Over at the Status Report blog they have posted an article by “Vollketten” on the development and history of the Italian Semovente M.41M. People curious about WW2 Italian armor may find the article of interest.
‘Primo Studio’ 90/53
The earliest concept for this vehicle appears to be have been this one; the ‘Primo Studio’ with a small gunshield and very small profile. The hull is very square with 3 unequally spaced return rollers and 4 pairs of twin bogied wheels each side. The hull is laid out with the transmission at the front as was the norm for Italy, then the crew compartment with the engine behind and then the gun mounted at the rear on a pedestal. In my opinion this ‘Primo Studio’ M.41M would just make an ideal premium tank destroyer in WoT; small and well armed, but slow with weak armour. This would be a tank destroyer for the patient player.
It had originally been proposed to fit this 90mm L.53 calibre weapon into the chassis on the P.26/40 heavy tank which was under development at the time by Ansaldo but due to construction and development issues a modified and lengthened M.14/41 tank chassis was utilised instead, fitted with improved suspension to take the additional weight of this cannon (hence M.41-M, with ‘M’ being ‘Modificata’). The prototype was undergoing trials by the 5th of March 1942; from a November 1941 mockup to functional prototype in only four months was a remarkable achievement.