Italian Army equipment in World War II

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The following is a list of equipment used by the Royal Italian Army (Regio Esercito), Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica), and Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) during World War II.

Bayonets[edit]

Model Blade length From: Comments
M91/38 folding bayonet 18 cm 1893 -
M91/38 standard bayonet 30.5 cm 1891 -

Small arms[edit]

Handguns[edit]

Type Maker Rounds Cartridge From: Weight Number built Comment
Beretta Modello 1934 Beretta 7 (+1) .380 ACP 1935 23.28 oz (660 g) 1,080,000 Remained in service until 1991.
Beretta Modello 1935 Beretta 8 (+1) .32 ACP 1937  ? 525,000 Was a prized souvenir during the war. Remained in service until 1967.
Glisenti Model 1910 Società Siderurgica Glisenti 7 (+1) 9mm Glisenti 1910 29,00 oz (820 g) 100,000 Was originally chambered for a 7.65×22mm bottle-neck cartridge, but the Italian Army requested it to be chambered in 9mm.
Bodeo Model 1889 Revolver Many manufacturers 6 10.35mm Ordinanza Italiana 1889 33.05 oz (950 g)  ? Italian manufacturers include: Societa Siderurgica Glisenti, Castelli of Brescia, Metallurgica Bresciana, Vincenzo Bernardelli of Gardone Val Trompia. During World War I, Spanish manufacturers, Errasti and Arrostegui of Eibar produced the Bodeo for the Italian government.
M1942 Sosso Pistol FNA Brescia 21 9×19mm Parabellum 1942  ?  ? Experimental design, was never fully adopted.

Rifles[edit]

Type Base model Maker Rounds Cartridge From: Produced Weight Comment
Carcano M1891 Carcano M1891 Carcano 6 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano 1892 2063750 3.4 kg standard service rifle
Carcano M1891 Moschetto da Cavalleria (Cavalry Carbine) Carcano M1891 Carcano 6 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano 1893  ? 3.4 kg integral, folding bayonet
Carcano M1891TS Moschetto per Truppe Speciali (Special Troop Carbine) Carcano M1891 Carcano 6 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano 1897  ? 3.4 kg without bayonet
Carcano M1891/24 Carcano M1891 Carcano 6 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano  ?  ?  ? kg
Carcano M1891/28 Carcano M1891 Carcano 6 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano  ?  ?  ? kg
Carcano M1938 carbine Carcano M1938 carbine Carcano 6 7.35×51mm 1938  ?  ? kg converted to higher caliber cartridge
Carcano 91/38 (Modello 91/38) short rifle Carcano M1938 carbine Carcano 6 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano 1940  ?  ? kg reverted to original bullet
Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 Mannlicher 5 8×50mmR Mannlicher  ?  ? 3.8 kg imported from Austro-Hungaria
Fucile Armaguerra Mod. 39 Fucile Armaguerra Mod. 39 6 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano, 7.35×51mm Carcano 1944 500 8.16 lb

Submachine Guns[edit]

Type Maker Rounds Cartridge From: Rate of fire Weight Comment
Beretta M1918 Beretta 25 9 mm Glisenti 1918 900 rpm 7 lb 3 oz (3.3 kg) Spiritual successor to the Villar Perosa.
Beretta Model 38 Beretta 40 9×19mm Parabellum 1938 600 rpm 9 lb 4 oz (4.2 kg) Different box magazines had a capacity 10, 20 and 30 bullets.
FNAB-43 FNAB 40 9×19mm Parabellum 1944 400 rpm 8 lb 12 oz (3.9 kg) Magazines of 20 bullets were also available. Was expensive to produce and so, only 7,000 were ever made.
OVP Beretta 25 9 mm Glisenti 1918 900 rpm 8 lb 0 oz (3,6 kg) Was issued during the early 1920s; was mostly replaced by other models by the end of the war.
TZ-45 Fabbrica Fratelli Giandoso 40 9×19mm Parabellum 1944 800 rpm 7 lb 0 oz (3.2 kg) Produced in small numbers (6,000 made between 1944 and 1945), design was later sold to the Burmese Army and produced as the BA-52.

