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- "This is our secret weapon! With this, Ooarai will be a piece of cake!"
The Carro Armato P26/40 (Italian 26-ton heavy tank of 1940) was a Italian heavy tank, although its specifications are more in the line of medium tanks during the period. It intended to modernize Esercito Italiano's armored divisions but its career was cut short by Italy's surrender in 1943.
The P26/40 project was started in 1940 in order to create a heavy tank for Italy. The initial prototype called P75, ready on mid-1941, was similar to an enlarged M13/40, that was originally fitted with a 47mm gun, but was instead armed with a 75/18 howitzer (the same gun as Semoventi tank destroyers) to be later changed by a 75/32 gun.
The designed was radically modified, when Germany delivered a captured T-34 to its ally, the armour was thickened and re-designed, adopting more markedly sloped plates and the gun was changed to a long-barreled 75 mm L/34 gun. However the development and mass-production was heavily delayed due to Italy's automotive industry's backwardness and inability to provide powerful enough to develop 300hp and the bombing of SPA factory in 1942, in the end it was decided that it would be fitted with a 330hp SPA V8 diesel engine.
Only a few were produced (one to five depending the sources) were produced and delivered to Italian Army before Italy surrender in September 1943 and when the production was taken over by Germany. Ansaldo built around hundred tanks until the end of the war while most were incomplete lacking the engine.
The P26/40 role was intended to support medium tanks companies but it never served in Italian service. Germany used it as the Panzerkampfwagen P40 737(i). Except during the Battle of Anzio where it was used by Germany, some engineless tanks where buried to serve as pillboxes, it saw little to no action during the rest of the war.
A heavier variant was being developed alongside the P26/40 called the P43 (or P30/43) which would have weighed 30 tons and would have mounted a 420 hp engine and the same gun as its counterpart, other gun were proposed such as the 90/42mm gun (derivated from the 90/53 AA gun) or the 105/25mm (mounted on the Semovente da 105/25), the frontal armor would have been 80-100mm thick. However this tank alongside its derivate the P43bis never left the planning stage.
In Girls und Panzer
The P26/40 made a little appearance in Episode 7 showing the outcome of the match Ooarai vs. Anzio.
The P26/40 was hardly acquired by Anzio due to its poor economy, but now Anzio have power to rivals others medium tanks. And was proudly presented by Anchovy at the Coliseum.
Anzio Girls High School fielded their lone P26/40 as flag tank commanded by Anchovy during the tournament quarter-finals match against Ooarai Girls Academy. While it mostly stayed in retreat during the beginning of the match with Carpaccio's Semovente and a CV.33, when Plan Macaroni failed they had to move but the tank ended alone when Carpaccio engaged the StuG III and her supporting tankette being destroyed. The tank was then lured into a kill zone by Ooarai's flag tank the Panzer 38(t), where the Panzer IV overlooking the trap from a cliff knocked out Anzio's flag tank from above, negating the advantage of sloped armor.
During the alternate-manga quarter-final match against Ooarai, the P26/40 gave its flag tank role to a M13/40. In the match, the P26/40 patiently wait on the top of a hill overlooking a narrow pass, until Anzio vanguard lured Ooarai tanks in the trap. The P26/40 then destroyed the M3 Lee from long range after it took down a M13/40, it then pass the rest of the match unleashing hell on the B1 Bis badly damaging it by destroying its tracks after the Semoventi jammed its turret ring without being able to destroy but virtually disabled it. But while doing this Anchovy failed to notice the disappeance of the Panzer IV until it appeared from behind and landed a well-placed shell on the turret. Their flag tank was quickly disposed of soon after.
- Despite bieng listed as a heavy tank by Italians, the P26/40 has more common specs with medium tanks from its era, such as the Panzer IV, T-34, Cromwell, M4 Sherman or Type 3 Chi-Nu.
- The P26/40 used a different green painting in contrast to the rest of Anzio's tanks, which are coloured yellow. This is because by the time it was built in 1943, the African campaign, which favoured light brown paint schemes, had already ended and therefore a paint scheme more suitable to the Italian countryside was chosen.
- Anzu Kadotani calls the P26/40 a "Piyo-Piyo"(ぴよぴよ).
- The P26/40 in the manga have an anti-aircraft machine-gun on the turret roof.
- Main article: Carro Armato P40/Gallery
|Light Tanks and Tankettes||7TP • AMR-35 • BT-42 • Crusader • CV.33 • FT-17 • Harry Hopkins • M22 Locust • M24 Chaffee • Mark VI • Panzer II • Panzer 38(t) • R35 • T-60 • T-70 • Tetrarch • TK Tankette • Type 94 Tankette • Type 95 Ha-Go • Type 97 Te-Ke|
|Medium Tanks||Centurion • M3 Lee • M4 Sherman • M13/40 • Matilda II • P26/40 • Panzer III • Panzer IV • Panzer V "Panther" • SOMUA S35 • T-34 • T-44 • Type 89B • Type 3 Chi-Nu • Type 97 Chi-Ha|
|Heavy Tanks||ARL 44 • B1 Bis • Black Prince • Churchill • IS-2 • KV-2 • M26 Pershing • Mark IV • Panzer VI "Tiger" • Panzer VI Ausf. B "Tiger II" • Panzer VIII "Maus" • VK45.01 Porsche Tiger|
|Tank Destroyers||Elefant • Hetzer • ISU-152 • Jagdpanzer IV • Jagdpanther • Jagdtiger • Mareșal • Semovente da 75/18 • StuG III • T28 Super-Heavy Tank|
|Self-Propelled Artillery||Karl-Gerät 040|
|Main Battle Tank||Type 10|