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One of these two machines was operationally tested in Libya, and the other displayed in several propaganda shows.By 1918, FIAT and Ansaldo were the only industrial complexes large enough to deal with tank production.By June 1940, the bulk of the Regio Esercito armored forces was made of tankettes.These had several limitations, like weak protection, machine-gun armament, and no traversing turret, which all prevented any use against other tanks.
Army specifications included a 37 mm (1.46 in) gun, two machine-guns and good armor.
But despite these performances, the Army insisted for a better armed model. The first prototype and a preseries were delivered by mid-1940.
The L6/40 was almost identical to the previous prototype, but with a 20 mm (0.79 in) 37/26 rapid-fire antitank gun, and a coaxial Breda 8 mm (0.31 in).
They also soldiered in East Africa, in the Balkans and Greece, and still operated in 1943, when the Allies landed in Sicily, at Gela. Ansaldo and FIAT earned contracts for the first Italian design, the CV-33 (“Carro Veloce”). These were the most produced armored vehicles in Italy so far, being an export success and even cheaper than the original Vickers model.
In 1928, an Italian army commission attended the first public demonstrations of the British fast one-man tankette designed by Major Giffard Le Quesne, which later became the first Carden-Loyd tankette design. VI, distributed by Vickers, was an instant success, sold and produced under licence abroad. Accordingly, these tankettes saw extensive service, despite being obsolete by 1940.