Gruppo Carro Armato Fiat 2000

History of the Project

 

The origins

The first use in battle of the tanks or, to use the English definition, Tanks, is dated 15/09/1916 and happened by the Allies in the Battle of the Somme, the echo of their debut in battle pushed the Italian Supreme Command to examine the possibility of their use also on the Italian Front and therefore invited the main Italian companies to develop Autonomous projects, at the same time they turned to the French Allies who, towards the end of 1916, brought a Schneider wagon to Italy, which at the beginning of 1917, it seems with good results, was tried in the area of Udine.

The Italian companies that set up an Armored Tank were FIAT and Pavesi-Casali, the Pavesi company was already engaged in supplies for the Royal Army, in particular for the tractors, here a link with the history of Ing. Ugo Pavesi .

The Development of FIAT 2000

In FIAT the project was entrusted to Dr. Carlo Cavalli and to Eng. Giulio Cesare Cappa , here a brief biography of the designers , the design result was a definitely well armed and heavily armored tank that contained several innovations :

- Use of a 65 mm cannon in a rotating turret

- Use of an Aeronautic Engine, a 240 HP FIAT A 12, which after the war will also be fitted as the engine of the FIAT SB4 Eldridge car, better known as FIAT Mefistofele, holder of several World Records here the history of the Machine

- Combat compartment separated from the engine compartment

The decidedly heavy and imposing vehicle had the following technical characteristics :

- Weight 40 Tons

- Dimensions Length 7.40 meters - Width 3.10 meters - Height 3.80 meters

- 20 mm front armor

- Armament: 1 Cannon 65 mm in turret, 7 machine gun FIAT mod. 14 by 6.5 mm

- Autonomy 75 km for a maximum speed of 7.5 km / h

All with a crew of 10 men (1 tank leader, 1 pilot, 1 gunner, 7 machine-gunners)

The prototype without armor and superstructures was tested in June 1917, here an image of the Initial tests, the tester was Antonio Fagnano .Subsequently submitted to a series of more extensive tests, here the link to the prototype photo gallery .

 

Operational use

In December 1918 the "I Autonomous Carri assault tanks" was set up in Turin on 2 sections, one of these consisting of 1 FIAT 2000 and 3 Renault Ft was sent to Libya, while the other section was sent to the Central School of Artillery of Neptune.

Honestly the results of FIAT 2000 use in Libya were not really exciting because it was used against the fast troops on horseback Senussite where it was felt its limited speed, however, common to the armored vehicles of the time all more 'or less incapable of exceed 7,5 / 8 Km / h, this because the Carro had been designed for the breakthrough of trenches a task substantially different from that in which it was used in Libya, so in the end it was used as mobile blockhouse with tasks of "representation". In Libya, however, I leave 'memory of', in fact, the Libyan Government of Mr. Geddafi believed to immortalize it along with a Lancia 1 MZ in a series of stamps of markedly anti-Italian content of which here is an image . In the photo photo gallery gallery you will find a complete series of images dedicated to operational use .

In the meantime, the Italian Army was oriented towards the Light Tanks, which were deemed to better meet the needs of a future war that would have to be carried out on the model of the First World War I with the Alpine Front and in the war with the Tanks Departments with the CV 33 and the L6 / 40 both means little or nothing protected.

On 02/04/1919 the vehicle was presented to the public in a public exhibition of which several photos remain and that find here .

Last events

The latest news gives him an exemplary present at the F. Tiburtino, image of 1927 , the prototype was then exhibited, in an attempt to sell it for a modern wagon, at V and VI Campo DUX of Villa Glori in 1934-1935 , here is an image ,the latest news is presented earlier in Bologna (1936) and also in the remittances of a Caserma di Vercelli (1939), the war with its load of mourning and destruction will also lead to the loss of memory of the Italian heavy tank.

WHAT WE WANT TO DO

Our Committee aims to reconstruct a FIAT 2000 from Zero to restore the memory of this vehicle which, for better or for worse, however, marked the debut of the National Industry in the design and construction of tanks and was at the forefront of the epoch.

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