Friday, 16 March 2018
Military History Photo Friday: The L3/35 Tankette
I was digging through some old photos the other day and came across this one of yours truly at a military museum in Rome. I'm standing beside an Italian L3/35 tankette. Tankettes were a popular idea for some nations in the Interwar period. As the name implies, they were miniature tanks, smaller and faster than the behemoths of the First World War.
The L3/35 was first mass produced in 1936 and measured 3.17 x 1.4 x 1.3 m (10.4 × 4.59 × 4.27 ft). It had a top speed of 42 km/h (26 mph), weighed 3.2 tons, and had a crew of two--a driver and gunner. Armament was a pair of machine guns. At its thickest, the armor was only 12 mm (.47 inches).
By World War Two, the L3/35 was obsolete, but that didn't stop the Italians from fielding large numbers of them in North Africa. The British made short work of them. It's amazing any survived to end up in this museum!