Italy specialized in light tanks with a few designs in the medium category. Those light tanks designed pre-war were close relatives of a British Carden-Lloyd tankette design, examples of which had been purchased in 1929.The Italians named their versions Carro Veloce (fast tank) and the most important, the CV 33, was designed in 1933 and entered service two years later. Over 1300 were produced by Fiat-Ansaldo in the first order alone, some fir export. These simple vehicles had no turret as such, a rear-mounted petrol engine and front- wheel drive, and one or two light machine guns as the main armament. Twin machine gun versions were unofficially known as CV 33s, and the final production version was the CV L38 some of which were rebuilt with a 20mm (0.78in) cannon.
The ability of the CV tanks to tow an ammunition trailer (having evolved from what was essentially a light weapons tractor) meant that it was also used in a flamethrower version. The jellied petroleum (napalm) was kept in a 500kg (1 1021b) trailer and piped forward to the flame projector, which was mounted in the centre of the superstructure face. This idea was used later by the British in the Normandy landings. Called a ‘carro d’assalto lanciafiamme’ (flamethrower assault tank), it was initially designated the L35/Lf and later the L3-35/Lf.
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