Grenades[edit]

Recoilless rifles[edit]

Flamethrowers[edit]

  • Flamethrower Modello 35
  • Flamethrower Modello 40

Machine guns[edit]

Artillery[edit]

Infantry Mortars[edit]

Model Caliber Max. range From Produced Weight, kg fire rate, RPM Comment
Brixia Model 35 45mm 530 1935  ? 15.5 18 extremely accurate, 18 mortars per battalion (in 2 platoons)
Mortaio da 81/14 Modello 35 81mm 1500 1935  ? 59.56 18 6 mortars per regiment, extended range (4 km) shell available

Field Artillery[edit]

Italian artillery was usually designated using the calibre and length of the barrel in number of calibre lengths, so "90/53" would mean a weapon with a 90 mm diameter barrel where the length of the barrel was approximately 53 calibre lengths (i.e. 53x90 mm, that is 4.77 m).

Model Caliber Max. range From Produced Weight, kg fire rate, RPM Comment
Cannone da 47/32 M35 47mm 7000 1935  ? 315 5 dual-role anti-tank/infantry gun, adopted for many vehicles, licensed version of Böhler gun
Cannone da 65/17 modello 7 65mm 6800 1907  ? 650 5 mountain gun
Cannone da 65/17 modello 13 65mm 6800 1913  ? 650 5 mountain gun
Skoda 75 mm Model 15(Obice da 75/13) 75mm 8250 1918  ? 613 7 Austrian-built
Cannone da 75/27 modello 06 75mm 10000 1906  ? 1080 5 licensed version of Krupp 1906M gun
Cannone da 75/27 modello 11 75mm 10240 1912  ? 1076 5 French-designed
Cannone da 75/27 modello 12 75mm 10000 1912  ? 900 5 modification of Cannone da 75/27 modello 06
Obice da 75/18 modello 34 75mm 9564 1934  ? 1832 5 mountain gun
Obice da 75/18 modello 35 75mm 9564 1935  ? 1832 5 howitzer and export variant of Obice da 75/18 modello 34
Cannone da 75/34 modello 37 75mm 12500 1937 1 1250 5 prototype of 75/32 field gun, unmodified 75/34 went on as tank gun
Cannone da 75/32 modello 37 75mm 12500 1937  ? 1250 5 dual-role anti-tank/field gun
Cannone da 77/28 modello 5/8 76.5mm 6100 1907  ? 1065 9 built in Austria-Hungary, bronze barrel
Obice da 100/17 modello 14 100mm 8180 1914  ? 1417 6 Austrian-built, in NATO service until 1984
Obice da 100/17 modello 16 100mm 8180 1916  ? 1235 6 weight reduction of Obice da 100/17 modello 14 for use as mountain gun
Cannone da 105/28 modello 12 105mm 8000 (12000) 1917 854 2650 5 license-built, kept in reserve until 1939
Obice da 105/14 modello 17 105mm 6000 (8100) 1917 120 1400 5 used in self-propelled gun
Cannone da 120/21 120mm 7700 1880 5 4050 5 fortress Krupp gun, used by Italian border guards
Cannone da 149/23 149.1mm 9300 1882  ? 6050 1 fortress howitzer, most likely did not see combat in WWII
Obice da 149/12 modello 14 149.1mm 6500 1915  ? 2700 1.5 Austrian-built Skoda howitzer
Obice da 149/13 modello 14 149.1mm 8800 1915 490 2765 1.5 Obice da 149/12 modello 14 modified for new ammunition
Cannone da 149/35 A 149.1mm 16500 1900 895 8220 1 No recoil absorber, zero traverse
Obice da 149/19 modello 37 149.1mm 14250 1939 230 5780 3 Italian replacement for all older howitzers
15 cm/50 K10 Skoda 149.1mm 15000 1912 12  ? 6 removed from Austrian battleship Tegetthoff and used in coastal defense
Cannone da 152/45 152.4mm 19400 1910 53 16672 1 Naval gun used in counter-battery fire and siege
Cannone da. 152/37 152.4mm 16000 1916 44 11900 1 built in Austria-Hungary
190/39 Skoda 190mm 20000 1904 29 12700 3 built in Austria-Hungary as naval gun, reused by Italians in coastal defense
7.5"/45 model 1908 191mm 22000 1908 24 13770 2.6 naval gun reused in coastal defense
203/45 modello 1897 203.2mm 18000 1897 40 11900 2.4 built for Giuseppe Garibaldi-class cruisers, used in WWII as siege gun and coastal defense
203/50 modello 24 203.2mm 30620 1924 26 11900 2.4 built for Trento-class cruisers, 1 turret used in coastal defence
Obice da 210/22 modello 35 210mm 15400 1935 20 24000 1 Production continued by Germans after surrender of Italy
Mortaio da 210/8 D.S. 210mm 8450 1900  ? 10930 0.4 In Italian fortresses only
Mortario da 210/8 PIAT 210mm 8450 1900  ? 10930 0.4 Towed version of Mortaio da 210/8 D.S.
Mortario da 210/8 FROM 210mm 8450 1900  ? 10930 0.4 Improved mobility version of Mortario da 210/8 PIAT
Skoda 305 mm Model 1911 305mm 9600 1911 79 20839 0.18 Austro-Hungarian siege howitzer, received by Italy
305/50 mod. 1912 305mm 19000 1909 6 199900 1 naval gun used as coastal artillery
305/45 K10 Skoda 305mm 20000 1911 65 620000 3 triple-mount Austrian naval gun used as coastal artillery
Cannone navale da 381/40 (coastal) 381mm 27300 1912 10 95000 1.75 naval gun used as coastal artillery
Cannone navale da 381/40 (railroad) 381mm 30000 1912 7 212000 1.75 naval gun used as railroad gun

