Land Weapons

Ansaldo

Carro Armato P26/40

The P26/40 (also known as the P40) was the only heavy tank built by Italy during World War II, although in terms of weight (26 tonnes) was more akin to other countries' definition of a medium tank. Armament consisted of a 75-mm gun, the only Italian tank to mount a weapon of that caliber, and which made it more than adequate in terms of firepower by mid-war standards. The hull shape strongly resembled that of the M13/40, but experience against the Soviet T-34 prompted a redesign with more sloped armor which reached 60 mm at its thickest. It's main limitation in terms of protection was the continued reliance on riveted hulls, which were less effective than welded or cast designs. As such, although the P26 fared well against British anti-tank guns such as the 2-pdr, it was vulnerable to the 6- and 17-pdrs. Mechanically the P26/42 was sound, but suffered somewhat in rough terrain. Production commenced in 1943, shortly before the Italian surrender and as a result, few were placed in service and most were used for static defense (including those taken over by the Germans).

As the designation suggests, design of the P26/40 began in 1940 but the first prototype was not ready until 1942, with production commencing the following year. No other variants were built

P26/40
P26/40

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignCarro Armato P26/40
TypeHeavy Tank
Year1940
Crew4
Dimensions
Length (w/Gun)5.82 m
Width2.80 m
Height2.52 m
Weight
Loaded26,000 kg
SuspensionLeaf springs
Performance
Speed (Off-Road)42 km/h (15 km/h)
Range (Off-Road)275 km
AmphibiousNo
Fording1 m
Vertical Obstacle0.80 m
Trench2.10 m
Gradient60%
Powerplant
Engine1 x 330-hp
FIAT
SPA
FuelDiesel
Power/Weight12.69 hp/t
Armament
Main1 x 75-mm L/34
Cannone da 75/34 Mod. SF
Anti-Tank Gun (65)
↑ 23° / ↓ -10° / ↔ 360°

Secondary1 x 8-mm (c)
1 x 8-mm
Armor
TypeSteel
Thickness15 - 60 mm
Max Effective62 - 87 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front50 mm / 45°
Hull Lower Front50 mm / 55°
Hull Upper Sides45 mm / 35°
Hull Lower Sides40 mm
Hull Upper Rear40 mm / 40°
Hull Lower Rear40 mm / 10°
Hull Top20 mm / 83°
Hull Bottom15 mm
Turret Mantlet60 mm / Round
Turret Front60 mm / 15°
Turret Sides45 mm / 25°
Turret Rear40 mm / 25°
Turret Top20 mm / 82°
Production
Built103
Total103

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