105/25 Assault gun “Bassotto” (Ansaldo)
In consideration of the good results given by the first Italian assault guns (75/18 self propelled howitzer), in 1942 was given the green light for the realisation of improved series of these vehicles by resorting to the new M43 hull (updated wider version of the M15-42) and to a welded superstructure (at last also in Italy superseded bolting and riveting as a main armour construction technique) fitted with a powerful 105/25 howitzer.
As with the “75/18”, the gun would be fixed in the superstructure front in a ball joint mounting.
The prototype, nicknamed “Bassotto” with reference to its limited height, was completed in January ’43 and first delivered some months later; in addition to the above mentioned features it displayed a relatively powerful gasoline engine (192 HP) which allowed good off-road mobility.
With the “Bassotto” the Italian Army would at last have matched the best contemporary tanks, but it was too late and it was not available in substantial number out of a production order for 500 units, due to the difficult events of the time, only 30 “105/25” were delivered to the frontline units; at the signing of the armistice with the allies, some of these vehicles were fielded by 600th assault-gun group of the ARIETE II division and took part in defence of Rome against the German troops.
Weight: 15,1 t
Length: 5,10 m
Width: 2,50 m
Height: 1,15 m
Engine: 192 HP
Max speed: 35 km/h