See also:

Anti-tank guns[edit]

Before and during WWII, Italy designed most of their anti-aircraft guns and some its infantry guns to also serve in the anti-tank role. No dedicated anti-tank gun was produced. Listed below is just the guns used in anti-tank role most commonly.

Model Caliber Penetration 1 Penetration 2 Muzzle speed Max. range From Produced Weight, kg fire rate, RPM Comment
Cannone da 47/32 M35 47mm 58mm@100m 43mm@500m 630 (250) 7000 1935  ? 315 5 dual-role anti-tank/infantry gun, licensed version of Böhler gun
Cannone da 37/54 37mm ? ? 700 6000 1934  ? 277 120 dual-role anti-tank/anti-aircraft gun

Infantry anti-tank weapons[edit]

Anti-aircraft weapons[edit]

Model Caliber Eff. alt. From Produced Weight, kg fire rate, RPM Comment
Breda mod. 31 13.2mm 1000 1929  ? 47.5 400 used on command vehicles, licensed copy of the 13.2 mm Hotchkiss machine gun
Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/77 (Scotti) 20mm 2000 1940 500 227.5 250 designed as aircraft cannon, build by Swiss Oerlikon
Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/65 modello 35 (Breda) 20mm 2000 1935  ? 330 240 twin mount, main Italian light AA/AT gun
Breda 37/54 mod. 32 37mm 3500 1934  ? 5000 120 naval gun with stabilizer
Breda 37/54 mod. 38 37mm 3500 1938  ? 4300 120 twin-barreled land version, without stabilizer
Breda 37/54 mod. 39 37mm 3500 1939  ? 1500 120 land version with recoil absorber
Breda 37/54 mod. 40 37mm 3500 1940  ? 312.5 120 re-navalized version with recoil absorber
QF 2-pounder naval gun (40/39 Vickers-Terni mod. 1915) 40mm 3960 1917 50+ 711 67 import and licensed production of "pom-pom" gun
Ansaldo Cannone da 65/64 modello 39 65mm 5000 1939 115  ? 20
Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34 75mm 8500 1935 318 4405 15 used on Semovente 75/46 as anti-tank gun
Cannone da 75/50 75mm 9200 1939  ? 4150 15 Captured from Czech army in 1939
76/40 Mod 1916 RM 76.2mm 5500 1916 492 1676 14 used in fixed AA positions from 1933
76/45 Mod 1911 RM 76.2mm 6000 1911 312 2204 25 licensed version of "76 mm Mle 1911 Schneider"
Cannone da 90/53 mod. 1939 90mm 11300 1939 539 8950 19 used on Semovente 90/53 as anti-tank gun
Cannone da 90/50 mod. 1939 90mm 10800 1939 56 18750 12 navalized Cannone da 90/53 version
102/35 mod. 1914 101.6mm 5700 1914 110 1220 7 used by the navy and on armored trains, and on 102/35 on SPA 9000 SPG
120/27 OTO 1924 120mm 5500 1924 5  ? 9 removed from submarines, re-used in Messina AA battery

