Semovente da 75/46

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Semovente da 75/46
Sturmgeschütz M 43 mit 75/46 (852) (i)
M43 75-46.JPG
The prototype of the 75/46[1]
TypeTank destroyer
Place of originItaly
Service history
Used byNazi Germany
WarsWorld War II
Production history
ManufacturerFIAT-Ansaldo
Produced1944-45
No. built11–13
Specifications
Mass15.7 t[2]
Length7.28 m (23 ft 11 in) overall[1]
Width2.88 m (9 ft 5 in)[1]
Height1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Crew3 (commander/gunner, driver, loader/radio operator)

Armourmax 75 mm (3.0 in)[1]
Main
armament
75 mm (3.0 in) L46 gun with 43 rounds[1]
Secondary
armament
8 mm Breda 38 machine gun with 500 rounds[1]
EngineSPA 15TB M-15 diesel V8 water cooled[1]
130 kW (170 bhp)[2]
Suspensionvertical volute spring

The Semovente da 75/46 was an Italian tank destroyer used during World War II.

Development[edit]

After the armistice of Cassibile signed in September 1943, Northern and Central Italy fell under German control. In 1944 the progress of the war led them to order a new Italian armoured vehicle for a tank-fighting role, based on the Semovente da 105/25 self-propelled gun. The result was the Semovente da 75/46, which was renamed Sturmgeschütz M 43 mit 75/46 (852) (i) by the Germans, following their naming convention.[1]

The 75/46 shared the same "M 43" hull of the 105/25.[3] However, the 105 mm L25 howitzer was replaced by a longer 75 mm L46 cannon – originally conceived as a FlaK cannon but also used as an anti-tank gun – which ensured a higher muzzle velocity (750 m/s instead of 510) and a far greater effective range, being able to fire a 6.5 kg (14 lb 5 oz) shell up to 13,000 m (43,000 ft) away. This gun could be loaded with HE or AP rounds; when loaded with the latter, it could pierce up to 90 mm (3.5 in) of armour from 500 m.[3][4]
The other main difference with its precursor was in the overall increased armour: sloped plates were applied to the casemate and others were added on the sides, above the tracks.[1] Due to these features and despite its origins, the 75/46 is considered a tank destroyer in every respect.[5]

Production[edit]

Between 1944 and the end of World War II in Italy, Ansaldo managed to assemble only 11[3][5] or 13[1] specimens, all deployed exclusively by the Wehrmacht. Their standard camouflage, applied just after their assembly, consisted in a Saharian Khaki background with reddish-brown and gray-green patches.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pignato, Nicola (1974), in Bellona Military Vehicle Prints, series 36. Model & Allied Publications LTD., p. 13, 18-20
  2. ^ a b c Values for the original Semovente da 105/25, as cited in Pignato (1974). The author does not provide the 75/46 equivalents in the comparison of the two models, so it is possible that the values were the same, or otherwise simply unknown.
  3. ^ a b c d Pignato, Nicola (2004). Italian Armored Vehicles of World War Two. Squadron/Signal publications. ISBN 0-89747-475-9., p. 51
  4. ^ Cappellano, F.; Battistelli, P.P (2012). Italian medium tanks: 1939-45. Oxford: Osprey Publ. p. 36. ISBN 9781849087759.
  5. ^ a b Guglielmi, Daniele (2013). Semoventi M 41 & M 42. Model Centrum PROGRES. ISBN 978-83-60672-03-7., p. 64