Italian Medium Tanks in North Africa – 1940 to 1942

Italian Medium Tanks in North Africa – 1940 to 1942

The list below is based on a post by User nmao on the Axis History Forum at this link. I am sure it is not absolutely correct, but it gives a good overview nevertheless, and by posting it I am hoping somebody maybe able to help me. The original list seemed to be from the Official History, but with a bit of research it is possible to discover a number of errors in it. Those errors I have identified by checking the unit histories on the Italian Association of Tankers I have corrected, but I am sure they are not all.

So please note the table below is provided ‘as is’, and not a definitive accounting exercise. I am also missing a delivery of 24 M13/40 tanks in November 1941 on the AHF list, while on the other hand 9/132 seems to be far too strong, while 7 and 8/132 also seem overly strong.

It is known that Ariete as a whole fielded 138 M13/40 on 17 November 1941, but I am missing the RECAM here which also operated medium tanks. So still open questions.

M13

Italian Medium Tank M13/40 Column in Libya, Date unknown (from Wikipedia)

Regimental associations as far as I can see were:

COMPASS:

4 Regiment Babini Armoured Brigade

32 Regiment Babini Armoured Brigade

CRUSADER
132 Regiment Ariete (Mediums)

32 Regiment Ariete (Carri d’Assalto)

Gazala

132 Regiment Ariete (Mediums)

133 Regiment (Mediums – attached to 132 and Trieste)

El Alamein

132 Regiment Ariete (Mediums)

133 Regiment Littorio (Mediums)

Division / Fate Unit Battalion or Regiment Arrival Dates or Present Dates Tank State Tank Type
Not knownDestroyed COMPASS 1/32 July 1940 35-37 M11/39
Not knownDestroyed COMPASS 2/32 July 1940 35-37 M11/39
Not knownDestroyed COMPASS 3/4 July 1940 37 M11/39
Not knownFormed from crews of 21st Light Tank Battalion. Destroyed COMPASS 21/4 January 1941 36 M13/40
Not knownDestroyed COMPASS 6/33 later 6/32 January 1941 47 M13/40
Not known/ArieteDestroyed CRUSADER, not reformed 7/32 later 7/132 11 March 1941 50 M13/40
Not known/ArieteDestroyed CRUSADER, reformed 8/32 later 8/132 22 June 1941 67 M13/40
Not known/ArieteDestroyed CRUSADER, reformed 9/3 later 9/132 October 1941 90 M13/40
IndependentA training or security battalion probably stationed at Agedabia. It was used for loss replacement of Ariete in late Dec 1941.

Probably received 24 tanks delivered in late November 1941

52 October 1941 9

24

M13/40

M13/40

LittorioFirst set of M13/40 tanks sunk on Fabio Filzi and Carlo del Greco in attack by HM/Sub Upright on 13 Dec 41.

Rebuilt in Africa with M14/41 in May 42.

12/133 13 December 1941 (sunk)
May 1942
52

52

M13/40

M14/41

Littorio/ArieteTanks were assigned to Ariete to make up for losses 10/133 later ?/132 5 January 1942 52

38

M13/40

M14/41

Littorio/TriesteAssigned as armoured battalion of Trieste motorised division for the Gazala battles 11/4 later 11/133, later 11/Trieste 23 January 1942 26

66

M13/40

M14/41

Not known/LittorioDestroyed Alamein 4/31 later 4/133 August 1942 59 M13/40 M14/41
Not known/LittorioNo details known 13/31 later 13/133 later 13/132 August 1942 75 M14/41
Not knownNo details known 14/31 31 August 1942 60 M14/41
Not knownNo details known 15/1 later 15/31 15 December 1942 40

??

M14/41

Semovente da 75L18

Not knownNo details known 16/32 ?? 17(?)

?

?

Semovente

Not knownNo details known 17/32 Late 1942 45

1 Coy

M14/41

Semovente

Not known/LittorioFormed in Africa from crews of 2 and 4 Battalions. 51/31 later 51/133 25 August 1942 80 M14/41
Approximate numbers. 19 Battalions 109484

500

M11/39M13/40

M14/41

Total 1,094 Mediums

So fire away please!