Semovente M41M da 90/53

Semovente M41M da 90/53 was an armored vehicle (tank destroyer, AFV or armoured fighting vehicle) in combat use during the Second World War (World War II or WWII) in the European theater. The Semovente M41M da 90/53 was a fully tracked all-terrain vehicle designed for military operations. Semovente M41M da 90/53 was produced and deployed by the Italian Army of Italy, an Axis ally of Nazi Germany (the Third Reich). The technical drawing (plan, layout or profile) shows the general appearance characteristics of the specified model (version) of the Semovente M41M da 90/53 tank destroyer for purposes of identification and reference. For more detailed information about this armored fighting vehicle, refer to Semovente M41M da 90/53.

Semovente M41M da 90/53
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Gio. Ansaldo & C.
Origin Italy
Country Name Origin Year
Italy 1941
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany View
Italy 1942 1943 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Gio. Ansaldo & C. 1942 30 View

The Semovente da 90/53 was created by mounting a 90 mm Cannone da 90/53 anti-aircraft gun on top of an enlarged chassis of a M14/41 tank. Only 30 of these vehicles were produced, all in 1942. This low production was due to Italy's limited industrial capability at the time, as well as high demand for the 90 mm gun for regular anti-aircraft duties.

The Semovente da 90/53 was primarily developed in response to demands by Italian forces on the Eastern Front for a vehicle-mounted anti-tank weapon that could take on Soviet T-34 and KV tanks. Italian armoured forces on the Eastern Front were equipped only with the L6/40 tank and Semovente 47/32 self-propelled gun; neither of these had the firepower to cope with the Soviet medium and heavy tanks. However, no Semoventi da 90/53 were ever sent to the Eastern Front.

The major drawback of the Semovente da 90/53, as with many self-propelled gun types of World War II, was the open top and rear of the gun compartment, which left the gun crew exposed to shrapnel and small arms fire. In addition, the Semovente da 90/53 had little or no armour in most areas. Because these vehicles were designed to operate far enough away from enemy vehicles to not be subject to incoming fire, this was initially not considered a problem. The small ammunition capacity of the vehicle was also a problem; only six rounds could be carried. This necessitated the creation of special ammunition carriers out of Fiat L6/40 tanks, one accompanying each Semovente da 90/53 in the field. The L6 ammunition carrier itself carried 26 rounds along with an additional 40 rounds in a towed trailer. It fired Effetto Pronto, or HEAT rounds, which could pierce 70 mm armour plating at a range of 2,200 meters.

None were ever sent to the Eastern Front. In the North African Campaign, the Semovente da 90/53 proved to be an effective weapon and its long range was well suited to the flat and open desert terrain. 24 Semovente 90/53s saw service against the Allies in the 10° Ragruppamento Semoventi, which was stationed in Sicily during the Allied invasion in 1943. Following the Armistice of Cassibile in September 1943, the few surviving Semoventi da 90/53 were seized by the German Army, but were of little value in the mountainous terrain of Northern Italy where they operated. As a result, most finished their careers as long-range artillery.

Formal DesignationSemovente M41M da 90/53, 90mm Gun on M14/41 Chassis
Production Quantity48Production Period1941-1943
TypeTank DestroyerCrew21
Length hull/overall (m)5.30Barrel Overhang (m)n.a.
Width (m)2.26Height (m)2.18
Combat Weight (kg)17000Radio Equipmentn.a.
Primary Armament90mm Model 41 L/53Ammunition Carried02
Traverse (degrees)Manual (40° L, 40° R)Elevation (degrees)-5° to +24°
Traverse speed (360°)-Sightn.a.
Secondary Armament-Ammunition Carried-

Engine Make & ModelSPA 15-TM-41No. of Links/Trackn.a.
Type & DisplacementV8Track Widthn.a.
Horsepower (max.)145hp@1800rpmTrack Ground Contactn.a.
Power/Weight Ratio8.5 hp/tGround Pressure13.8 psi
Gearbox4 forward, 1 reverseGround Clearance (m)0.41
FuelDieselTurning Radius (m)n.a.
Range on/off road (km)200Gradient (degrees)n.a.
Mileage (liters/100km)n.a.Vertical Obstacle (m)0.89
Fuel Capacity (liters)n.a.Fording (m)1.00
Speed on/off road32 km/hTrench Crossing (m)2.13
Armor (mm@degrees)FrontSideRearTop/Bottom

1On the vehicle. More required for the ammunition carrier, etc.
2Supported by an ammunition carrier based on of the L6 light tank (with 26 rounds carried internally) with a towed trailer (that carried an additional 40 rounds).

End notes