Italian M15/42 Tank

By the time the Carro Armato M15/42 ¹ came into service in 1943, the scenario it had been designed for – fast moving desert warfare in North Africa – was over, and by October that year Italy had switched sides in the war.

Just as well really. Although its 47 mm/L40 main gun was sound, its design was already obsolete and its thin 42mm armour made it vulnerable to most enemy tanks it was likely to encounter… including itself². When the Italians left the Axis 82 x M15/42s had been delivered to the Italian Army, some of which the 135th Armoured Division used against German troops trying to disarm them in Rome. In the end, the Germans commandeered or captured 92 x M15/42s, which were mostly used against partisans in Yugoslavia.

This M15/42 is on display in the Musée des Blindés in Saumur, France.

¹ M15/42 = Medium tank, 15 ton, adopted in 1942. Carro Armato = “Tank”.
² There’s no evidence Italian M15/42s fought German M15/42s.

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