Cannone 75/27CK su Ceirano 50 C.M.A.

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Hi everyone, I want to suggest to you the 75/27CK on Ceirano 50, one of the earliest autocannone of the Italian army.

BRIEF HISTORY:

Spoiler

The history of this machine has to be dated in the late 1915, when the first 75/27 cannon was mounted on an Italia X chassis as an AA battery.

The nomenclature C.K. for the 75/27 cannon stands for “Commissione Krupp” (Krupp Commission) and was used to distinguish the 75/27 mod. 906 cannon (made using the Krupp design) from the 75/27 mod.911 of French design.

The machine proved itself very effective during WWI, but also aged very quickly and, in 1927, the gun was mounted on a more modern chassis, the Ceirano 50 C.M.A.

More than 160 units of this machine were built and saw service until the end of the war, even if the piece was already far outdated for its role.

Some reports say that four batteries of these machines served ‘till 1955 in the colonies of Ceuta and Melilla under the Spanish army.

What really shocked most historians and researchers is that the Italian High Command never thought of using this huge amount of dual-purpose guns for anti-tank combat, relegating them only for anti-air duty until late 1941, after learning about the German experience with the 88mm gun.

Only then we can find reports of them being used by both Italian and German soldiers against British troops, but ,unfortunately, with only minor success.

ENGINE AND CHASSIS:

Like its predecessor the Ceirano aged pretty badly and, during WWII, many commanders expressed their concern about it being “extremely hard to protect in a convoy, due to its low speed on roads, that decreased even more when going off road”.

This was to reconduct to the already weak engine of the Machine, a Ceirano 50C, 4-cylinders, 4720cc with only 53Hp at 1750rpm, that managed to move the 7.2t vehicle (when fully loaded) at only 25Km/h on roads and barely 12Km/h off-road.

The machine also suffered a lot the desert environment due to its overall weight and the old spring leaf suspensions, this meant that the machine used to sink and scrape its own bottom while traveling on deep sand.

Another problem that was constantly reported was the overall dimensions of the machine, that made it easy to spot from the air.

THE CREW:

Albeit being weak, the Ceirano boosted a high number of crewmembers on board, 8 total : the driver, the commander, 2 gunners, 2 loaders and also two specialists, whose role was to help while setting the correct time for the Air burst shell fuse.

Apart from the driver and the commander that seated in the cabin, all the other soldiers seated in the cargo bed of the truck, 2 right behind the cabin on foldable seats and the other four on a makeshift bench on the rear ammo storage during travel.

During combat the four soldiers seated in the back manned the gun, while the two specialists helped them tracking their target from outside the machine, with all the proper equipment. (In the game they will only be able to seat in the back of the cabin as additional crew)

Here I’ll add an image on how the crew operated the gun:

Spoiler

173030629_usocannone.JPG.ed3152010c2f2bad32aec35031c049f5

And one where I show where they were seated during travel (mostly for information purpose, as they will be always manning the gun in game):

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1227357429_Disposizioneequipaggioviaggio.thumb.JPG.beb5ff417bc42ccd70cebb1693954423

Protection wise, the machine offered nothing to the crew, being it originally an AA piece that stationed far away from the frontline.

ARMAMENT AND AMMO:

As I said in the beginning the gun is a 1906 75/27 cannon licensed by Krupp.

The gun was mounted on a chandelier stand that made the gun able to rotate 360° horizontally and elevate from 0° to 70° vertically.

In this video from “Archivio Luce” you can see the rotation and elevation speed of the gun ( from 6:28 to 6:47) and also the 8 crewmembers for each truck operating it:

The limited vertical ark of the gun was another note of concern for Italian soldiers while engaging in anti-air operations, this was also worsened by the initial low muzzle velocity of the gun.[1]

The gun was able to fire two different types of ammunition, a time-fuse flack round and, later on, the Granata Perforante 75/27, both with an initial muzzle velocity of 510m/s and a sustained rate of fire of 15 rounds per minute ( 1 shot every 4s) thanks to the 2 loaders.

Initial tests were conducted with the flack round of the 75/27 against the sides of a captured BT-7, but no effect were noted[2], this lead the High Command of the Italian army to think that a new anti-tank round for the 75/27 cannon was necessary to make the 75/27 even remotely useful.

