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Semovente da 75/18 ID
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Joined: June 03, 2011
KitMaker: 19 posts
Armorama: 19 posts
Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 01:08 AM UTC
Can someone identify this Semovente tank. I have some conflicting information, is this M40 or M41 ??

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Illinois, United States
Joined: March 24, 2006
KitMaker: 1,816 posts
Armorama: 1,402 posts
Posted: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 01:50 PM UTC
Although we are glad you have visited the WarWheels.Net forum, you'll find better luck getting your questions answered about tracked vehicles at the Armorama AFV forum. This forum is dedicated to WHEELED vehicles. Good luck with your search.
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,249 posts
Armorama: 2,007 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 12:06 PM UTC
Despite the question being in the wrong place, I might be able to shed some foggy, blurry light on it.

Quoted Text

Can someone identify this Semovente tank. I have some conflicting information, is this M40 or M41 ??

Hi Woocash. This photo is reproduced in Nicola Pignato's Italian Medium Tanks In Action (Squadron Signal Armor No 39) and he doesn't identify which it is. More correctly, your question should be which chassis type is this Semovente da 75/18 based on, an M13/40, or an M14/41? I believe it is hard to tell the difference between these two distinct models, as although there are various external detail differences across all the tanks that bear these two marks, those differences do not exactly correspond to a particular mark.

The actual difference that separates the models is in the engine used, a 125hp unit in the 40, a 145hp in the 41, as well as improved transmission, while the external detail changes were carried out across the range of 40 and 41s, so identification is not easy.

The short fenders (rear portion of the track run is exposed), and the single spare road wheel on the back (the left hand position being occupied by the jack) suggest it is a late 40 or a 41. Nicola Pignato does make the comment that the machine gun on the roof is a 6.5mm Breda Model 30, while later Semoventi were fitted with the 8mm Model 38.

There is another photo of this same vehicle 4449 being driven backwards from a trailer, indeed I think the photo you provided is taken just a little while later, in Ian W Walker's "Iron Hulls Iron Hearts". A possible clue is that from the difference of angle that the photo provides, it seems possible that the exhaust mufflers are smooth in appearance rather than ridged, although the photo isn't that clear, but that is characteristic of a 41. On your photo, if you look at what is a grille immediately above the spare wheel, just to the right of and below the radiator cover, the grille bars are not visible, which they just might have been if they were running laterally with the hull, i.e. from front to back; that may suggest that they are running transverse, i.e. from side to side, which again would indicate a 41.

In the Ian Walker book, this particular tank is identified as being from 5 Gruppo, Ariete Armoured Division. If you are interested in finding out more about the experiences of these Italian units in North Africa, I recommend this book to you, it is a very well written and, I have to say, tragic story.