Eaglemoss EM012 Italian M13/40 Medium Tank - 132 Divisione Corazzata Ariete, El Alamein, Egypt, July 1942 (1:43 Scale)
"After [El] Alamein, we never had a defeat."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
The Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 was an Italian medium tank ("M" for Medio (medium) according to the Italian tank weight standards at the time: 13 tonnes was the scheduled weight and 1940 the initial year of production), designed to replace the Fiat L3, the Fiat L6/40 and the Fiat M11/39 in the Italian Army at the start of World War II. The design was influenced by the British Vickers 6-Ton and was based on the modified chassis of the earlier Fiat M11/39. Indeed, M11/39 production was cut short in order to get the M13/40 into production.
The M13 was constructed of riveted steel plates as follows: 30 mm front (as M11), 42 mm on turret front (30 mm for M11), 25 mm on the sides (M11 had only 15 mm), only 6 mm bottom (that made it very vulnerable to mines) and 15 mm on top. The crew were housed in a forward fighting compartment, with the engine at the rear and transmission at the front. The fighting compartment accommodated the crew of 4: driver and machine-gunner/radio operator in the hull, and gunner and commander in the turret.
The Vickers-derived running gear had two bogie trucks with eight pairs of small wheels on each side, using leaf-spring suspension. The tracks were conventional skeleton steel plate links, and were relatively narrow. Together, this system was thought to allow good mobility in the mountainous areas in which future combat was expected. In the desert where most M13s were actually employed, mobility was less satisfactory. The tank was powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) diesel engine. This was an innovation that many countries had yet to introduce. Diesel engines were the future for tanks, with lower cost, greater range and reduced danger of fire compared to gasoline-powered engines.
The tank's main armament was a 47 mm gun. It could pierce about 45 mm of armor at 500 meters. This was sufficient to penetrate the British light and cruiser tanks it would face in combat, though not the heavier infantry tanks. One hundred four rounds of armor-piercing and high explosive ammunition were carried. The M13 was also armed with three or four machine-guns: one coaxially with the main gun and two in the forward, frontal ball mount. A fourth machinegun was sometimes carried in a flexible mount on the turret roof for anti-aircraft use. Two periscopes were available for the gunner and commander, and a radio was also theoretically available as standard equipment.
Pictured here is 1:43 scale replica of an Italian-built M13/40 medium tank that was attached to the 132 Divisione Corazzata. Now in stock!
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: April 2014
Historical Account: "Commando Supremo" - The Ariete Armoured Division was an armoured division of the Italian Army during World War II. It was formed in 1939 as the second armoured division in the Italian Army after the 131 Armoured Division Centauro. The division fought in the North African Campaign until being destroyed during the Second Battle of El Alamein. After World War II the division was reformed as part of the Italian Army.