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M13/40
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"Italian MBT, Carro Armato M13/40!"
―Yukari Akiyama

The Carro Armato M13/40 (Italian 13-ton medium tank of 1940) was a Italian light tank developed during the World War 2 that was the mainstay of Italy's armoured forces alongside its improved variants.

History

The origins of this tank can be traced to the Spanish Civil War, when the CV.33 tankettes showed all their limits against the better tanks provided to Spanish Republicans such as the T-26, the BT-5 or the FT-17. A stopgap program was developed which resulted in the M11/39, a transitional with a hull-mounted 37mm gun, but it was proven to be a poor opposition to the first Cruiser tanks or Infantry tanks Matildas (totally impervious to the M11/39).

The M13/40 was basically an improved M11/39 with a better gun mounted in a better designed turret and the hull-mounted gun removed replaced by machine-guns but keep the flaws of its predecessor such as a very thin armor and lack of power of the engine. The Italians never found the ressources to replace it, so they tried to keep the tank afloat in 1942 and 1943 with some improvements by giving it a better engine becoming the M14/41 and then upgrading its armor and armament becoming the M15/42. The M13/40 hull (and its later variants) were used for the self-proppeled gun Semovente da 75/18.

The M13/40 made baptism of fire during the North African Campaign. Their first engagement in the desert was with the Babini Group in December 1940, they fought at Derna and later at Bardia against the Australians. During the Battle of Beda Fomm more than hundred of isolated M13/40 were either captured or destroyed by the British, hundred and twelve were used by those forming the 6th Royal Tank Regiment but were retaken soon after the Rommel offensive the British being in total disarray.

They participated at the Tobruk siege in April 1941 alongside Germany and got their first succesful action during the first Bir el Gubi Battle. During the rest of the African Campaign the M13/40 will share Rommel's successes and failures.

While it was a decent tank for the beginning of the War, its gun was a plague for early British light, medium and Cruiser tanks until the arrival of better armed and armored tanks such as the British Matilda, Valentine and Crusader or the Americans M3 Lee and especially the M4 Sherman during the Second Battle of El Alamein.

They also took part in the Greek Campaign in 1941, part of the Centauro Division, and later during the Yugoslavian Campaign.

They were considered obsolete by the beginning of 1942 and were replaced by their not so improved variants such as the M14/41 or the few produced M15/42. The P26/40 was intended to be the M13/40 successor but never saw combat in Italian service.

After the 1943 Italian surrender, Germany seized twenty-two M13/40 under designation Panzerkampfwagen M13/40 735(i) and used them against Italian partisans in Northern Italy.

Two or three M13/40 that were left behind during the North African Campaign were used by Egypt during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Where one was knocked out during the battle of Negba and captured by the Israeli troops.

In Girls Und Panzer

Manga (non-canon)

During the alternate-manga quarter-final match against Ooarai Girls Academy, Anzio fielded four M13/40 (one as flag tank). During the match one harassed Ooarai tanks alongside CV.33s preventing them to take the passage first giving them strategical advantage while the three others stayed with Semoventi. After their ambushed and losing all their tankettes one M13/40 received a shot from the M3's 75mm gun before being avenged by the P26/40. During the firefight one M13/40 was gunned down by Ooarai's flag tank and one managed to destroy the shilding Type 89 initially aiming at the flag tank. After the destruction of the P26/40 by the Panzer IV, Ooarai retook the initiative and the StuG get the final shot on Anzio's flag tank.

Gekkan Senshado Magazine

Anzio is rumored to possesses some inoperable M13/40s and M14/41s and lacks the funds to restore them.

Trivia

  • The M13/40 only appears in the manga version of the Ooarai versus Anzio Battle but was totally absent from the anime version.
  • Some M13/40 have a turret-mounted anti-aircraft Breda 38.

Gallery

Main article: M13-40/Gallery
Tanks ☰ 
Light Tanks and Tankettes Poland7TPFranceAMR-35FinlandBT-42UKCrusaderItalyCV.33FranceFT-17UKHarry HopkinsUnited StatesM22 LocustUnited StatesM24 ChaffeeUKMark VIGermanyPanzer IICzechoslovakiaPanzer 38(t)FranceR35SovietT-60SovietT-70UKTetrarchPolandTK TanketteJapan2Type 94 TanketteJapan2Type 95 Ha-GoJapan2Type 97 Te-Ke
Medium Tanks UKCenturionUnited StatesM3 LeeUnited StatesM4 ShermanItalyM13/40UKMatilda IIItalyP26/40GermanyPanzer IIIGermanyPanzer IVGermanyPanzer V "Panther"FranceSOMUA S35SovietT-34SovietT-44Japan2Type 89BJapan2Type 3 Chi-NuJapan2Type 97 Chi-Ha
Heavy Tanks FranceARL 44FranceB1 BisUKBlack PrinceUKChurchillSovietIS-2SovietKV-2United StatesM26 PershingUKMark IVGermanyPanzer VI "Tiger"GermanyPanzer VI Ausf. B "Tiger II"GermanyPanzer VIII "Maus"GermanyVK45.01 Porsche Tiger
Tank Destroyers GermanyElefantGermanyHetzerSovietISU-152GermanyJagdpanzer IVGermanyJagdpantherGermanyJagdtigerRomaniaMareșalItalySemovente da 75/18GermanyStuG IIIUnited StatesT28 Super-Heavy Tank
Self-Propelled Artillery GermanyKarl-Gerät 040
Main Battle Tank Japan2Type 10
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