Carro Armato P40


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The P 26/40 was an Italian World War II heavy tank. It was armed with a 75 mm gun and an 8 mm Breda machine gun, plus another optional machine gun in an anti-aircraft mount. Design had started in 1940 but very few had been built by the time Italy signed the armistice with the Allies in September 1943 and the few produced afterwards were used by the Germans.

The official Italian designation was carro armato ("armoured vehicle") P 26/40. The designation means: P for pesante ("heavy"), the weight of 26 tonnes, and the year of adoption (1940).

Some 1,200 tanks were ordered (but the total was later reduced to 500 when development work on the heavier P 43 began), but the start of production was delayed by the engine problems and by other factors, such as the bombing of the SPA factory in Turin in September 1942; in the end, production began only in summer 1943. About a hundred P 40s were built by Ansaldo from then until the end of the war, although most were not entirely completed because of a lack of engines.