M11/39 file photo [11524]


Primary RoleMedium Tank


ww2dbaseThe Fiat-designed M11/39 medium tanks entered production in 1937. They each had a fixed 37-millimeter gun as the primary armament, supported by twin-machine guns in the rotating turret. They were designed to carry radio for communications, but as it turned out, none would be installed as they were rolled off the production lines. Between 1937 and 1940, 100 tanks were built. 72 of the 100 M11/39 medium tanks were deployed with the Italian Army in North Africa, while 24 were sent to Italian East Africa. They enjoyed an early advantage in the Desert War against the Allies, with their guns having an easy time piercing the thin armor plating of British light tanks, although their own armor could be penetrated by the heavy guns of British cruiser and infantry tanks. They participated in the Italian invasion of Egypt in Sep 1940 and defended against the British attack of Operation Compass starting in Dec 1940; during the latter campaign, many of them would become damaged or destroyed, some of which would be captured by the Allies and be pressed into action against their original owners. They were largely removed from front line service by the end of 1941.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Nov 2010


MachineryOne Fiat SPA 8T V-8 diesel engine rated at 105hp
SuspensionTwo 4 wheel bogies, semi-elliptic leaf spring
Armament1x37mm Vickers-Terni L/40 gun (84 rounds), 2x8mm Breda 38 machine guns
Armor30mm front, 15mm side, 6mm top, 6mm bottom
Length4.70 m
Width2.20 m
Height2.30 m
Weight11.0 t
Speed32 km/h
Range200 km


Italian M11/39 tank prototype, Italy, circa 1930sItalian M11/39 tank and other vehicles in North Africa, circa early 1940sCaptured Italian M13/40 and M11/39 tanks pressed into Australian service, North Africa, 23 Jan 1941

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Italian M11/39 tank prototype, Italy, circa 1930s
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