All calibers of AA guns were also mounted in portee trucks in dual roles (ground attack and AA).

Vehicles[edit]

The Italian designation system for tanks consisted of a letter (L, M or P; designating light, medium and heavy tanks respectively) followed by two numbers: one giving the approximate weight in tons, the other giving the year it was accepted for service. Thus "M11/39" means the 11 ton medium tank of 1939. The Italian definitions of light, medium and heavy tank differ from other nations at the time. For instance the Italian "medium" tanks are often described as "light" in other sources.

Tankettes[edit]

Model From Armor max., mm Primary armament Secondary armament Weight, t Power, kW Range, km Produced Crew Comments
Carden Loyd Mark VI tankette 1929 9 2 × 8 mm machine guns No 1.5 17 160 4 2 imported from the UK
L2/29 (CV-29) 1929 9 2 × 8 mm machine guns No 1.5 17 160 21 2 minimal modifications of Carden Loyd Mark VI tankette
L3/33 (CV-33) 1933 14 Fiat Mod. 14 6.5 mm MG No 2.7 32 110 300 2 all previous tankettes were upgraded in 1934 to CV-33 II Mod. 1934
L3/33 (CV-33 II Mod. 1934) 1934 14 2 × Fiat–Revelli Modello 1935 8 mm MG No 2.7 32 110  ? 2 mass production version
L3 Lf 1933 14 Flamethrower Fiat–Revelli Modello 1935 8 mm MG 3.3 32 110  ? 2 flame tank with towed fuel tank
L3/35 (CV-35) 1935 14 2 × Breda 38 8 mm MG No 3.2 32 125 2500 2 armor bolted instead of riveted
L3/35 II 1935 14 2 × Breda 38 8 mm MG No 3.2 32 125  ? 2 doors and louvers modified for desert operation
L3/38 1935 14 Madsen machine gun (13.2 mm) No 3.2 32 125 24 2 export variant, torsion bar suspension

The L3 tankette was also a basis for several engineering vehicles.

Tanks[edit]

