During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Italian army, together with the German Axis armies, evaluated the battlefield value of "assault guns" when trying to repel a determined enemy. Thus, through design and development, several types of tracked vehicles have emerged, which attempt to combine the chassis of an existing main battle tank with an effective howitzer.
Typically, these creations feature a short-profile armored hull structure that secures the weapons inside and allows for limited traverse and height range. In other cases, the guns were simply mounted on the tank chassis (the turret was removed), while the crew operated in the open air, exposed to various battlefield hazardsthough this approach simplifies production and reduces material costs.
As the Italian industry was struggling to keep up with the needs of the army for such weapons, Ansaldo's focus was to try a low-cost solution with the "Semovente da 149/40". This design combines the chassis of the Carro Armato M15/42 medium tank with the powerful 150mm Cannone da 149/40 modello 35 howitzer to form an open-air tracked assault gun system. The vehicle is powered by a 250 hp SPA gasoline engine and has a top speed of 22 mph.
Armor protection (driver and vehicle components only) up to a thickness of 14 mm. The hull is suspended on leaf spring suspension for some off-road capability. The vehicle has a gross weight of 24,000 kilograms and measures 22 feet long, 9.8 feet wide and 6.6 feet high. Eight twin-tire wheels are mounted on four separate bogies on either side of the hull. The drive pinion is located up front along with the engine compartment and driver's seat.
The gun and mounting hardware are concentrated at the rear of the vehicle.
The first pilot vehicle was ready for trials in 1942, although this promising system was derailed by the exhaustion of Italian industry and the country's eventual surrender to the Allies in September 1943. The weapon chosen for the Semovente da 149/40 was to provide a stable range on the battlefield and to overcome the artillery crew limitations of the open-air design. Despite this, only one prototype was completed, marking the end of the vehicle planned by the Italian army.
His behemoth was once an impressive outdoor exhibit at the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum.
- fire support/attack/damage
9. 84 feet (3 m)
6.56 ft (2 m)
26 tons (24,000 kg; 52,911 lb)
1 x 150mm cannon da 149/40 model 35
Depends on the ammunition carrier.
da 149/40 - Basic series name; single prototype example complete.