Land Weapons

FIAT / Ansaldo

Carro Armato L6/40

The Carro Armato L6/40 was Italy's main purposely designed light tank of the war, although in terms of weight many of its medium tanks would be classified as such as well. It was developed from a pre-war export-oriented design. Like most Italian armored vehicles of the time, it was built with a riveted hull and turret, with an otherwise conventional design featuring the driver at the front right, and the other crew member manning the small turret, which was offset slightly to the left. Armament was relatively light, involving a Breda 20-mm cannon, plus a co-axial machine gun. This gave it negligible anti-tank capability, although a subsequent anti-tank variant was also developed. The L6/40 was designed to replace the CV33 but it was already largely obsolete when the war began. Still, it was used in North Africa, Italy, and Russia where they were the main tank fielded by the Italian Army despite its even greater inadequacy against Soviet tanks than against British ones in the desert. A small number were taken over by the German Army after the Italian surrender and some remained in service post-war with militia units until the early 1950s.

The Carro Armato L6/40 was developed as a private venture for export after which the Italian Army expressed interested and adopted it. There were no variants of the basic tank version, although a command vehicle was developed with radios and an open roof. The Semovente L40 tank destroyer was developed from the L6/40 hull and is described separately. It was armed with a 47-mm gun.

L6/40
L6/40

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignCarro Armato L6/40
TypeLight Tank
Year1940
Crew2
Dimensions
Length (w/Gun)3.78 m
Width1.92 m
Height2.03 m
Weight
Loaded6,790 kg
Ground Pressure0.61 kg/cm²
SuspensionTorsion bar
Performance
Speed (Off-Road)42 km/h (25 km/h)
Range (Off-Road)200 km (80 km)
AmphibiousNo
Fording0.80 m
Vertical Obstacle0.70 m
Trench1.70 m
Gradient60%
Powerplant
Engine1 x 70-hp
FIAT
SPA 18D
FuelGasoline
Power/Weight10.31 hp/t
Armament
Main1 x 20-mm
Breda Mod. 35
Anti-Tank Gun (256)
↑ 20° / ↓ -12° / ↔ 360°

Secondary1 x 8-mm (c)
Armor
TypeSteel
Thickness6 - 40 mm
Max Effective30 - 41 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front30 mm / 10°
Hull Lower Front30 mm / 10°
Hull Upper Sides15 mm / 10°
Hull Lower Sides15 mm
Hull Lower Rear15 mm
Hull Top6 mm
Hull Bottom6 mm
Turret Mantlet40 mm / 15°
Turret Front40 mm / 10°
Turret Sides15 mm / 15°
Turret Rear15 mm / 15°
Turret Top6 mm
Production
Built283
Total283

Gallery