Lancia Ansaldo IZ / IZM
Armored car - 120 built in total
Italian armored cars passed
The Lancia Anslado was the last, the most famous and the largest Italian armored car of the Great War. However, much earlier, like many countries, Italy experienced a series of makeshift armored cars that were brought into service and deployed on neighboring roads near the Alps.
Remarkable models were the Bianchi (1914) and subsequently the Truck SPA-9000C of 102/35, the first Italian SPG and possibly specialized AA vehicle. But there is little information on these models. The Italian car manufacturers contributed to some projects, but none were as successful as the Lancia IZ and in 1916 they were the most modern and well-armed in service on the Allied side.
The Lancia IZ
Development began following army specifications for a modern and heavily armed vehicle in 1915. In mid-1916 Lancia had chosen its well-tested truck chassis that was already in military service. Lancia built an armored superstructure with a spacious turret on the top of the rear compartment.
This model featured a second machine gun turret on top of the first, which gave the vehicle an overall height of 2.80 m (2.48 feet) (2.4 m / 7.87 feet with the single turret). The main turret housed two 8mm (0.31 inch) Breda machine guns, which gave the IZ a formidable firepower for the time. Ten of these were manufactured and put into service in the autumn of 1916 and the experience of the first war led to the addition of two cutting rails to manage the barbed wire.
The success of this first model quickly led the army to order another 110, produced by Lancia and Ansaldo. Due to stability problems and other internal problems, the additional upper turret has been eliminated.
The IZM (for "selected") was revealed in mid-1917. Aside from their appearance, the two models were quite similar, with the IZM moving the spare wheels to the sides (rather than the back) and slight changes in the vents cooling and bonnet armor, slots and bumpers for simplified visions and an upgrade Lancia chassis The IZM rear combat compartment was equipped with an additional port for a third machine gun and a luggage rack for a connecting bicycle.
The IZ / IZM in action
World War I
The mountainous terrain of the front line with the Austro-Hungarian forces was not suitable for armored cars of the Royal Army, however they patrolled the north-eastern border, the Paive river sector and the Alpine slopes.
Their role was to defend themselves from the Austrian raids, playing an important role in the rearguard action that concerned the Italian forces retreating to Kobarid in 1917. Users include American troops, who trained on these machines and the German and Austrian forces who captured some after Caporetto.
Specifications IZM Lancia-Ansaldo
Dimensions 5.4 x 1.85 x 2.4 m (17ft8in x 6ft05in x 7ft10in)
Total weight, battle ready3.8 tons (8377 lbs)
crew6 (Driver, co-pilot commander, 2 gunners, mechanic)
Propulsion: Petrol Lancia V6, 35/40 HP at 3000 rpm
Speed 60 km / h (37.3 mph)
Operating range 300 km (186 mi)
Armament2-3 Breda 8mm (0.31 inch) machine guns
ArmaturaMax. 8 mm (0.31 inches)
Total production 110 IZM in 1918