Italian Production

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
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Italian Production

Post by EStrongblade » 05 Mar 2007 22:22

I am starting this thread to generate some conversation about Italian Production, especially the tank production at Fiat Ansaldo in Genoa. I am aware of the basics of Italian Production, regarding the desire for owners to keep costs down to prevent profit loss. I am also aware of how several within the upper class had large interests in the industry, including high ranked Officers, Ministers, Politicians and Nobles, all of whom could put a stop to any practice of the arms Industry that was under their sphere of influence. I am after more specific information about the actual facilities used.

Fiat-Ansaldo, as producers of Tanks, supposedly had what was refered to as the Fiat-Ansaldo Works. In Genoa, I believe this facility made railroad stuff sometime in the 20s. I am aware that Fiat and Ansaldo merged in the late 20s, and that Tank production kind of picked up in the 30s. What I would like to know about is the works itself. Did this Genoa plant make ALL of the tanks, Armoured cars etc and nothing else, or did they produce the tanks in the backyard and make airplanes in the front yard?

If the former, how large was the plant? How many guesstimated workers? Was the plant split into far flung buildings, or was it one complex that had multiple buildings? If it only had ONE building, how large was it? Was the plant bombed flat by the end of the war? Did the plant continue producing after the Italian surrender in 1943? Who were the Official owners? Anything that can be added in this vein about the plant, including links to photos, would be appreciated.

Next, if the plant in Genoa worked on several other things, such as aircraft, how was it segmented? Were all of the items manufactured in the same place or were there several plants in Genoa under the Fiat-Ansaldo name that made completely different items? Where would any of these items be staged for shipment? In Genoa or straight to the railroads and out? Any questions I've posted here, or any other thing that can shed a little light on these little known production facilities and their pre-war and wartime use would be appreciated.

Please do not post anything about Fiat automobiles unless it has a direct bearing on the tank/armoured car production. I know that Fiat made cars pre-war and post-war. I am only interested in the wartime production as applied to tanks and where it overlapped other forms of Italian Military production. Thank you in advance for anything that can be shared on this subject.

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Davide Pastore
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Joined: 26 Nov 2005 22:05
Location: Germagnano, Italy

Re: Italian Production

Post by Davide Pastore » 17 Feb 2008 16:09

Very interesting questions: I am sorry I can offer very little :(
EStrongblade wrote:Fiat-Ansaldo, as producers of Tanks
The two were not part of the same society, but they had just a commercial agreement: Ansaldo designed the tanks, and accepted to mount only Fiat engines in them.

The curious fact that the resulting machines are normally called "Fiat-Ansaldo tanks" (just like if the Spitfire had been called "Rolls Royce-Supermarine aircraft" 8O ) has probably much to do with the relative "politic" weight of the two partners :wink:
EStrongblade wrote:In Genoa, I believe this facility made railroad stuff sometime in the 20s.
I believe they did some warship armour, both earlier and later.
I am nearly sure they had nothing to do with aircraft production.
EStrongblade wrote:Did the plant continue producing after the Italian surrender in 1943?
Yes, for the Germans.
As in the case of Fiat (bulding for Germany some brand-new CR.42) one has to wonder if The Germans really wanted the products, or just wanted to keep the workmen occupied and the factory owners content :wink:

If you can read Italian, I strongly suggest this book:

Lucio Ceva & Andrea Curami
La Meccanizzazione dell'Esercito fino al 1943
Ufficio Storico Esercito 1989
available here

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