Italian Half Tracks

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magicdragon
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Italian Half Tracks

Post by magicdragon » 27 Nov 2010 01:02

Was there a logical reason that the Italians did not develop an armoured half track of their own pre war for use in the desert?

They licence built the Semincingolato Breda Tipo 61and developed the Semicingolato Fiat 727 but much later into the war.
Where vehicles such as the Fiat Dovunque 41 and Fiat Model 42 Light Desert Truck deemed sufficient for their purposes?

If a full blown half track could not have been built, could they have not married a truck body to some tracks - like the Opel/Ford Maultier and provide an armoured the body like the SdKfz 4. They could have used the body of a Fiat/Spa truck and married it with the running gear of a CV33/35?

Dili
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by Dili » 03 Dec 2010 02:57

I don't think they did needed it except for a few number of guns. I must say i am skeptical of usefulness of half tracks compared to the logistical footprint they need.

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AVV
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by AVV » 03 Dec 2010 08:35

Hello!
I thinks this vehicle
http://comandosupremo.com/sahariana.html
was better suited for desert war than half-tracks.

Best regards, Aleks

magicdragon
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by magicdragon » 04 Dec 2010 00:08

Dili/AVV

Thanks for the replies, I do agree that lorries could do many of the same tasks but I still feel that half tracks offered some better options:
  • as a better gun platform than truck mounted artillery
  • a better towing vehicle for field guns and their crews
  • they had their uses in Italy, Albania and Abyssinia not just Libya and Tunisia


In the case of the Sahariana, this was a good vehicle but should have been equipping Italian recon units in 1940/41?

Dili
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by Dili » 05 Dec 2010 23:27

as a better gun platform than truck mounted artillery
a better towing vehicle for field guns and their crews
they had their uses in Italy, Albania and Abyssinia not just Libya and Tunisia
Like i said i disagree.
Trucks can do that with much less industrial costs and logistical costs except in a small number of exceptions.

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Tim Smith
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by Tim Smith » 08 Dec 2010 14:18

Half tracks are better in mud and also in soft sand than wheeled vehicles.

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Tim Smith
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by Tim Smith » 08 Dec 2010 14:22

magicdragon wrote: In the case of the Sahariana, this was a good vehicle but should have been equipping Italian recon units in 1940/41?
Saharina was designed with the benefit of wartime desert experience. Which the Italians didn't have before 1940.

magicdragon
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by magicdragon » 10 Dec 2010 01:44

Tim Smith
Saharina was designed with the benefit of wartime desert experience. Which the Italians didn't have before 1940.
True they would not have produced exactly the same type of vehicle - but given the need to police and patrol large desert and arid countries such as Libya and Abyssinia in peacetime, There was some justification for " Saharina" type long range vehicle capable of carrying of 20mm gun being available pre-mid 1940? This would given meant at least some Italian units would have had such a vehicle at the beginning of the war and would have led in 1941 to an improved version as you suggested which would have appeared due to Italian wartime experience.

Dili
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by Dili » 10 Dec 2010 12:20

The Sahariana units-not the vehicle- already existed before war. It was a composite unit with trucks typically SPA AS37 and airplanes Caproni 309. It was from a meeting before war with one of those units that British developed the idea of LRDG. The Sahariana units were typical patrol colonial units so there wasn't a thinking of war for them and even less w/ 20mm and 47mm with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-Saharan_Company

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Tim Smith
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by Tim Smith » 10 Dec 2010 16:10

Dili wrote:The Sahariana units-not the vehicle- already existed before war. It was a composite unit with trucks typically SPA AS37 and airplanes Caproni 309. It was from a meeting before war with one of those units that British developed the idea of LRDG. The Sahariana units were typical patrol colonial units so there wasn't a thinking of war for them and even less w/ 20mm and 47mm with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-Saharan_Company
Good post, thanks.

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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by Dili » 10 Dec 2010 19:45

Just to conclude. The heavy weapons for Sahariana units came with attacks in Italian Lybian frontier forts , i suppose they might have taken even guns from fortifications and "mobilised" them. But they were a defensive unit not offensive like LRDG. Infact they acted many times as anti-LRDG.

magicdragon
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by magicdragon » 13 Dec 2010 22:04

Dili

Makes a fair point about the existence of long range Italian units pre 1940.

It also throws some interesting issues, the Sahariana vehicle was developed from the armoured car AB 40/41. While the Italians already had an existing vehicle SPA AS37 available pre war perfectly suited to desert conditions. As a lorry it would have worked well in LRDG support role but what would have happened if some of these trucks had been stripped down to produce a lighter more attacking vehicle to work alongside the SPA AS37?

The lack of offensive use of vehicles such as the SPA AS37 in an LRDG suggests how a lack of doctrine was at the heart of Italian problems as much as a lack of up-to-date weapons or industrial capacity!

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fredl109
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by fredl109 » 14 Dec 2010 01:14

Hello gentlemen I can intrude on your post to make my modest contribution. It should be borne in mind that the Italians had a very difficult business plan, primarily because the modernization of their plants had not been concluded before the entry into war and deusième mineral production which can give steels of good quality was very low causing a hollowing lack of equipment. To answer the question of wheel or track, the wheel wins easily on a sandy soil, the more experience gained by the Italians during the conquest of Eritrea has tipped the balance in favor of vehicle wheels. Here's a link to complete the Sahariana should help you.
Sincerely Fred
http://www.italie1935-45.com/RE/photosc ... riana.html

magicdragon
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by magicdragon » 14 Dec 2010 22:25

Fred

Thanks for the comments I am half in the half track camp but I am being persuaded it was not obvious that the Italians would develop a half-track for the desert. But this was a great pity for the Italian Expeditionary Force in Russia who would benefited from this type of vehicle.

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fredl109
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Re: Italian Half Tracks

Post by fredl109 » 16 Dec 2010 01:01

On this subject, I entirely agree with you Magicdragon if the Halftrack is not indispensable in desert terrain, however on muddy or snowy as in Russia it is revealed virtually indispensable, it is clearly seen in processing as the Germans made it their Opel maultier and the growing number of Steyr RSO used. The Italians will pay the very expensive when they campaign in the East.
Sincerely Fred

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