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Italy's Semovente 47/32 su L6/40; 47 mm Gun on L 6/40 chassis, Semovente 47/32:

Design

It was found during the battles in North Africa that the main tanks used by the Italian Army were very inadequate.2 The main gun in the L6/40 was just a 37 mm.2 The Semovente L.40 da 47/32 was built upon the L6/40 chassis intending to get a stronger gun into combat.2

Some were converted to command versions with 8 mm machine gun made to look like larger caliber gun.

Main Armament

The Semovente L.40 had a 47 mm L/32 anti-tank gun as its main armament set inside a box like superstructure.2 It was based on the Austrian Böhler gun.2,4

It fired a 3.25 lb AP shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,100'/sec.3

Production

  • Semovente L.40 da 47/32: ~2802,4
    • Production: 1941 - ?
    • Manufacturer: Ansaldo2, Fiat-SPA2, Fiat-Ansaldo3

Variants

  • Semovente L.3 da 47/32: Had 47 mm anti-tank gun mounted on a L.3 chassis.2 Only the gun shield provided protection.2
  • Semovente L.40 da 47/32: Had 47 mm anti-tank gun mounted on a L6/40 chassis.2
  • Command: Had machine gun in place of main gun.

Usage

The Semovente L.40 da 47/32 was first used in 1942.2 Also used in Russia and Italy.

After the Armistice

German forces took over many of the Semovente L.40 da 47/32s after the Italian Armistice.2,4 A few had the gun removed and used as command vehicles and typically had a 8 mm Breda modello 38 machine gun installed in place of the main gun.2,4

Some were sent to be used by Croat forces.

Specifications

  Semovente 47/32
Crew Commander, driver, loader
31, 22
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 14,330 lb2
6.4 tons1, 7.5 tons3
6,500 kg1,2
Length w/gun 13' 1.5"2, 12' 5"1, 12.6'3
3.78 m1, 4 m2
Length w/o gun 12' 4.9"2
3.782 m2
Height 5.1'3, 5' 4.2"2, 5' 5"1
1.63 m1,2
Width 6.1'3, 6' 3.6"2, 6' 4"1
1.92 m1,2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.7"3
Ground contact length 106"3
Ground pressure 6.9 psi3
Armament  
Main 1: 47 mm1,2
1: 47 mm L/322
1: 47 mm L/343
Secondary  
MG 1: MG1
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 702
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 301
Front: 1.5"3
Side: 0.63"3
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Superstructure Front Mantlet: 2"3
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model) SPA 18D2
Fiat 18D1
Model 18 VT3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water3
Cylinders 41,2,3
Net HP 682
68@2,500 rpm3, 70@2,500 rpm1
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse3
Reduction gear gives 4 lower speeds3
Steering Clutch brake3
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric3
Electrical system  
Ignition Magneto3
Fuel (Type) Gasoline1,2,3
Octane  
Quantity 44 gallons in 2 tanks3
Road consumption 2.8 mpg3
Cross country consumption 1.1 mpg3
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 25 mph, 26 mph1,3, 26.3 mph2
42 kph1, 42.3 kph2
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 124 miles2,3, 125 miles1
200 km1,2
Range - Cross Country 50 miles3
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -12° to +20°2
Fording depth 2' 7.5"2,3
0.8 m2
Trench crossing 5.6'3, 5' 7"2
1.7 m2
Vertical obstacle 31"3, 2' 7.5"2
0.8 m2
Climbing ability 40° (84%) slope3
Suspension (Type) Wheels mounted in pairs, each sprung by a curved cantilever and torsion bar.3 Rear wheel acts as load carrier and track return.3
Wheels each side 4x23
Return rollers each side 33
Tracks (Type) Dry pin3
Length  
Width 10.25"3
Diameter  
Number of links 893
Pitch 3.75"3
Tire tread Rubber3
Track centers/tread 5.1'3
  Semovente L.40 da 47/32
Crew 24
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 14,300 lb4
6,500 kg4
Length 13' 1.5"4
4 m4
Height 5' 4.2"4
1.63 m4
Width 6' 3.6"4
1.92 m4
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 1: 47 mm Böhler4
OR 1: 8 mm Breda modelo 38 MG4
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 424
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Superstructure Front  
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model) SPA 18D4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 44
Net HP 684
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 26.3 mph4
42.3 kph4
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 124 miles4
200 km4
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 7"4
0.8 m4
Trench crossing 5' 7"4
1.7 m4
Vertical obstacle 2' 7"4
0.8 m4
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
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. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  3. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  4. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site