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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. The main gun in the L6/40 was just a 37 mm. The Semovente L.40 da 47/32 was built upon the L6/40 chassis intending to get a stronger gun into combat.

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. It was based on the Austrian Böhler gun.

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

Production

  • Semovente L.40 da 47/32: ~280
    • Production: 1941 - ?
    • Manufacturer: Ansaldo, Fiat-SPA, Fiat-Ansaldo

Variants

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

Usage

The Semovente L.40 da 47/32 was first used in 1942. 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. 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.

Some were sent to be used by Croat forces.

Specifications

  Semovente 47/32
Crew Commander, driver, loader
3, 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 14,330 lb
6.4 tons, 7.5 tons
6,500 kg
Length w/gun 13' 1.5", 12' 5", 12.6'
3.78 m, 4 m
Length w/o gun 12' 4.9"
3.782 m
Height 5.1', 5' 4.2", 5' 5"
1.63 m
Width 6.1', 6' 3.6", 6' 4"
1.92 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 15.7"
Ground contact length 106"
Ground pressure 6.9 psi
Armament  
Main 1: 47 mm
1: 47 mm L/32
1: 47 mm L/34
Secondary  
MG 1: MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 70
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 30
Front: 1.5"
Side: 0.63"
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Superstructure Front Mantlet: 2"
Superstructure Sides  
Superstructure Rear  
Superstructure Top  
Engine (Make / Model) SPA 18D
Fiat 18D
Model 18 VT
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 4
Net HP 68
68@2,500 rpm, 70@2,500 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Reduction gear gives 4 lower speeds
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric
Electrical system  
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 44 gallons in 2 tanks
Road consumption 2.8 mpg
Cross country consumption 1.1 mpg
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 25 mph, 26 mph, 26.3 mph
42 kph, 42.3 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 124 miles, 125 miles
200 km
Range - Cross Country 50 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -12° to +20°
Fording depth 2' 7.5"
0.8 m
Trench crossing 5.6', 5' 7"
1.7 m
Vertical obstacle 31", 2' 7.5"
0.8 m
Climbing ability 40° (84%) slope
Suspension (Type) Wheels mounted in pairs, each sprung by a curved cantilever and torsion bar. Rear wheel acts as load carrier and track return.
Wheels each side 4x2
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 10.25"
Diameter  
Number of links 89
Pitch 3.75"
Tire tread Rubber
Track centers/tread 5.1'
  Semovente L.40 da 47/32
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 14,300 lb
6,500 kg
Length 13' 1.5"
4 m
Height 5' 4.2"
1.63 m
Width 6' 3.6"
1.92 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 1: 47 mm Böhler
OR 1: 8 mm Breda modelo 38 MG
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 42
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 18D
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 4
Net HP 68
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 26.3 mph
42.3 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 124 miles
200 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 7"
0.8 m
Trench crossing 5' 7"
1.7 m
Vertical obstacle 2' 7"
0.8 m
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