Model From Armor max., mm Primary armament Secondary armament Weight, t Power, kW Range, km Produced Crew Comments
Panzer III Ausf N 1942 70 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 3 × 7.92 mm MG 34 23 220 155 0 5 imported from Germany, can fire HEAT rounds
Panzer IV Ausf H 1943 88 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/48 2 × 7.92 mm MG 34 25 220 200 0 5 imported from Germany
T-34/76 1941 60 76.2mm F-34 tank gun 2 × 7.62 mm DT machine gun 26.5 370 400 0 4 captured from USSR, used on Eastern front only
L5/21 1921 16 2x6.5 mm machine guns 3000A 6.5 mm machine gun 6 38.2 100 100 2 1st Italian "tank"
L5/30 1930 16 37/40 gun 6.5 mm machine gun 6 38.2 100 52 2 weapon upgrade of L5/21
Carro Armato L6/40 1940 16 20 mm Breda 35 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun 6.8 52 200 283 2 designed for export, base for Semovente 47/32 SPG, flame tank version Fiat L6-40 LF
Renault R35 1940 43 37 mm L/21 SA18 7.5 mm MAC31 Reibel machine gun 10.6 62 130 124 2 French tank received via Germany
Somua S35 1941 47 47 mm SA 35 gun 7.5 mm Mitrailleuse mle 1931 19.5 140 230 32 3 French tank received via Germany, used in Italy for training only
Carro Armato M11/39 1939 30 37 mm Vickers-Terni L/40 2 × 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun 11.2 79 200 100 3 Main cannon mounted in front hull below turret
Carro Armato M13/40 1940 42 47 mm Cannone da 47/32 M35 4 × 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun 13.5 93 200 700 4 Main cannon placed in turret, 1 AA machine gun
Carro Armato M14/41 1941 42 47 mm Cannone da 47/32 M35 2 × 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun 14 110 200 800 4 Armor improvements of M13/40, machine guns ball turret removed
Carro Armato M15/42 1943 50 47 mm Cannone da 47/32 M35 4 × 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun 15.5 145 200 118 4 base for Semovente 75/34 gun
Fiat M16/43 ("Sahariano") 1943 50 47 mm Cannone da 47/32 M35 2 × 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun 16 208 300 1 4 Christie suspension used for first time in Italy
Carro Armato P26/40 1943 50 75 mm Cannone da 75/34 2 × 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun 26 310 280 103 4 base for Semovente 149/40 SPG, used by German army only

Self-propelled guns[edit]

Tank-based[edit]

Name Chassis Gun Developed Manufactured Role
Semovente 47/32 Fiat L6/40 Cannone da 47/32 M35 1941 300 self-propelled AT gun
Semovente M41 75/18 M14/41 Obice da 75/18 modello 34 1942 262 self-propelled gun
Semovente 75/34 M15/42 75/34 Mod. S.F. 1942 190 self-propelled AT gun
Semovente 75/46 M15/42 Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34 1942 15 self-propelled gun
Semovente M41M 90/53 M14/41 Cannone da 90/53 1942 30 self-propelled AT gun
Semovente M42L 105/25 M15/42 tank 105mm howitzer 1943 90 self-propelled gun
Semovente 149/40 M14/41 Cannone da 149/40 modello 35 1942 1 self-propelled gun, prototype only
StuG III Ausf G Panzer III 7.5 cm KwK 40 1940 0 self-propelled AT gun, received from Germany

Others[edit]

During World War II, Italy regularly mounted cannons on portee trucks. Also, permanent installation of guns on trucks and armored cars were done on ad-hoc basis, therefore many self-propelled guns had no official name besides descriptive type of truck plus type of cannon. Below is the grossly incomplete list of these self-propelled weapons.

  • Autocannone Sahariana Corta da 75/27 - cannon installed on truck TL 37
  • 102/35 on SPA 9000
  • 35 on Fiat 634N
  • Carro Commando Per Reparto Semovente da 75/18
  • Autocannoni da 75
  • Breda Dovunque 90/53
  • Breda Autocannone Blindato Tipo 102
  • Autocannone da 90 - Lancia 3 RO Chassis
  • Fiat 611 AT - SP ATG armed with 37mm cannon
  • L.3/Solothurn or L.3/cc (antitank) - changes made on several specimens directly from the operational departments in Italian North Africa in 1941. In place of the twin machine guns an S-18/1000 Solothurn 20 mm anti-tank rifle was mounted, which could penetrate the armor of British armored cars and light tanks.
  • Trubia - experimental version of the Spanish armed with a gun Breda 20/65 Mod 1935 20mm.
  • Chariot anti-tank gun or self-propelled L3 47/32 - prototype self-propelled gun armed with a 47/32 mm; trying "desperately" to adapt to the new demands of war the L3 Chariot had a very similar design to the Panzerjäger I (which was also derived from the most common light tank in the army of adoption, the Panzer I). The hull, superstructure private, had a front antitank gun 47/32 cowl, which was to protect the crew and the rest of the half was equal to the chassis of L .3, although the photo of the prototype seems that the suspensions were a mainspring. Probably would not be successful, since the recoil while content of 47/32 could, in the long run detrimental to the operation of the medium.

