L.38 (Breda 13.2 mm)

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L.38 (Breda 13.2 mm).

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History.

The CV 38 is the last known derivation of the famous CV33 tank, an Italian light tank developed between the two world wars based on the British Carden-Loyd Mk VI tankette. Between 1937 and 1938, a final version of the CV35 called CV38, then L38, was produced, which featured some changes to the suspension system, tracks and armament compared to the tanks of the previous series. The tank had torsion bar suspension (the first time in an armored vehicle in Italy until then) and was armed with a single Breda Model 1931 machine gun, as well as some L35s which were rearmed at the start of the Second World War. Over a hundred examples of the L38 tanks were produced, which saw limited use between 1943 and the end of the world war by the pre- and post-armistice Italian armed forces and by Wehrmacht units. Some were also tested by the Brazilian army and used by them, while a few examples survived the conflict in their homeland and were used by the police forces (although rearmed with the classic Breda 38 coupling) and then given as gifts to Italian museums or scrapped after their replacement by Western means.

Armament and propulsion.

The tank was armed with a Breda Modello 1931 machine gun, a machine gun made under license by Breda with a 30-round magazine and a rate of fire of around 400 rounds per minute. This weapon was also adopted on the M41 and M42 Command Tanks.
The tank was also powered by a Tipo CV 3-005 4-cylinder 2746 cc petrol engine with 43 HP of power, which allowed it to reach a maximum speed of 42 km/h.

Specifications.

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Length: 3.17
Width: 1.5
Height: 1.3
Weight: 3200 kg
Crew: 2
Engine: Tipo CV 3-005, 43 hp
Armament: 1x Breda Model 1931
Maximum speed: 42 km/h

Pictures and drawnings.

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Sources.

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LA MECCANIZZAZIONE DELL'ESERCITO FINO AL 1943 tomo II -parte 2 by Biblioteca Militare - Issuu
Carro Veloce L3/38
CV35 - Wikipedia
L3/38
Regio Esercito - Lista materiale bellico - Carro veloce L3-35
L3/35 - Wikipedia
Fiat Ansaldo L3/38 - Master Miniatures Walkaround
Axis Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War II: Carro Veloce CV-38 [L3/38]
CV-38 Tankette (L3/35)
L3/35 - Wikipedia
CV-38 Tankette (L3/35)
LA MECCANIZZAZIONE DELL'ESERCITO FINO AL 1943 tomo II -parte 1 by Biblioteca Militare - Issuu
LA MECCANIZZAZIONE DELL'ESERCITO FINO AL 1943 tomo I -parte 2 by Biblioteca Militare - Issuu
GLI AUTOVEICOLI DA COMBATTIMENTO DELL'ESERCITO ITALIANO VOL I by Biblioteca Militare - Issuu

4 Likes

+1 for Reserve prior to the L3/33 CC. Single HMG and good mobility is fine at Reserve BR.

7 Likes

30rds of 13.2mm are going to be a lot deadlier than those 20mm APHE rounds every second.

😂

7 Likes

An even memier L3, yes.

4 Likes

The final evolution of the L3! +1!

1 Like

Although I find the L.38 a fun little vehicle, the gun itslelf will be too weak to be effective against tanks. Please keep in mind the rounds are weaker than 12.7mm US Browning even if the caliber is higher and most of the time you will end up bouncing on thin armor. Not to mention you will need to sustain your damage to be effective, since it lacks any potent post-pen damage (from spalling).

Even the current 20mm struggles to pen at times if the angles are not right!

There are plently of things that you can pen with the Hotchkiss 13.2mm and penetration is quite similiar to the 20mm on the T-60.

1 Like

As I said, the gun was notorious for it’s capabilities and the 20mm gun we already have in-game was supposed to be the upgrade for the 13.2mm vs armored vehicles and other anti-tank available guns. The MG would be great as a secondary weapon, but not a primary one against vehicles. Not in a turretless vehicle, with modest mobility, limited traverse and a small capacity magazine.

