- "This is our secret weapon!"
BackgroundThe P40 project was started in 1940 to create a heavy tank for Italy. Initially similar to an enlarged and upgunned M13/40, it was eventually improved by fitting thicker and sloped armor, and mounting a long-barreled 75 mm L/34 gun. Unfortunately its development was delayed because of the backwardness of the Italian automotive industry. When Italy surrendered on 8th September 1943, only one P40 had been delivered to the Italian Army; therefore, the P40 was built for Germany, with a total of 100 units produced.
The P40 had reasonably good specifications for a medium tank (comparable to the early production model of the M4 Sherman); Its 75 mm gun was effective for tank combat, and its armor was well sloped, while the mobility was adequate, although it lacked important features compared to the other tanks, such as welded armor, enhanced suspension, and a three-man turret with a commander's cupola.
The performance of the P40 was remarkable; even with its flaws, the P40 could still be a match for the other medium tanks.
In Girls Und Panzer
The P40 was acknowledged by Miho as the only Anzio tank they should be aware of. It easily knocked out the M3 Lee by hitting its side armor from a distance, but it also proved unable to knock out the Char B1 bis at a long distance (although only barely not penetrating the armor), only managing to destroy its tracks and jam its turret, virtually disabling it. It was later taken out by Ooarai's Panzer IV with a shot to its side armor.
The P40 was revealed as Anzio's secret weapon, bought with very limited economies, but capable of posing a danger to the relatively unimpressive arsenal of tanks Ooarai could field (Miho herself admitted that the StuG III was the only tank that could take it out from a distance). Serving as the flag tank (and as Anchovy's personal tank), it made up the central main force, supported by a CV.33 and Carpaccio's Semovente da 75/18; when Anchovy ordered the force to move out after Plan Macaroni failed, they were spotted and pursued by Anglerfish Team and Turtle Team, while Carpaccio engaged Hippo Team's StuG III. After losing the supporting tankette, it was lured by Ooarai's Panzer 38(t) into a trap, right under a cliff from where Anglerfish Team's Panzer IV knocked it out with a shot from above, negating its advantage of sloped armor.