|Upgrades to||Carro M15|
One of the longest serving Italian medium tanks, the Carro M13 would not fare well against other medium tanks, but could engage on light tanks or infantry. Exceptionally fast, it served as a leading Italian guerrilla tank.
The M13 was used in the Greek campaign in 1940 and 1941 and in the North African Campaign. The M13 was not used on the Eastern Front; Italian forces there were equipped only with Fiat L6/40s and Semovente 47/32s. Beginning in 1942, the Italian Army recognized the firepower weakness of the M13 series and employed the Semovente 75/18 self propelled gun alongside the tanks in their armored units.
The first of over 700 M13s were delivered following a rate of production of about 60-70 a month, before the fall of 1940. They were sent to North Africa to fight the British. Its baptism of fire came with a special unit, the Babini Brigade. Arriving too late to fight in the September offensive, this unit was ready the next December, for a major British offensive operation. Further action took place in Derna, where the V battalion had just arrived. Tanks of III battalion were also present near this position, at the battle of Bardia. In two days of fighting (January 3-4 1941), the Australians suffered 456 casualties while the Italians lost 45,000 men captured.
On February 6-7, the British offensive penetrated so far that the Babini Brigade sought to open a breach in the British lines at Beda Fomm in an effort to allow cut-off Italian troops to retreat along the Libyan coast. The brigade's action was unsuccessful and all 20 of their tanks were lost. The last six surviving tanks entered a field near the local British command post. They were destroyed one after another by a single 2-pdr (40 mm) anti-tank gun. Many tanks were lost in this campaign to artillery fire rather than other tanks. A number of captured M11 and M13s were re-used by the Australian 2/6th Cavalry Regiment and the 6th Royal Tank Regiment, until the spring of 1941, when their fuel ran out and they were destroyed.
In April 1941, at the time of the arrival of the Afrika Korps, the Italians had around 240 M13 and M14 tanks in first-line service. In 1942, as the Allies began deploying Grants and Crusader IIIs, along with towed 6 pounder anti-tank guns in their infantry units, the weaknesses of the M13 were exposed. In an attempt to improve protection, many crews piled sandbags or extra track links on the outside of their tanks, but this made the already-underpowered vehicles even slower and increased maintenance requirements. The Italians equipped at least one company in each tank battalion with more heavily-armed Semovente 75/18 assault guns.
The Second Battle of El Alamein saw the first appearance of the M4 Sherman, while some 230 M13s were still in front line service. In several days of battle, the Ariete and Littorio divisions were used to cover the Axis retreat. The Centauro Division was virtually destroyed fighting in Tunisia.
Strategies and TacticsEdit
- At the low cost of only $15, the Carro M13 can prove to be a tank worthy of being used in a mass attack.
- Unfortunately, the M13 lacks any real firepower, although enemy light and early-war medium tanks can be engaged.
- It should always be used in large squads because when it goes against Shermans or Panzers it doesn't last a second.
- It is highly recommended to upgrade to Carro M15 for its increase in firepower, but still note it is inferior to most medium tanks still.
- Despite low fire power, it has high speed and is easly produced, so it is advised that you use them to raid instead of direct combat.
Small cal. HE shell
Small cal. AP shell
MG 34 Machine-gun