AUTOBLINDA AB 43
The AB 43 armoured car is an evolution from the previous AB 40 and 41 models. Equipped with a new larger turret, its main weapon was the 20MM calibre Breda 35, with a co-axial 8MM machine gun. Unfortunately the AB 43 never entered into service with the Italian army as its production was only started in 1944 under the control of the German forces, which had occupied the Italian industry following the armistice in September 1943. These vehicles were distributed to many German units operating at the Italian front. They were used particularly for controls and by the police in the northern regions, which was subject to great partisan resistance. The few examples that survived were used by the police to maintain public order after the war.
Autoblinda AB 40 Ferroviaria
The AB 40 armoured car was devised for the Italian Royal Army in the late 1930s, to replace the old Lancia models. The vehicle was innovative at the time, being a four-wheel drive with separate suspensions and two driving positions. The armoured car was fitted with two 8mm machine guns in the turret and another in the rear of the hull, but was only built in small numbers for evaluation purposes, as development of the more sophisticated AB 41 was already underway. A few of the models were turned into tracked patrol vehicles as the wheels could be replaced with rail wheels and relative braking systems. A few of these vehicles were used in Yugoslavia by the Italian forces and, later, by the Germans.
Officially presented at the opening of FIATs Mirafiori plant in May 1939, the AB 40 was, at the time, something of a cutting-edge vehicle. Thanks to innovative solutions such as double drive and spare wheels mounted as neutral to help get over obstacles, it was a match for any foreign rival in the same class. The AB 41 version, introduced in 1941, included several improvements, yet its main weapon (a 20 mm Breda 35 cannon) remained the same.