Tiny little Italian tank rumbles onto the field

  • Printed out and painted up the CV35 from the new digital release, theres a few oddities with the build but nothing major.



  • Looks great Andy! Would you allow us to use it on the MMF page? 

  • @Hudson Adams He can share it directly on the myminifactory page for the tankette, and he can also review the kit at the same time if he so chooses.

  • @Andy Phillips Excellent work on the tankette.

  • @Hudson Adams yeah, go ahead

  • @Lord Marcus Thanks

  • @Andy Phillips 

    That was quick!  Nicely done.  Thanks for sharing it.

    I ASSume you printed it at 100%?  Do you have any Wargames Atlantic or Warlord Italian Infantry you could photograph next to the tankette?  Thank You!

  • @JTam thanks.


    Yes it at 100%. I dont have any WGA Italians yet, Im picking some up from my local friendly plastic dealer this weekend. But heres a quick snap with a couple of minis from the German sentry set.


    Tankette with figures for scale

  • @Andy Phillips 'local friendly plastic dealer' - that would be me (Scarab Miniatures for everyone else!) then! 

    See you at the Reveille wargames show in Bristol this coming sunday

  • They look so out of scale, but they really were that small.

  • @Mark Dewis yeah theyre smaller than a jeep really. Silly to think they take up a tank slot in Bolt Action 🤪

  • @Mark Dewis it's not a casuality that in the italian army they were called "Arrigoni" from a brand of tomatoes' juice in tin cans, guess why? Imagine going with one of these against a british Matilda!

  • @Andy Phillips 

    They were evidently proof against at least .30 cal/medium machineguns.  Consequently a real problem/threat against Infantry without organic antitank assets. 


  • @Alessio De Carolis to paraphrase Dr Who:

    L3 Tankettes: "We have five million Tankettes! How many are you?"

    Matildas: "Four!"

    L3 Tankettes: "You would destroy the Tankettes with four Matildas?"

    Matildas: "We would destroy the Tankettes with ONE Matilda! You are superior in only one way!"

    L3 Tankettes: "What is that?"

    Matildas: "You are better at dying!"


    @Andy Phillips a bit of a pity they didn't find any in the desert, then...

  • @Mark Dewis are you saying they didnt fight in the North African campaigns? Or that we dontbsee the remains because they were destroyed utterly (by said Dale... er.. Matilldas)?


    While I claim no complete knowledge various bits reading suggest these tin cans did see action.. without any real success

  • @JTam my father spoke with some guys that had fought in NA, and they said that the .303 AP of the vickers could pierce the (tin) armour of these ...things, and in Spain had appened the same thing, in Eastern Africa a trick of the guerrillas was trown some logs in the tracks, so, if there wasn't friendly infantry to support them, the crews normally were butchered. The tankettes were an idiotic concept, that didn't survived past the ealy war's stages, they sold well bcz were economical and there weren't heavier tanks to fight them (except some russian ones, as the T26 or the BT in SCW).

  • At the risk of sounding a bit contentious... tools need to be judged by their application.  There is more utility to these kinds of Tankettes than just comparing them to heavier tanks. Or to suggest tankettes/tanks are obsolete due to anti-Tank weapons. 

    As these were small, fast and reliable I can see them being of use in many circumstances. Even today to be honest if the armor can withstand modern 7.62mm armor piercing rounds... let alone poorly armed North African tribal peoples.

    "The L3 career is quite impressive, spanning from the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) campaign to the reddition of Kesselring german troops in Italy, in may 1945... Despite its light armor, the CV 33 and 35 were reliable, fast with a low profile, which made them difficult to hit, and had a low petrol consumption. They were a cost-effective solution, still valuable against infantry alone. Just as the British Unversal Carriers, they were available in large numbers, used in many ways, as scouts, equipped with powerful radios, as advanced screening and flanking forces, for colonial and police duties, for assaults in flame-thrower versions, or even as anti-tank vehicles, armed with a highly effective Breda 20 mm gun. Most of the export version seen combat as well. But the CV 33 had several nicknames which reflected its lack of armor in Italian service : "scatola di sardine" or "cassa de morto" (beer or sardine boxes), or even "bara d'acciaio" (iron coffins)..."


  • @Alessio De Carolis 

    I checked two different sources that claimed the Italian tankettes were 30 cal proof.  But I 100% believe you.  Maybe they were proof against common ball ammo and not armor piercing (which is vicious stuff).

    As with all weapons it needs to be part of a combined arms team to survive.  And if you are trying to use it as a "tank" you are going to be a sad panda.  As a mobile weapons platform with limited protection it is a useful vehicle.  The British made good use of their very similar if you think about it Bren/Weapons carriers.  I would argue the modern successor to both is the German Wiesel.

  • @Grumpy Gnome 

    I was typing my reply at the same time as you.  

    Similar thoughts.


  • @JTam   Nice comparison to the British Bren Carrier mate.

  • Real coffins on tracks ! Developed in the 1930s, especially in France, Italy (and Japan), tankettes, or "chenillettes" in French, found themselves completely outclassed after the war in Spain.

    The Italians continued to use them until 43 (plus RSI, 43-45) : mainly for Reco' actions or to escort ammunition convoys... or against civilians, with the Croat and German "partisan-hunters" in the Balkans.

  • @Pierre Lerdou-Udoy 

    Oh they got around.

  • Very interesting photo. Not really surprising.

    The Italians had over 2.000 units, and the Germans had maybe 5.000 (or more) Austrian, Czech, Polish, Belgian, Dutch, French, Norwegian, Greek, Yugoslav or Russian light armored vehicles (like the French Chenillette Renault UE, very cool).

    Multi-purpose vehicles : training, transport of ammunition, tractor for artillery pieces, fight against partisans, protection of strategic areas (ports, airfields), or conversions into assault cannons, the possibilities were wide (as long as they had gas/petrol).

    The Axis war economy did not allow waste.

  • @Andy Phillips I just meant that the odds of the tankettes finding unsupported infantry in the desert were very low. 

  • Effectively there were a lot of conversions in patrol vehicles of the bren carriers let behind after Dunkirk, the Luftwaffe armed them with a 3,7cm pak 36 and used them as airport security, the same for the Chenillette Renault. But respect to the CV33, the Bren carrier was never intended as a combat tank, it was a MGs/Mortar carrier, or intended to tow AT guns (do you remember the old Airfix model with the 6 pdr?), pratically it was a well protected, tracked general purpose vehicle.

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