Italian Army equipment in World War II

Italian Army equipment in World War II

This page lists equipment used by the Italian Army during World War II.

Infantry weapons

* Beretta M1934 pistols
* Beretta Model 38/42 submachine guns
* Carcano rifles
* Breda machine guns:
** Breda 30 6.5 mm machine gun
** Breda 37 7.35 mm heavy machine gun
** Breda 38 8 mm machine gun


Italy used a 45 mm light mortar (Brixia Model 35) and an 81 mm medium mortar. Infantry battalions (1940-42 Type) included 2 platoonS of 9 light mortars (18 Total), and infantry regiments included a company of 6 medium mortars.


Italian artillery was usually designated using the calibre and length of the barrel in number of calibre lengths, so "90/53" would mean a weapon with a 90 mm diameter barrel where the length of the barrel was approximately 53 calibre lengths (i.e. 53x90 mm, that is 4.77 m).

The Cannone da 47/32 M35 was a dual-purpose anti-tank gun and infantry gun based on a design by the Austrian firm of Bohler. Because it was a dual purpose gun, its design was a compromise: anti-tank guns require a high muzzle velocity in order to maximise armour penetration, but an infantry gun required a low muzzle velocity, because that means the gun can be lighter (and therefore more easily handled), and the shell can contain more explosive (a high muzzle-velocity shell needs thicker metal to avoid disintegrating when fired).

The Cannone da 65/17 modello 13 was a lightweight infantry and mountain gun, dating from before World War I.

The Obice da 75/18 modello 34 was a lightweight howitzer designed to be used as a mountain gun.

The Cannone da 75/32 modello 37 was a field artillery piece. It was also used as an anti-tank gun.

The Cannone da 105/28 modello 12 was a field artillery piece, a French gun dating from before World War I.

The Obice da 149/12 modello 14 was a howitzer produced by Skoda during World War I, many of which passed into the Italian army as reparations at the end of that war. The Obice da 149/13 modello 14 was a modified version of the same gun.

The Obice da 210/22 modello 35 was a heavy howitzer.

Anti aircraft artillery

Italy used two models of 20 mm autocannon:

* The Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/77 (Scotti) was designed in 1932 and produced by the Swiss Oerlikon company.
* Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/65 modello 35 (Breda)

Italy also used heavier anti-aircraft guns, in calibers of 75 mm and 90 mm. The Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34 was designed in the 1920s based on an earlier British design. The Cannone da 90/53 was roughly equivalent to the famous German 88 mm gun. Like the "88", the Cannone da 90/53 was also used as an anti-tank weapon.

All calibers of AA guns were also mounted in portee trucks in dual roles (ground attack and AA).

Armoured fighting vehicles

The Italian designation system for tanks consisted of a letter (L, M or P; designating light, medium and heavy tanks respectively) followed by two numbers: one giving the approximate weight in tons, the other giving the year it was accepted for service. Thus "M11/39" means the 11 ton medium tank of 1939. It should be noted that the Italian definitions of light, medium and heavy tank differ from other nations at the time. For instance the Italian "medium" tanks are often described as "light" in other sources.


* L3/33
* L3/35

Light tanks

* L6/40

Medium tanks

* M11/39
* M13/40
* M14/41 (a M13/40 with a more powerful engine)
* M15/42
* P40

Self-propelled guns

* Semovente 47/32
* Semovente 75/18
* Semovente 75/34
* Semovente 90/53
* Semovente 105/25
* Semovente 149/40 (one prototype only)

Armoured cars

* Autoblinda 40
* Autoblinda 41
* Lince scout car

See also

* [ Comando Supremo website] has lots of detail on Italian WWII military equipment

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