Italian Armor

Year
Weight
# Built
Speed Crew
Gun
Front Armor
Side Armor
Turret
L3
Pre-War
3.2
2,500
42 km/h
2
MG
13.5mm
8.5mm
L6
1940
6+
500
45 km/h
2
20mm
M11/39
1940
11.0
100
34 km/h
3
37/40mm
30mm
14.5mm
30mm
M13/40
1940
14.0
800
30 km/h
4
47/32mm
30mm
25mm
40mm
M 14/41
M 15/42
82

The Italians began tank development in 1931 with the CV33 (Carro Veloce = Fast Tank), the number indicating the year of introduction.

The L3/33 was originally the CV33 and the L3/35 the CV35. The L stood for leggero "light".

500 of the L3's were used in Ethiopia. Two battalions were sent to Spain. The L3 remained in first line service until 1943.

The L3 was sold widely before the war to Afghanistan, Albania, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Hungary, Iraq and Salvador.

Development of the L6 began in 1936. The L6 was fitted with a radio. The L6 first saw action at the end of 1941. Roughly 100 to 250 L6 were built without turrets as the Semovente Da 47/32 Su Scafo L 40 self propelled anti-tank gun.

Development of the M 11/39 "Carro Armati M 11/39" began in 1935 and entered production in 1939, the full order of 100 of these tanks was not completed until 1940. The M 11/39 had no radio. The first 24 M 11/39s were sent to East Africa in May 1940. 70 M 11/39s arrived in Benghazi in July 1940. The 37mm gun was mounted in the hull (machine guns were mounted in the turret). The M 11/39 did poorly against the British in Africa.

Development of the M 13/40 began in 1938. The M 13/40 was the first Italian tank to have the main gun mounted in the turret.

Divisional deployment of the M 13/40 & M 14/41:

The M 14/41 was an enhancement of the M 13/40 (improved engine).

The M 15/42 was another improvement of the M 13/40 & M 14/41 featuring a longer 47mm gun and a new engine.

Italian metalurgy was inferior and resulted in armor plate that tended to crack.