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Fiat-SPA AS 37 (Modificato)/

Camionetta Desertica Model 1943

Camionetta Desertica Mod. 43


Specifications

Country of Origin/Used by: Italy
First Produced/Service Dates: AS 37 (Mod): 1942
Camionetta Desertica Model 1943: 1943
Manufactured by: Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili di Torino)-SPA (Societ Piemontese Automobili)
Crew: 5
Armament: AS 37 (Mod): Front: 8mm Breda Model 1937 Machine Gun; Back: (1) 20/65 Breda Model 35 Cannon or (1) 47/32 Breda/Bohler Model 35 Cannon
Camionetta Desertica Model 1943:
Front: 8mm Breda Model 1937 Machine Gun; Back: (1) 20/65 Breda Model 35 Cannon
Engine: 4-Cylinder Gasoline
Miscellaneous Info: From the earliest days of the war in the desert, the Italian Compagnie Sahariane (Saharan Company) mounted weapons on the AS 37 Autocarro Sahariano [Saharan (cargo) Truck] to give them some offensive and defensive capability.  The main weapon employed was the Breda 20/65 Cannon, which was simply set in the cargo bed. Although relatively successful, those vehicles had some weaknesses, mainly their height, which made them highly visible in the flat desert.  To remedy the situation, a company workshop in Hun, Libya made some modifications to a reported two (2) AS 37 cargo trucks to lower their silhouette.  The basic changes made were the removal of the closed cabs and windscreens and to add weapons mounts in the rear cargo beds.  One vehicle was built mounting the 20/65 cannon and the other mounted the 47/32 cannon. There was no official designation given to these first vehicles and are only referred to as the AS 37 (Modificato). By all accounts these vehicles were successful, but as only two vehicles were built, their influence was negligible. 

Soon after, the Centro Studi Motorizzazione (Motor Studies Center), built a second batch of vehicles also using the AS 37 truck. The vehicles were designed to be used by the Battaglione d' Assalto Motorizzato (Motorised Assault Battalion) while awaiting the forthcoming Camionetta AS 43.  This second "series" was also referred to as the AS 37 (Modificato), although they are more commonly known as the Camionetta Desertica (Light Desert Truck) Model 1943. The modifications to this second batch of vehicles were similar to the first, although the final product more resembles the cargo truck from which they were converted. Approximately only 11 vehicles were built.
Data Sheet Available:   None Available

Photos

Reference Source/Provider
  AS 37 Saharan Truck Photo Fiat via Ralph Riccio- Elverson, Pennsylvania USA
  AS 37 Saharan Truck Photo "On-the-Way Models" via Wikimedia Commons
  AS 37 (Modificato) with 20/65 Cannon Photo Nicola Pignato via Ralph Riccio
  AS 37 (Modificato) with 47/32 Cannon Photo The David Haugh Collection
  AS 37 (Modificato) with 47/32 Cannon Photo Nicola Pignato via Ralph Riccio
  Camionetta Desertica Mod. 1943 Photo "Afrika Korps.org" via Wikimedia Commons
  Camionetta Desertica Mod. 1943 Photo Nicola Pignato via Ralph Riccio
  Camionetta Desertica Mod. 1943 Photo Le Camionette del Regio Esercito via Tanks Encyclopedia.com

References Available

Online

Reference Source/Provider
   

Printed

Reference Author
Italian Artillery of WW II (Mushroom Model Publications - MMP)

Book Review by Patrick Keenan - Editor
Enrico Finazzer & Ralph Riccio
Italian Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War 2

Book Review by Patrick Keenan - Editor
Ralph Riccio
Italian Truck-Mounted Artillery In Action (Squadron/Signal Publications)

Book Review by Patrick Keenan - Editor
Ralph Riccio and Nicola Pignato
Light Trucks of the Italian Army in WWII (Mushroom Model Publications - MMP) Enrico Finazzer & Luigi Carretta

Hobby Modeling

For a Full List of Model Kits and Accessories related to this vehicle, you can check out Scalemates.

Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider