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Italy's Carro Armato (Army Tank) M15/42 medium tank

Design

Hull was all riveted.

Turret

On each side was an oval pistol port.

Superstructure / Hull

At the rear of the hull was 2 circular ports, and on each side of the hull was a single circular port. The right side had an access door for the crew. Later models had a smoke candle rack installed on the rear hull.

Crew

The driver of the M15/42 was at the front and to the left in the hull. The machine gunner/radio operator was on the right in the front.

Engine

The engine was changed to a gasoline model as diesel stocks were dwindling.

Suspension

There were four sets of two wheel that were mounted to assemblies that had semi-elliptical springs. The drive sprocket was located at the front of the M15/42 and the idler at the rear. There were also three return rollers.

Track

Late models had a new drive sprocket with four large guide teeth.

Production

  • M15/42: 82 - 90, 82, 219
    • Production: 1942 - 1943, January - February 1943
    • Manufacturer: Ansaldo-Fossati, FIAT-Ansaldo, Ansaldo

Variants

Usage

The M15/42 became operational in early 1943.

Most of the M15/42s were issued to the Ariete Division. Saw action in Italy against the Germans in Rome with the Ariete II Division.

German Use

  • PzKpfw M15/42 738(i): 92 were confiscated from the Italian Army in September 1943, and 28 were produced in 1944. Had RF 1 CA radio installed.
    Issued to 3 Panzer detachments and the 22nd SS Maria Theresa division in April 1944.

Specifications

  M15/42
Crew 4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 34,800 lb, 32,408 lb
14.37 tons, 14.7 tons
14,600 kg, 15,500 kg
Length 16' 0.75", 16' 6.5", 16' 2", 16' 7"
4.92 m, 4.04 m, 5.04 m
Height 7' 9.25", 7' 10", 7' 11"
2.39 m, 2.4 m
Width 7' 2.75", 7' 3.75", 7' 3", 7' 4"
2.2 m, 2.23 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 47 mm L/40 Ansaldo
47 mm L/40
47 mm
Secondary  
MG 2: MGs
3: 8 mm Model 38
MG - coaxial 1: 8 mm Breda Model 38
MG - hull 2: 8 mm Breda Model 38
MG - anti-aircraft Some had 8 mm mounted as AA
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 111
Secondary  
MG 2,640, 3,048
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 14 - 42
6 - 42
Hull Front, Upper 42
12+30@11°
Hull Front, Lower 30 round
Hull Sides, Upper 25@9°
Hull Sides, Lower 25@0°
Hull Rear 25@0° & 25@20°
Hull Top 14@90°
Hull Bottom 6@90°
Turret Front 45
12+37@16°
Mantlet: 30 round
Turret Sides 25@22°
Turret Rear 25@22°
Turret Top 14@85°
Engine (Make / Model) SPA 15TB M42
SPA 8TM41
15TB
Fiat SPA 15T
Cylinders 8
Net HP 145 @ 1,900 rpm
185 @ 2,400 rpm
192
Transmission 8 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel type Gasoline
Diesel
Octane  
Capacity 97 gallons
367 liters
Reserve tank: 10.6 gallons, 40 liters
Performance  
Traverse 360°, electric
Speed - Road 25 mph, 23.6 mph, 22 mph
35 kph, 38 kph, 40 kph
Speed - Cross Country 9 mph
Range - Road 111.8 miles, 136 miles, 175 miles
25 (probably should be 125) miles
180 km, 200 km, 220 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -10° to +20°
-15° to +25°
Fording depth 3' 3"
1 m
Trench crossing 6' 11"
2.1 m
Vertical Obstacle 2' 8"
0.8 m
Suspension (Type) 4 double-wheel bogies mounted on 2 assemblies
Wheels each side 8
Return rollers each side 3
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Italian Medium Tanks in Action, Nicola Pignato, 2001
  5. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site