Just to demonstrate how situational and necessary to be at close range and lucky enough to meet squishy targets, I made this video in the Test Drive using the M14/41 which has a 13.2mm Breda Mod.31 MG in hull:

In this instance, I made a demonstration to showcase the performance of the 20mm Mod.39 AT gun which we already have on the existing L3/33 CC vehicle, which performed slightly better and can outrange the 13.2mm MG, but sometimes the rounds seems to vanish without explanation, especially when shot on the turret of Staghound AA (my guess is the HE filler detonates and does 0 damage on armor instead of doing damage to the crew member inside):

And here is a demonstration of the Russian T60 with the 20mm gun, which too many people compare it but it seems unfair, since the 20mm gun contains HE filler and as it seems higher Rate of Fire and ammo, but also slower (waay more slower) reload rate, unfortunately I could not keep the same targets and ranges since Russia has Pz.IIC and Pz.IVC in the Test Drive at low ranks:

But even so, the T60 seems better since it can clean up targets quickly and due to it’s HE filler can even detonate ammo racks quickly.

But, since we changed the target vehicles and some people might complain the demonstration will not feel fair, I also tested the P.7.T AA in the Test Drive (same Pz.IIC and Pz.IVC as targets) which has a quad 13.2mm Hotchkiss machine gun mount, with similar (if not the exact same) ballistics to 13.2mm Mod.31 Italian machine gun in game:

Another popular comparison of this MG is the 12.7mm M2 US Browning, which we have on the M2A2. Of course I couldn’t let it go, so I also tested the M2A2 in the Test Drive with the same German targets we have by default:

Compared to the 13.2mm Hotchkiss, the M2 .50cal Browning seems to be better and manages to penetrate the frontal 30mm plates at close range, which the Hotchkiss didn’t manage in same conditions. Another great advantage of the .50cal is the sustained fire made available by the belt feed of the gun, which supports 200 rounds before reloading (and a reload rate comparable to T60 tank).

And the king of the low BRs in War Thunder, the bane of low rank tanks, the 20mm Breda Mod.35 autocannon which has the same ballistics as the 20mm KwK German cannons, was also tested as a demonstration to how quickly it can finish up the Tetrarch and Staghound, where the first guns initially struggled in certain positions but the 20mm is able to clean them up even at 400m at an angle:

I know that the 20mm autocannons are already strong at low BRs, but if I made a demonstration of most guns at low BRs, it felt unfair to not include it just to show how effective it can be compared to the others.

Based on all the videos and demonstrations above, no, I don’t think an L3 with a 13.2mm machine gun will be a good idea to be in game. Could it kill tanks? Yeah, sure, but you need to get lucky, at close ranges and there’s plenty of things that are working against you: the low volume of fire you can sustain, the unreliable penetration damages and balistics, the very narrow traverse of the gun, the limited mobility and uncertainty that an ambush will work 100% or that a module will not start eating your bullets and the enemy tank turns and fires at you. I love the L3, but the 13.2mm gun is not ideal as a main AT armament. Perhaps on a turreted vehicle that can work also as an AA and preferably on a dual/quad mount?

Doing test drive testing is the equivalent of paper statistics.
No one uses the M2A2 as a main in a live round since it performs poorly.
The 13.2 being a larger round would accommodate the 20mm L3 and help fill the gaps.
You have to treat L3s, Ke-Ni’s, and M22s as parasites. Since that is what they are. One may perform fine but in numbers they dominate.

I agree, a Test Drive just shows some statistics, and what you see in this video is what happens when you shoot at static targets. But people in a match won’t be static and they will not just let you approach and finish them off with ease, so it will be even harder to fight them off and finish them.

The 13.2mm is already in game and is not as strong as people think, it’s actually weaker than the 12.7mm M2. And the statement “the 13.2 being a larger round would accommodate the 20mm L3 and help fill the gaps” is false, it won’t fill any gaps that Italy has since there’s plenty of vehicles with the 20mm Breda Mod.35 which does way better than that and we already have them in-game.

I fear that people think the 13.2mm Mod.31 is better than it actually is and this vehicle will suffer the same threatment Japan and France had with their early tanks that are not even available in the tree for new players anymore.

I press X to doubt. Results will show when it’s in the game otherwise. I’m doubting everything you stated. With a high level of salt meaning, I don’t agree. But I’ll keep an open mind when it happens.