Land Weapons

Tank Destroyer (1941)

FIAT / Ansaldo

Semovente M41 / M42 / M43

M42 da 75/34
M41 75/13
M41 90/53

The Semovente M41 series were Italy's heaviest armored fighting vehicles used in World War II, and the only ones truly capable of defeating most Allied tanks that they could encounter. All versions were developed from the M13/40 tank and its variants, sharing the same chassis but with redesigned upper hulls. Early vehicles were fitted with 75-mm guns and these were mounted in a box-like riveted superstructure that gave them a passing resemblance to the German StuG III. There were originally intended as divisional artillery before switching to the anti-tank role. Later, a dedicated anti-tank vehicle was built armed with a large 90-mm anti-aircraft gun. This was originally developed as a naval weapon and had similar ballistic characteristics to the feared German 8.8cm. The size of the gun, however, required the removal of the superstructure. This resulted in the vehicle having no protection other than a large gun shield at the rear of the hull where the gun mount was located. The M41 served on all fronts, particularly in North Africa and was said to have performed effectively against Allied armor. The 90/53 version, which was designed for service on the Eastern Front, never served in that theater as initial units were only ready once the Allies had invaded Sicily. As was the case with most Italian armored vehicles, surviving units were taken up by the Germans.

The first design in the series was the Semovente M41 da 75/18 (occasionally referred to as the M40) which was armed with a 75-mm Model 34 gun and based on the chassis of the M13/40 or M14/41 medium tanks. This was followed by the M42 da 75/34 with a longer caliber (L/34) gun and the chassis of the M15/42. However, it was never used in combat by the Italian Army, but rather by the Germans after the Italian surrender. All 75-mm versions featured a box-like superstructure but this was removed in the subsequent M41 da 90/53 in order to fit the much longer 90-mm anti-aircraft gun. Other variants included the M43 da 105/25 with a 105-mm gun on a widened M15/42 chassis and of which production continued after the war under German direction. Lastly, the M42 149 was designed with an even more powerful 149-mm Model 35 gun but only one was built.

Preceded by:

Semovente L40 (1940)

Succeeded by:



DesignSemovente M41 da 75/18Semovente M41 da 90/53Semovente M43 da 105/25
TypeTank DestroyerTank DestroyerTank Destroyer
Length (w/Gun)4.92 m5.30 m5.80 m
Width2.200 m2.260 m2.400 m
Height1.850 m2.180 m1.740 m
Ground Clearance0 m0 m0 m
Track0 m0 m0 m
Track on Ground0 m0 m0 m
Combat13,100 kg17,000 kg15,700 kg
Ground Pressure0 kg/cm²0 kg/cm²0 kg/cm²
SuspensionTorsion barTorsion barTorsion bar
Speed (Off-Road)32 km/h (15 km/h)35 km/h38 km/h (17 km/h)
Range (Off-Road)200 km200 km150 km
Fording1 m1 m1 m
Vertical Obstacle0.80 m0.89 m0.80 m
Trench2 m2.13 m2.10 m
Engine1 x 125-hp
SPA 15T M41
1 x 125-hp
SPA 15T M41
1 x 125-hp
Power/Weight9.54 hp/t7.35 hp/t7.96 hp/t
Main1 x 75-mm L/18
Obice da 75/18 Mod. 35

↑ 22° / ↓ -12° / ↔ 38°
1 x 90-mm L/53
Cannone da 90/53 Mod. 39

Anti-Tank Gun
↑ 24° / ↓ -5° / ↔ 80°
1 x 105-mm L/25
Cannone da 105/25 Mod. SF

Anti-Tank Gun
↑ 22° / ↓ -12° / ↔ 38°
1 x 8-mm
Breda Mod. 38
1 x 8-mm
Breda Mod. 38
1 x 8-mm
Breda Mod. 38
Ammo8-mm: 1,104
8-mm: 864
Thickness11 - 50 mm6 - 102 mm11 - 75 mm
Max Effective50 - 50 mm RHAe102 mm RHAe50 - 75 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front50 mm / 5°41 mm / 62°75 mm
Hull Lower Front30 mm / Round30 mm / Round50 mm / 45°
Hull Upper Sides25 mm / 12°102 mm45 mm / 15°
Hull Lower Sides25 mm25 mm25 mm
Hull Lower Rear25 mm-25 mm
Hull Top15 mm / 81°-25 mm / 86°
Hull Bottom11 mm6 mm15 mm
Turret Mantlet50 mm / Round-11 mm / Round
Turret Sides--50 mm