1940, Libya. The war is underway on the Italian-Egyptian front and the Italian High Commands realize the usefulness of fast and well-armed means to intercept and destroy the Commonwealth forces. The Italian technicians began working on “Autocannoni”, just as they did during the First World War, using vehicles captured from the British armed forces and mounting old 65 mm cannons or 20 mm anti-aircraft guns on them. After some experimentation it was decided to convert a heavy truck, the Fiat 634 N, to a cannon by mounting a 102/35 cannon of naval origin used on various anti-aircraft and coastal defense units. The first vehicles were stationed at the 132nd Ariete Division and the 102nd Trento Division and gave good results by shooting at long-range targets with high precision and very high damage. Unfortunately, as the war progressed, the vehicles were lost in bombings, attacks and breakdowns and none of the vehicles survived until modern times.
Armament and propulsion.
The truck was armed with a 102/35 Model 1914 naval gun on various carriages (three on paper but only two documented by photographs, the OTO Mod. 1933 and the Vickers-Terni Mod. 1925). A normally trained crew could fire the cannon at an average of 20 rounds per minute, a rate usually slowed down to avoid overheating damage to the barrel and not to tire the crew.
The vehicle itself was instead a Fiat 634 N, a heavy transport truck weighing 14 tons (basic version) powered by a 80 HP 6-cylinder Fiat 355C in-line engine, which allowed the vehicle to reach a maximum speed of 41 km /h.
Dimesions (L-W-H): 7.35 x 2.4 x ~3 m
Weight: 6,2 tons
Engine: FIAT 355C 6-cylinder diesel engine, 80 hp
Maximum speed: 41 km/h
Crew: 6 (driver, commander, gunner and 3 servants)
Armament: Cannone Schneider-Ansaldo da 102/35 Mod. 1914
Ammo rack: 30
Number Built: 7
Really cool gun truck. Italy has really carved a niche out for itself in the game with these SPGs and I would love to see it continue and expanded upon.
On another note, I did a quick look-up of ammunition types. It seems that at least one AP projectile existed, weighing 15 kg and probably having the same ~750 m/s muzzle velocity as the other rounds. This would give it a penetration value between 120 - 160 mm (depending if it contained explosive filler or not).
Also, this could be two vehicles since two different mounts have been photographed (with a third documented but not photographed). These two, the Vickers-Terni Mod. 1925, and the O.T.O. Mod. 1935 have different elevation values. The Vickers-Terni being -5°/+90°, and the O.T.O. being -10°/+80°. That extra depression on the O.T.O. can really make a difference.
The third mount wasn’t anything special. The Ansaldo Mod. 1925, it had -5°/+85° in elevation values.
I really hope we get to see both (or three?).
How many of those are 20mm gun trucks? 20mm vehicles are already quite cheezy and the community has been quite vocal about them. They also often play very similarly to each other, even if they’re mounted on different chassis and whatnot.
I love gun trucks and such vehicles, but it’s important that they bring something to the table I feel. For any other gun I’m quite okay if they’re somewhat similar to each other though.