The two rounds had the following characteristics:

  • Granata da 75 c.a. : 6.5Kg of weight , 0.123Kg of explosive mass, time fuse, initial muzzle velocity 510m/s.

  • Granata perforante da 75/27: 6.2Kg of weight, 0.27Kg of explosive mass, 40mm of penetration at 500m, on a 30° angled armor plate, initial muzzle velocity 510m/s [3].

These values may seem a bit underwhelming, but, please remember, that we’re talking about a WWI gun fitted on an inter-war chassis.

The ammunitions were stored, symmetrically, on both the front and the back of the vehicle and counted around 96 rounds in total.

Here’s an image of the vehicle that shows were the ammunitions were stored ( same layout was on the other side), notice that the cabin’s rear can be folded to provide 360° cover and direct fire:

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1037118562_Cerianoinbatteria.JPG.2639547a7fed2eea15a04c2962529bf4

STAT CARD :

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653083618_SpecificheCeirano75-27.thumb.jpg.6d7c97ac99856787c4f72d38fd8eee5e

ILLUSTRATIONS:

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Ceirano_disegno.thumb.jpg.3f73b11fbd19b28fe2a305f23a37d6b6

IN WAR THUNDER:

I think that the 75/27CK su Ceirano 50 could be a bit tricky to add in War Thunder, but I still wanted to make this suggestion to let people know about this machine.

It is, by most standards, one of the progenitors of all the “Autocannoni” that Italy used during the war, opening the road for all dual-purpose guns that, until then, were only used as an AA piece, like the mighty 90mm.

As one of the first of them I can only imagine it being a starter machine due to different factors:

  • Its mobility is quite bad, but it could be easy to guess, being it an inter-war machine

  • The gun itself is quite mediocre, but it could still be able to deal with some early WWII machines

  • The reload time is quite good for a 75mm piece thanks to the presence of 2 loaders

  • The initial muzzle velocity is quite low and will need some practice

  • It has a lot of crew, but they are all exposed

  • Direct fire will be troublesome with only 0 degrees of depression (maybe they’ll give it a -2° like the Loraine 155?)

  • It can be a nice multirole piece when time fuse mechanic for ground vehicles will became a bit more intuitive

  • If the rounds penetrates you are certain to one-shot your target, thanks to the 270g of explosive, that will work wonders against the cramped machines of the early WWII era at low tier

NOTES:

[1] Nicola Pignato “A century of Italian armored cars” page 142-143

[2] Filippo Cappellano, Nicola Pignato “Andare contro i carri armati” page 128

[3] Filippo Cappellano, Nicola Pignato “Andare contro i carri armati” page 152

 Italian and French explosive ordinance page 86-87

SOURCES:

Nicola Pignato “A century of Italian armored cars”

Filippo Cappellano, Nicola Pignato “Andare contro i carri armati”

Nicola Pignato, Filippo Cappellano “Gli autoveicoli da combattimento dell’esercito italiano” Vol.1

Italian and French explosive ordinance: Ordnance Pamphlets → Italian and French explosive ordinance

Ralph Riccio “Italian tanks and combat vehicles of WWII”

Enrico Finazzer “Italian artillery of WWII”

Archivio Luce

3 Likes

+1 Autocannoni are for Italy what the Infinity Gems are for Thanos!

1 Like

Yes +1. (Please use spoilers.)

I’m not sure. I think it’s too slow, and not that useful since the Lancia ro 76/30 can be added instead.

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yes, but as a premium (1.0), as the lancia ro with similar armament would be perfect in the tree.

Sorry for the late response.

To answer both of you, you are both right.
The Ceriano was also lamented to be very cumbersome and difficult to protect due to its limitations, so much that the 76/30 su LanciaRo was really well apreciated even with its limited numbers.

I wanted to suggest the Ceirano as it was the earliest machine fully converted as an anti-tank unit, still, as the fist prototipe, it was full of faults.

As foxmeup suggested it would be great to see it as a 1.0-1.3 premium or event machine simply for its iconic nature, that spurred the italian army to pursue even more powerfull anti-tank guns, wich led to the even more iconic 90mm.

Yes, I think it’d make an unique 1.0 addition.