Semovente 75/18 file photo [10614]

Semovente 75/18

Primary RoleSelf-Propelled Gun


ww2dbaseSeeing the success of the German StuG III self-propelled guns in the battlefield, Colonel Sergio Berlese, a veteran designer with the Obice da 75/18 modello 34 on his résumé, recommended a similar development for the Italian Army. The first prototype of the Semovente 75/18 self-propelled guns was delivered on 10 Feb 1941, followed by the first 12 examples later in the same year. They were built atop M13/40 chassis for tanks, protected by rivet steel plates. Each of the vehicles were crewed by three men, who enjoyed a relatively low profile for additional protection. The 75/18-millimeter guns had a short range, but they were relatively modern and effective guns.

ww2dbaseBy Jan 1942, Semovente 75/18 self-propelled guns were in service on the front lines in North Africa. Most of them were assigned to divisional artillery units, thus they served both as infantry support artillery pieces as well as being assault guns. They were also used effectively as anti-tank weapons against the American-built M3 Grant and M4 Sherman tanks; in fact, they were among the few Italian armored vehicles that could penetrate the armor of Allied tanks. The only major complaint from their crews was that there were not enough storage spaces for ammunition, thus by 1943 other vehicles had to be used as dedicated ammunition carriers for Semovente 75/18 units. Later in 1942, after 60 were built, they began to be built on the M14/41 chassis with more powerful engines. A grand total of 222 were built by Fiat Ansaldo during the design's production life.

ww2dbaseSome command vehicle variants were also built. These command vehicles had no guns, but were additionally equipped with range finding equipment and radios. For defense, they had additional machine guns when compared to the original 75/18 design. 30 were built in 1941 on the M13/40 chassis, followed by 34 in 1942 on the M14/41 chassis and 45 in 1943 on the M14/41 chassis.

ww2dbase123 of them were taken over by the German forces after the Italian surrender. They were used by the Germans in Italy under the designation Sturmgeschütz M42 mit 75/18 850(i).

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2010


Semovente 75/18
MachineryOne Fiat SPA 15T liquid-cooled diesel engine, rated at 125hp for M13/40 chassis or 145hp for M14/41 chassis
SuspensionSemi-elliptical leaf spring bogies
Armament1x75mm Obice da 75/18 modello 34 gun (44 rounds), 1x8mm Breda Model 38 machine gun or 1x6.5mm Breda Model 30 machine gun
Armor50mm front, 25mm sides, 10mm top, 15mm bottom
Length4.92 m
Width2.20 m
Height1.85 m
Weight14.4 t
Speed32 km/h
Range230 km

Carro Commando
MachineryOne Fiat SPA 15T liquid-cooled diesel engine, rated at 125hp for M13/40 chassis or 145hp for M14/41 chassis
Armament1x13.2mm Breda Model 31 machine gun, 1x8mm Breda Model 38 machine gun
Armor30mm front, 25mm sides, 15mm top, 15mm bottom
Length4.92 m
Width2.20 m
Height1.82 m
Weight12.5 t
Speed32 km/h
Range200 km


Erwin Rommel with Italian troops and a Semovente 75/18 self-propelled gun, North Africa, 1942Semovente 75/18 self-propelled gun in a town in Italy, 1943German soldiers riding on a Semovente 75/18 self-propelled gun, Albania, Sep 1943Italian M14/41 tanks and Semovente 75/18 assault guns in Italy, Sep 1943

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Semovente 75/18 Self-Propelled Gun Photo Gallery
Erwin Rommel with Italian troops and a Semovente 75/18 self-propelled gun, North Africa, 1942
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