

Exactly how was the Mk VI superior to the L.3? Both had armor that was only good against MG fire, neither had an armament that could harm the other


The Matilda's .50" could hole the L.3, I think, at least at close range. Same for Light Mk VI. This last vehicle had the great advantage of a two man turret and a good radio, making it very useful in the scouting role. I consider it a more useful asset than a Pz I, for example.

Inspecteur Clouzot said:

Another interesting point is how late the Italians were to wake up to the need of a heavier tank, at a time when everyone else was fielding them. As far as I can tell, they only started ordering what would become the M.11/39 in 1938


And initially it was just a 8t "heavy" StuG-like vehicle...

Attached File(s)


Davide

"Solo se la vostra visione va oltre quella del vostro maestro,
siete adatti per ricevere e tramandare la trasmissione."

(Massima Zen)
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#23 User is offline   Inspecteur Clouzot 

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 12:24 PM

Davide Pastore said:

23+3+2+4 = 32 (not all of them existing at any given time)


Right... :oops: I'll be back after I've slept more than 3 hours per night.

Anyway, with 25 battalions in 1936-7 and 30 or so by 1939, the Italian tank force was losing ground but was still, at least on paper, a semi-respectable force. The problem, of course, was the equipment.

Davide Pastore said:

The Matilda's .50" could hole the L.3, I think, at least at close range. Same for Light Mk VI. This last vehicle had the great advantage of a two man turret and a good radio, making it very useful in the scouting role. I consider it a more useful asset than a Pz I, for example.


That's one way to look at it. Another is to note that the average Mk VI would have accumulated more wear than the average Pz I, not sure how the L.3 would compare in such an equation.

Anyway, in a Mk VI vs Pz I vs AMR comparison we're talking about tracked tin cans with at best a marginal ability to harm one another except at close range, and inadequate protection against anything above rifle-caliber machine-guns. Which is why I considered them comparable. Hundreds of Vickers Mk VI were sent to France where they were all lost without achieving anything (only a handful of tanks was evacuated, I don't remember offhand if there were any Vickers but we would be talking of a single-digit number in any case).

In that regard, the Italian tank force wasn't too disadvantaged compared to the British one, at least in 1939. Obviously, lack of a replacement and most inadequate production meant that the discrepancy could only grow. Blame Mussolini for declaring war 4 years too late! :-)

Davide Pastore said:

And initially it was just a 8t "heavy" StuG-like vehicle...


Well, the L.3 design had sold very well and it was not turreted either. So I don't necessarily blame the Italians for going that way, plus they must have lacked the engineering experience to manufacture turrets with useful armament.

What I find more surprising is how the tank they were planning to build in 1938 was already obsolete compared to designs in service at the time like the French light tanks of the 1934/35 program (R-35, H-35, FCM), the Czech tanks, the Soviet T-26s and BTs (encountered in Spain) as well as the first British cruisers and German mediums. One would expect design teams to anticipate and aim in 1938 for something that would look good for at least the 1940-42 timeframe. When that couldn't be done immediately, building interim designs in recognition of the production learning curve is also ok (as the Americans did), but it looks like the Italians were asking for that relatively useless vehicle.
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#24 User is offline   david 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:00 PM

Where did III Battaglione Carri (M) disembark? Tripoli or Benghasi?

And is October 1940 the correct date?
Cheers; Dave.

#25 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:20 AM

View Postdavid, on 26 January 2012 - 09:00 PM, said:

Where did III Battaglione Carri (M) disembark? Tripoli or Benghasi?
And is October 1940 the correct date?


IIRC Benghasi, in the last days of September 1940
Aighe-va

Arturo F.Lorioli
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#26 User is offline   david 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:15 AM

Thanks
Cheers; Dave.

#27 User is offline   nmao 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

Hello.
I don't have an exact date, but AFAIK it landed in Benghazi in the last days of September.

See in this document:
www.paginedidifesa.it/libri/carristi.rtf

"Il III Battaglione Carri M 13/40, comandato dal Tenente Colonnello Carlo GHIOLDI (M.A.V.M.), proveniente dall’Italia forte di 37 carri M 13/40 suddivisi tra le due compagnie, che si aggiungevano ai 417 carri di vario tipo presenti in Libia, arrivò a BENDARSI[Bengazi] a fine settembre 1940 e iniziò una intensa attività addestrativa in previsione dell’impiego."

google translate:
"The III M 13/40 Tank Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Ghioldi (MAVM), from Italy of 37 wagons strong M 13/40 split between the two companies, which were added to 417 wagons of various types present in Libya, arrived in Bend in late September 1940 and began an intense training activities in preparation for employment."

This document is a goldmine about the italian armour in NA.

regards,

-Nuno Oliveira
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#28 User is offline   david 

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 12:06 AM

Thank you.

Nice to see you here again.
Cheers; Dave.

#29 User is offline   nmao 

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:53 AM

Hello!

I want to share a site i found (maybe well known, but new for me):
ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE CARRISTI D’ITALIA
http://www.assocarri.it/

in this page they have a lot of magazine articles, war memories, etc:
http://www.assocarri...iglia_Unita.htm

i haven't had time to analyse, but it seems to have good data about armour units&operations in ww2.

ciao a tutti

-Nuno Oliveira
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#30 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:53 PM

Excellent. Thanks.
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#31 User is offline   david 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:21 AM

Davide Pastore said........
[quote][A) early units formed (most rushed to Libya in a haphazard fashion)
- I (32°) M.11/39 (1939 - personnel from CCCXXI btn)
- II (32°) M.11/39 (1939 - personnel from CCCXXI btn)
- III (1° or 4° ?) M.13/40 (fall 40 - personnel from CCCXXIII btn)
- IV (?) M.13/40 (winter 40-41)
- V (32° ?) M.13/40 (winter 40-41)
- VI (32° ?) M.13/40 (winter 40-41)
- XXI [outside main numeration] (?) M.13/40 (old XXI L re-equipped in January 1941)

/quote]

I don't think that IV ever made it to North Africa, what do you all think?
Cheers; Dave.

#32 User is offline   nmao 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:34 AM

Hello.
IV (4th) was deployed to Albania, it eventually made it to North Africa in 1942 (August?) assigned to Littorio.

-Nuno Oliveira


Quote


I don't think that IV ever made it to North Africa, what do you all think?

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#33 User is offline   david 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:36 AM

Thanks.

Have you got the 7 RTR files?
Cheers; Dave.

#34 User is offline   nmao 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:36 PM

View Postdavid, on 08 May 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:

Thanks.

Have you got the 7 RTR files?


Yes! :)

Thank you very much!
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