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Italian Light Tanks: 1919-45 (New Vanguard) Paperback – June 19, 2012
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“Italian Light Tanks” makes a nice companion volume to “Italian Medium Tanks” by the same authors. Filippo Cappellano in 2012 had the assignment of serving in the Italian Army Historical Branch as a Lt. Col. He companion Pier Paolo Battistelli earned a PhD in Military History. Both are frequent contributors to the appropriate journals. They bring their expertise to bear on the subject of the “Italian Light Tanks”.
Italy had a deficit in terms of the auto industry and industry in general in comparison to other major powers in WWII. Italy never could overcome the disparity between what she could produce and what other powers could produce. The major type of light tank was actually a tankette, a two man machine armed with machine guns. This tankette, similar to the British Bren Carrier, could not hold its own against other tanks, even in the 1930's in the Spanish Civil War. They were under armed and not very reliable. There were however lots of them, for a while. They were knocked out in battle quickly and often had to be left behind with mechanical defects. The L/3-35 can not be called a success but the crews often showed great courage.
The other prime Italian Light Tank was the L/6-40 series including the Semovente L-40 self propelled gun. The problems of protection, armament and reliability also applied to the L/6 series. By the time the L/6 tanks came into play they were already obsolete. The tank was armed only with machine guns or a 20mm cannon. Even the up-gunned self propelled gun could field only an inadequate 47mm anti tank cannon.
This slim 48 page volume is crammed with numbers, descriptions of various deployments and loads of photos.Read more ›
Set out in chronological order the book discusses the Italians acquiring French tanks for evaluation and their own FT-17 copy the Fiat 3000 (as well as a cursory glance at the certainly NOT light Fiat 2000). It then moves onto the further developments in light tanks undertaken in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Thus we get the CV33/L3 and derivatives, the L6 and Semovente L40 self propelled guns. There is very brief discussion about the export of these vehicles and also some dissection of how they fared in combat in both the Spanish Civil War and the Italian campaign against Ethiopia. This is particularly interesting given the campaign was across rugged terrain far from logistics. Which you would think would give the Italian military a heads up…..Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Could have been a bigger book. Very on point and interesting text.Published 13 months ago by W Lentjes
While the book covered all of the Itialian light tanks, I did not find as much information on the L6/40 as I was looking forPublished 15 months ago by Timmothy Stone