Italian Medium Tanks
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
List Price: $17.95*
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Inspired by its British and French counterparts, the M 11 / 39 was a 11-ton medium tank chiefly intended for use as an infantry tank, with its main gun (a 37/40 gun) mounted in a casemate in the hull and its small turret armed only with two machine guns. Actual production was limited to only 100 samples, 76 of which were sent to Libya and the other 24 to Eastern Africa, as production of the turret-gun-armed M 13 had started in the meantime. In June 1940, when Italy entered the war, her armoured inventory numbered fewer than 1,500 light tanks (including the obsolete Fiat 3000) and the 100 newly built M 11 medium tanks, divided amongst three armoured divisions, three cavalry groups and several independent tank battalions. Unsurprisingly, without a tank school, the Italian armoured force lacked the necessary training and experience in the use of tanks and AFVs, and with the tanks lacking radio equipment, there was a widespread absence of tactical and technical knowledge which, along with the limited effectiveness and numbers of the available tanks, made the perfect recipe for the defeats to come.
Pier Paolo Battistelli earned his PhD in Military History at the University of Padua. A scholar of German and Italian politics and strategy throughout the Second World War, he is active in Italy and abroad writing titles and essays on military history subjects.
Chasemore has worked as an illustrator and 3D computer artist in the U.S. and Europe on a great variety of projects, including Star Wars.
"...continues where the author's fascinating Italian Light Tanks: 1919–45 ended."
--David L. Veres, www.cybermodeler.com (January 2013)
"In line with other books in this series, the authors cover the development and construction of the various medium tanks and the semovente from which they were derived. We get to look at their strengths and weaknesses as well as how they did in battle, both with the Italian and German army. It is surprising how many actually survived the war long enough to be placed in various museums and other display venues. It all makes for a book on a subject about which few enthusiasts are conversant. It is a superb look at these vehicle and how they were used in combat."
--Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com (January 2013)
“…offers a fine survey that considers the evolution of Italian armored units during World War II, and is a pick for any specialty collection concerned about the armaments of the war. From how these Italian units experienced disaster on the battlefield to how they returned with innovations that led to victories, this provides a well-detailed survey recommended for any military collection.”
--The Midwest Book Review (March 2013)