The FIAT M13/40
A medium tank produced by Italy during the second world war
What does the name mean?
The M stands for Medio which means medium in Italian. The 13 means the tank weight in tonnes, in this case 13 tons. The 40 stands for the year of introduction, in this case it was introduced in 1940.
The M13/40 was an evolution of the M11/39 tank which was subsequently a tank designed for mountain combat considering its weight and specifications. When the M11/39 was considered ill suited for tank on tank fighting the Italian Army wanted an up gunned tank, which was presented as the M13/40. The M13/40 like the M11/39 before it was much the same but made larger to accommodate a new turret and gun. It was still a poor tank that was only able to compete with obsolete UK Cruiser tanks and the American M3 Stuart.
How do we know this is the M13/40?
The gun is the best give away. The gun shield can be easily matched to a M13/40 turret with it’s 47/32 gun (47 stands for Calibre while 32 was the barrel length aka L/32) The riveting seen on the rifle was common in Italian armour composition as the Italian industry lacked the capacity to make welded tank hulls. The slots beside the gun barrel were there for the 8mm Breda Coaxial MG and the gunner periscope.
The Striker Unit might seem devoid of obvious features but they are there. First off the single tone paint job matches the same single tone sand coloured pain used by the Italian in Africa. The unit insignia on her right leg (pictures left) is the same used as the Italians. Here this gal is the first tank of the first platoon of the first company but it is unclear to me what division she is, maybe the Ariete Armoured Division. The numbers on her other leg? That is simply Italian tank registration plate.
Her uniform seem to be a combination of an Italian tankers desert jacket and a tank officers cap in the same colour. These features keep pointing to her being Italian for sure.
Lastly the Striker unit design itself. You can see the rivets common on Italian tanks but the lower shin on her Striker. The design in their sides matches the bogie wheel & leaf spring suspension on the M13/40 and other tanks of the same evolution. Lastly the visible tracks on her striker match the same ones found on the M13/40.
After seeing these features we can say without being told that it is almost certainly a M13/40 and for definite an Italian/Romagna Striker Unit.