Mobile Coffins: Italian M13/40 Tanks!

It’s so cute! And deadly too…to its crew!

When you think of North Africa in WW2, you think Crusaders, Panzer IVs and IIIs, Tigers, Grants. And rightly so, as all these tanks carved out a reputation, for good or ill!

I particularly like that the designer of this STL included stowage. I often forget to add it. The sandbags are a nice touch, a bit of a desperate move by Italian crews that only further slowed the tank down.

This tank, an Italian M13/40, is unfortunately more on the ‘ill’ side. A dated design even as it just started reaching units, this tank wasn’t as bad as it could be. It had reasonable armament, decent armour in comparison to its British foes, and a good deal of machine guns. However, it lacked speed, often-times radios, and was not something their would-be crews had training in. A recipe for disaster.

Still, it at least looks like a tank. Can’t say that for most early-mid Italian designs!

However, they were plentiful, and these tanks made up a good deal of the Afrika Korps, people often forget that not only were Italians part of the unit, Rommel was actually out-ranked by the Italians in theatre! In my previous post, I showed an interest in doing El Alamein and North Africa in general. Not having even a token Italian contingent would be an unfortunate oversight.

Eight of them, enough for two platoons. The commanders ride is on the printer for tomorrow!

In Flames of War, specifically the Avanti book for Mid-War, this tank isn’t present. However, the book does feature its replacement, the M14/41, and this tank, the M13/40, are very, very similar. I’m hoping that among my small play-group, I can use these as suitable proxies. I certainly won’t be carting these off to a tournament, but they will do to test my theory.

The theory is that I can take a minimum size company of these rolling deathtraps as mobile bunkers, as they do have quite a few machine guns. The folks over at Battlefront have been rather generous with their stats.

Well, that is a pleasant stat-card, make no mistake!

The M14/41 has been given HEAT ammo to represent early Italian faffing around with such ammo types, quite successful attempts at that! It also has great crew stats that can only get better with a good roll at the beginning of the game. Most happily for me is the sheer amount of machine-guns it packs. Sure, it has only Firepower 6, but against infantry that roll doesn’t matter. And you pay very little in points for such firepower.

I have to admit, these things are growing on me.

I have an Avanti book on its way to me, along with the unit card park and command cards. While due to Lockdown I won’t be getting a game in anytime soon, that simply gives me more time to work on these little beauties.

I still have to clean up some supports, but they came out rather cleanly.

All in all, an easy evenings print. It had been a while since I fired up my 3D printers, and I was starting to think I lost my groove. I’m happy to be proven wrong, and to get some tanks out of it!

Anyways, I need to get some sleep. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and stay safe everyone!

7 thoughts on “Mobile Coffins: Italian M13/40 Tanks!

    1. I do often think the same. They were let down by poor officers and mass conscription, as most Italian soldiers weren’t as invested in the fight. But certainly during the Africa campaign once Rommel gave them some victories and good leadership they fought much better.

      They were never as fanatical about Mussolini as the Germans were about Hitler, and them surrendering in 1943 and joining the Allies should not be seen as cowardly, instead a reasonable reaction to throwing out an unliked dictatorship.


  1. First off, nice blog site. What really held the Italians back during the war was their outdated equipment. I have run Italians for a couple of years now in the game. Used aggressively they can do well. The M14/41 is not particularly great against other armour but rocks when assaulting infantry with its MG stats. I leave dealing with tanks to the Semonvente.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. At a point a stand, I generally run full, 9 stand platoons. This means that they are pretty robust but, perhaps more importantly, the 3+ Follow Me – 2+ is you get your 8 Million Bayonets- allows them to cover ground quickly. Hence the comment on the need to use them aggressively. What they lack in other things they can make up in speed and shock. If you also take some Semovente, they should also have pretty consistent indirect fire for that pinning down of enemy infantry before assault.

        I originally bought the Army second hand at a steal. The the intent was to fix it up a bit and then pas it on to a new player who was interested in getting into the game. I did that but, not before I replaced all the models so I could keep an Army myself. So ya, I really enjoy playing them.

        Liked by 1 person

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