Mussolini famously boasted that the Italian army had eight million bayonets standing at the ready. In actuality, the standing Italian army was far smaller than that, with huge numbers of troops conscripted into a war they neither believed in nor understood. The fighting ability of units of the Italian army varied greatly, with much of the rank and file lacking proper equipment, transport and even motivation. Still, there were several key battles in North Africa and the Eastern Front where they performed well.
Produced by Fiat Ansaldo, the M13/40 was the main battle tank of the Italian army in World War II and served throughout the war following its introduction in 1940. Although designated as a medium tank it was more in line with the light tanks of other nations at the time.