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Semovente da 75/18

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"Two Semovente sighted! They are real this time!"
Azusa
The Semovente da 75/18 (meaning in Italian "self-propelled gun with a 75 mm gun long 18 calibers") was an Italian self-propelled gun, and was one of Italy's best armoured vehicles of WWII. It first appeared in the anime during the Anzio OVA.

History

The Semovente da 75/18 was inspired by the German StuG III, and was designed to use the M13/40's chassis (together with its engine) on which a fixed casemate housed a 75 mm howitzer was mounted. It first entered mass production in 1941, and due to its success it was continuously upgraded (shifting to the M14/41 and then finally to the M15/42 chassis); a total of 410 were built (plus another 50 after 1943 for the German Army). Upgunned and improved versions (such as the Semovente da 75/34 and the Semovente da 105/25) saw only minimal service in 1943 for the Italian Army, and were mostly used by German units.

Originally assigned to the artillery regiment of the armoured divisions, the Semovente, although not designed in origin for the role, proved to be a powerful tank destroyer; its good firepower (using HEAT shells), small silhouette and improved armour protection enabled it to be a match for the Allied medium tanks it faced in North Africa and Italy (such as the M3 Lee or the M4 Sherman), and it was responsible for many of the successes of the Italian armored units during the war. However, the production rates never meet the actual demand, and so its impact on the battlefield remained limited.

Other info

Anzio Girls High School has some Semoventi da 75/18 of the M.41 variant, recognizable for its external fuel canisters and the long fenders.

In the manga, their role was mainly a secondary one, providing fire support to the more numerous M13/40s, and not defeating a single opponent.

In the OVA, instead, Anzio fielded three Semoventi whose role was decidedly more important; they were revealed to be the school's heavy hitters in the earlier match against Maginot Girls' Academy, and, together with the Carro Armato P40 , made up the main force of Anzio (with the other tanks being the nimble but ineffective L3/33 tankettes). Two of them were one of the branches of Anzio's attack formation; Rabbit Team  met and rashly (thanks to Aya Oono believing them to be decoys) engaged them, leading to a chase in which neither tank scored a hit. When however Anchovy gave the order to her forces to regroup, the M3 Lee began chasing the two tanks, finally disabling one of them as they were negotiating a hill. The remaining one surged to rejoin their commander, but its crew ended up making it fall from a cliff; as it stood there with the crew stunned, the Lee was able to take it out easily.

The other one, with Carpaccio as its commander/loader, was part of Anzio's main force; as they met the opposing force from Ooarai, Carpaccio (recognizing the StuG III as Caesar's tank from its insignia) decided to stay behind and engage it (partly because of their rivalry and partly to tie down Ooarai's most powerful vehicle); skillfully using its small size and better agility to outmaneuver their heavier and better armored opponent and neutralize its more powerful gun, the Semovente proved a close match for the StuG. The duel ended with both teams deciding to go for a finishing shot, drifting close to each other and firing at point-blank range; both vehicles were knocked out in the process (and thus Anzio's single kill in the match was scored, notably against one of the most successful and powerful vehicles of Ooarai).

Tank specifications

  • Weight : 14,4 tonnes
  • Length : 4.92 m
  • Width : 2.2 m
  • Height : 1.85 m
  • Speed : 35 km/h
  • Main Armament : Obice Mod. 34 da 75/18
  • Secondary armament : 1x 8mm Breda Mod. 38 machine gun
  • Hull Armor

     1. Front : 25 + 25 mm

2. Sides : 25 mm

3. Rear : 25 mm

  • Engine : Diesel V-8 SPA 15 T 145 hp

More details about the Semovente da 75/18

Semovente da 75/18

Semovente da 75/18 specifications

Semovente da 75/18 in the official anime (japanese)

Trivia

  • While officially classified as an SPG (self-propelled gun), in the manga the Semovente da 75/18 is wrongly called an "assault gun".

Gallery

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