Italian Armored Vehicles of WWII


Nocola Pignato


Squadron/Signal Publications


$14.95 ($13.47 at Squadron)


Scott Van Aken

Notes: ISBN 0-89747-475-9

Squadron/Signal has long been well known for producing interesting books on subjects that rarely get any press. Such is the case on the latest on Italian Armored Vehicles. Those familiar with Squadron books will find that it fits into its usual excellent format of providing a good historical background with a lot of quality photographs and excellent profile drawings. This one is no exception and includes several period color images.

The sad truth about much Italian military equipment of the war is that it was so long in development that by the time it reached the battlefield, it was obsolescent. This was particularly true of Italian armor. Relying more on smaller tanks and tankettes, they were unable to properly defend themselves against the more powerful and heavily armed Allied equipment. Where they did go up against similar equipment, they did quite well and were able to win several battles during the early campaigns in North Africa against the British.

The book starts with a background history of Italian armored theory and operation before getting down to specifics. It then goes into the various tankettes  and light tanks that were developed. For those unfamiliar with the genre, tankettes were generally in the 3-4 ton range and had either heavy machine guns or light cannon as the main armament. Crewed by two people, they were small and quite mobile. However, in modern armor battles they were sorely outclassed and used more for anti-partisan work and keeping order in the colonies than anything else.

The next large section is on the medium tanks and semoventes or self propelled guns. These were probably some of the more successful Italian tanks and were able to be used with some success during the early war. They were also modified quite a bit and the book covers all the modifications.

Only one heavy tank was developed and it was so long in development that only one production vehicle was build before the Armistace. Others were completed and used by the Germans and the ARI in the last years of the war. Other vehicles such as armored cars and armored trains are also covered, making this a most complete primer on the subject.

If you find yourself bored with the usual fare of PzKws and Shermans, then you should seriously consider picking up this book. It opens a whole new section of interest.

You can find this book and many others at

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has well over 250,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.