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Weapons of World War Two

The somber days in Verona (Oct-Nov 1943)

Lince armored reconnaissance vehicle (ARV)

Lince armored reconnaissance vehicle (ARV)

When during the First World War the British, French and German armies tested for the first time the progenitors of modern tanks in the bloodstained plains of France, the Italian Regio Esercito, involved in a war which took place exclusively in a mountainous terrain, had no way to dedicate itself to the research of these new weapons. It was decided instead to direct the investigations toward the most appropriate utilization of that new invention which the industry produced with increasingly better characteristics: the automobile. This way the first cannon automobiles and the first Bianchi and Lancia armored cars (of which the latter would have a chance to operate in some zones during the Second World War) made apparition in the battlefield. Once the war ended, the interests of the military high echelons were increasingly directed toward the utilization of tanks, leaving the development of wheeled vehicles discontinued shortly after having been started. Thus, at the outbreak of the Second World War the Italian armored forces were equipped with too few armored cars, and many of them were outdated models. The modern ones had excellent mechanics but, besides the scarcity of their number, they were excessively large elements intended for medium and long range controls and operations. Nobody had thought of developing small vehicles, similar to the British "Scout Car", which could be used for short and medium range missions of exploration, control and radio liaison. Unfortunately, after the beginning of the operations in North Africa, it was necessary to quickly fill this gap, because the British effectively used a great amount of elements of this type, either wheeled or tracked, with optimal results. As it usually happens in these cases, it was attempted to find a solution, but the research and realization of a new type would have required a long time. It was then decided to adopt the most expeditious method: a partial copy of a model captured from the enemy and which had given good results. The choice fell upon a small British reconnaissance vehicle produced by Daimler and known as "Dingo" (a species of desert dog). The realization of the new type was entrusted to two prestigious names of the Italian industry: Lancia, for the mechanics, and Ansaldo, for the bodywork. Unfortunately, the "Lince" (name given to the new vehicle) left the production line too late for being able to operate in the African theater, where it would have been very useful. It was a small car originally devised for the only purpose of reconnaissance. Divided into two fully armored compartments, one for the engine and another one for the crew, it had characteristics which were practically similar to those of the aforementioned "Dingo". To save time, already existing elements had been adapted to the mechanical part. The engine, a Lancia of eight cylinders in V and 60 horsepower, was that used in the Astura automobile. The biggest difference between the "Dingo" and the "Lince" was that whereas the former was unarmed the latter was armed with an 8-millimeter machine gun, which allowed it to carry out troop support operations. Born too late, the "Lince" still had an operational utilization in the army of the Italian Social Republic. Out of the almost 250 exemplars produced, the largest part would be used by the republican armored forces, and others would be used by the Wehrmacht in the war operations which would take place in the Italian theater until the end of the conflict.

Year: 1943

Weight: 3.1 tonnes

Length: 3.24 meters

Width: 1.75 meters

Height: 1.65 meters

Ground clearance: 37 centimeters

Maximum armor: 14 millimeters

Engine: Lancia of 60 horsepower

Maximum speed: 86 kilometers/hour

Operational range: 350 kilometers

Crew: 2

Armament: One Breda 38 8-millimeter machine gun

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