Altaya ALT95918 German Autoblinda AB 43 203(i) Panzerspaehwagen
"Neutrals never dominate events. They always sink. Blood alone moves the wheels of history."
- Italian Dictator, Benito Mussolini
The Autoblinda 41 (AB 41) was an Italian armored car in use during World War II. It was armed with a 20 mm Breda 35 autocannon and a coaxial 8 mm machine gun in a turret similar to the one fitted to the Fiat L6/40, and another hull mounted rear-facing 8mm machine gun.
The AB 41 (named after its first year of production, 1941) was based on the machine gun armed Autoblinda 40. Made with an all-riveted construction, the AB 41 had four-wheel drive and a four wheel steering system that proved troublesome. The spare wheels fitted to its sides were free to rotate, thus helping the vehicle over rough terrain and allowing it to drive over higher obstacles. It could also be fitted with wheels that would allow it to run on railway tracks and some were modified further to better serve in this role, with the addition of sand boxes and rail guards to deflect objects from the rails. This version was designated AB 41 Ferroviaria.
It had six forward gears and four reverse gears, with a driving position at the front and one in the rear, so two crew members were drivers. Overall the AB 40/41 family was well thought out, with a top speed of over 70 km/h (45 mph), good armor (15 mm on the front plates) and good road and cross-country performance, but there were some examples of poor detail design like difficult access to the powerplant, an unprotected fuel tank, one man turret, exposed traverse gear and lack of an interior bulkhead separating the engine and crew compartments. Nevertheless, the AB 41 was considered a good vehicle and one of the best armored cars of its era. Its chassis was later used as a basis for the SPA-Viberti AS.42. About 550 vehicles were built in all. The Italians planned to upgrade the AB 41 with a 47 mm anti-tank gun as the AB 43, but those plans were disrupted by the armistice with the Allies in September 1943.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale Italian-built AB 43 armored car.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: February 2014