Armoured Cars[edit]

Maker Developed Produced Armament Model comments
Fiat 1933 46 3 × Breda mod. 5C 6.5 mm machine gun Fiat 611 w/o gun had mobility and maintenance problems
Fiat 1933  ? 2 × Breda mod. 5C 6.5 mm machine gun and 1 x cannone Vickers-Terni da 37/40 Mod.30 Fiat 611 w gun considered unsuccessful because was unable to fire forward with machine gun
Lancia 1915 120 2 × 6.5 mm Maxim gun Lancia IZM (Lancia IZ) all machine guns are detachable
Morris Motors 1936 100 14.3mm Boys anti-tank rifle and 7.7 mm Bren light machine gun Morris CS9 equipped with radio, good mobility
Lancia&Ansaldo 1942 263 Breda 38 8 mm machine gun Lince copy of British Daimler Dingo
Fiat&Ansaldo 1940 24 2 × Breda 38 8 mm machine gun Autoblinda 40 (AB 40) developed from SPA-TM40, most AB 40 upgraded to AB 41
Fiat&Ansaldo 1941 600 Breda Model 35 20mm gun Autoblinda 41 (AB 41) firepower improvement of AB 40
Fiat&Ansaldo 1942 70 47mm 47/32 Mod. 1935 gun Autoblinda 42 (AB 42) overall good combat performance, had a version with railroad wheels
Fiat&Ansaldo 1943 1 47mm 47/32 Mod. 1935 gun Autoblinda 43 (AB 43) more powerful engine and armor added
SPA-Viberti 1942  ? 47mm 47/32 Mod. 1935 gun SPA-Viberti AS.42 "Sahariano" scout car based on AB 41

Engineering and command[edit]

  • L.3/r - command tank with radio inside, deployed in all tankette units
  • L.3 carro recupero - experimental version for the recovery of damaged vehicles.
  • L.3 da demolizione - radio-controlled prototype for the destruction of the minefields.
  • L6/40 ammunition carrier
  • L6/40 command tank

Trucks[edit]

Light trucks[edit]

  • Breda-32
  • Breda-40
  • Breda-41
  • ОМ-32 Autocarretta da Montagna
  • ОМ-36DM
  • SPA TL.37
  • SPA CL39
  • SPA ТМ40

Medium trucks[edit]

Heavy Trucks[edit]

Passenger cars[edit]

  • Alfa Romeo 6С2500 Coloniale
  • FIAT-508СМ
  • Balilla-1100 Coloniale
  • Lancia Aprilia Coloniale

Motorcycles[edit]

  • Benelli 500 M36
  • Benelli 500 VLM
  • Bianchi Supermil 500
  • Gilera 500 LTE
  • Moto Guzzi Alce
  • Moto Guzzi Trialce
  • Volugrafo Aermoto 125

Tractors and prime movers[edit]

  • L.3 trattore leggero - hypothetical version for towing the gun da. 47/32
  • Pavesi Р4.31 (L140)
  • Fiat 727 - half-track artillery tractor
  • SPA TM40 - wheeled artillery tractor
  • Breda 61 - half-track artillery tractor, a licensed copy of the German Sd.Kfz. 7

Miscellaneous vehicles[edit]

  • Carro Veloce 29 (armored car) - may be misspelled or fictitious

Army vessels[edit]

Navy ships and war vessels[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

Secret weapons[edit]

Radars[edit]

The Italy was late on the radar development; At the date of the armistice in 1943, 84 of 85 radars in operation were German-built. Italian Army and Navy have deployed a network of radar detectors and jammers though.

  • ARGO - domestically developed air warning radar in Pratica di Mare Air Base
  • FREYA - sold by Germans 1 July 1942, later transported to Sicily
  • RTD Arghetto or Vespa - prototype of airborne 300 MHz radar

See also: Armi avanzate della Seconda Guerra Mondiale/Appendix 4 (wikibook)

Missiles and bombs[edit]

Cartridges and shells[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]