The Carro P26 was an attempt to match the Wehrmacht's famous Panzer IV tank by adding a high-velocity 75mm AT gun and advanced sloped armor. Even though it was heavily armed, its engine and suspension made it adequately fast for its type. Because of the inferior strength of Italy's early tanks, most players choose to wait until they can build a Prototype Base. Once that is done, construction of the Carro P26 could begin. A useful strategy is to build a Prototype Base right away, and churn out P26's as they are moderately cheap.
This tank is truly the best tank Italy has to offer and it shows. It has incredible armor and it price is very low. The Carro P26 is also like all Italian tanks: fast and cheap, but not able to defeat its foreign counterparts in a 1 on 1 battle. Some people build a prototype base in the beginning of the game just for this tank. Though this tank is good it shouldn't face one to one against tanks like the Tiger. A few of these tanks with recon and supporting troops can destroy most tank assaults from a distance, except for one utilizing several heavy tanks or advanced tank destroyers.
Although designed in 1940, the first prototype was not completed until 1942. The initial plan was for a 25 tonne tank with a 75 mm gun and to be named P26. The development work proceeded quickly except for the engine; the Italian military staff, the Stato Maggiore, wanted a diesel power-plant, while the builders favoured a petrol engine.
However, in Italy at the time there were no engines (diesel or petrol) available capable of developing the 300 hp (220 kW) required, and the Italian tank industry (i.e. the duopoly Fiat-Ansaldo) did not turn to easily available aircraft engines for its tanks as the contemporary U.S. and British tank manufacturers had done. The design of a new engine was very slow and in the end a 420 hp (310 kW) petrol engine was eventually tested.
The design of the P40 was originally similar to tanks such as the M11/39, but with a bigger gun and more armour. After learning about Soviet T-34s in 1941, the armour of the P40 was quickly re-designed, adopting more markedly sloped plates, and the new gun was adopted. The gun designation "75/34" referred to a 75 mm bore diameter gun with a length equal to 34 calibres. It was used in lieu of the 75/18 gun, with a shorter barrel of only 18 calibres. The main role of the P40 shifted from infantry support to anti-tank warfare, and all the internal space was dedicated to this end, making the vehicle rather cramped.
Of the 1,200 tanks ordered, only a few (between one and five depending on the source) pre-production models were completed before the Italian Armistace in September 1943, at which point they were taken over by the German Wehrmacht. About a hundred P40s were built by Ansaldo from then until the end of the war, although most were not entirely completed because of a lack of engines. A few were used in combat, under the German designation of Panzerkampfwagen P40 737(i), for example at Anzio. Some, without engines, were used as static strong-points.
Strategies and Tactics
- Due to the low cost of the Carro P26, many can be sent out at once to combat the enemy.
- In order to beat other heavy tanks in combat, the P26 needs to use its high rate of fire versus the range of heavy tanks (i.e. Tiger, Pershing), and it would also benefit from tank destroyers as well.. A combined force of fighter bombers should be used to take out the enemy's recon, following with high numbers of P26 heavy tanks, while using Radio Silence to get close to larger tanks such as a Pershing or a Tiger so that the high rate of fire comes into effect.
- Like most Italian units, in order to be successful they must be used in combination with other units, such as the AA 90mm or the more mobile Breda 90/53.
- Surprisingly, a few P26 heavy tanks can even take out a super-heavy tank, such as the O-I.
- Even though this tank is in the prototype base, do not think it has the firepower or durability of the prototype tanks of the other nations. A one-on-one clash between a P26 and a Maus (or T95, FCM F1, or even a Pershing) will end up with the P26 as a burnt-out shell.
- Although the P26 is produced in a prototype base, the P26 Tank is only a regular tank. The main advantage to the P26, is, like all Italian tanks, it is cheap and fast. An Army of Italian P26 tanks, at the price of a medium tank army in any other faction, could easily rush as a counter attack or as a forward attack.
Pros & Cons
+No researched required
+High speed, decent armor and the gun of a late medium tank.
+Excellent for flanking tactics, hit and run, as well as outrunning rivals.
+Well balanced, the price of a Matilda, The speed of a light tank and firepower of a medium tank.
+/-It doesn't stack on your armor factory but it tends to also take over as the main tank when available.
+/-With nothing else exceptionally good and too valuable to your wareffort from the Prototype factory, it does make it kind of expensive to start production on these tanks, granted they don't stag on other factories.
+/-This tank should have been developed from the M15/42. In it's place could have been:
- Semovente da 47/32, light tank hunters based on the L6/40
- FIAT 508, proper jeeps with high speed.
- P 30/43, proper heavy tank designs.
- Semovente da 149/40, Long range mobile artillery. (1.6km)