M42 (Italy)

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This page is about the Italian SPAA M42 (Italy). For other uses, see M42 (Disambiguation).
M42 Contraereo
GarageImage M42 (Italy).jpg
ArtImage M42 (Italy).png
M42 Contraereo
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The Semovente Contraereo da 20/70 quadruplo was an experimental self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon developed for the Italian Royal Army during World War II. The Royal Italian Army ordered the construction of a self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon in 1942 to be deployed in the North African theatre of operations and to protect mechanized columns, which were often targeted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the absence of genuine air defence. The hull of the M15/42 was utilized as the foundation for the design to save time and materials. The tank turret was replaced with a polygonal welded open turret that housed a quadruple 20 mm Scotti Isotta Fraschini 20/70 Model 41 autocannon. The first prototype was completed in early 1943 and tested at the Centro Studi Motorizzazione dell'esercito. It entered service in March 1943 and was assigned to the VIII Reggimento Autieri stationed at Cecchignola in Rome, where it was captured by German forces. By April 1945, it was on active duty with the V SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgskorps, which fought the final struggle against the Red Army in Germany in the Teupitz area.

Introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic", the Semovente Contraereo da 20/70 quadruplo is one of the greatest self-propelled anti-air vehicles for the lower ranks of the Italian Army ground forces. The Semovente Contraereo da 20/70 quadruplo, with a design similar to its German equivalent Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind", provides adequate air defences for friendly forces during engagements. In truth, this vehicle's cannons use the same ammo as its German equivalents. Even the heaviest planes are frequently brought down with only a few hits. However, the vehicle armour does not fully protect the crew, which might be a severe problem when numerous enemy planes are in the sky. As a result, it is critical to only fire when you are certain that the cannon rounds will hit.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull30 / 25 / 25
Turret15 / 15 / 15
Crew3 people
Visibility91 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, turret, turret frame)
  • Gun steel (guns)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 50 mm (12°) Upper plate
25 + 30 mm (12°) MG bulge
25 mm (80°) Front glacis
30 mm (15°) Lower plate
25 mm (8°) Top
25 mm Bottom
30 mm (9-12°) MG bulge
25 mm Upper part
25 mm (15°) Lower part
25 mm (10°) Front glacis
25 mm Crew compartment
8 mm (15°) Rear section - Engine
5-25 mm (8°) Rear section - Radiator vents
Turret 15 mm Turret front
25 + 15 mm Turret ring
15 mm (14°)
25 + 15 mm Turret ring
15 mm (17°)
25 + 15 mm Turret ring


  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick and bogies 10 mm thick.
  • The belly is 14 mm thick and mudguards are 4 mm thick.
  • The turret is reinforced with a 10 mm thick framing supporting the quadruple gun mount.
  • The hull-mounted MG has been removed and the port has been obturated.

The M42 (Italy) is based off the M15/42 hull, with an opened top turret surrounding the crew members. The gunner does have an exposed spot in the front, and if shown to the enemy, can be machine-gunned easily without them to have to fire their main cannon. The turret may protect you from small rifle-calibre bullets, but .50 calibre and up, especially on the M4 Sherman will be able to penetrate your turret from anywhere, as it is generally weak against them. The hull armour is decent, still keeping the armour from the M15/42 hull, but don't expect to tank a lot of shots, as most of your enemies will have better calibre weapons, mostly encountering 75 mm and Russian 76.2 mm cannons. You may be able to bounce some smaller calibre shells like the 37 mm cannons but don't rely on your hull armour as your turret will most likely be targeted by the enemy. You have a small crew count of 3 members, and with two in the turret, and having okay armour, you'll usually die in one hit.


Speedforward / back
AB42 / 4 km/h
RB and SB39 / 4 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight15.5 t
Engine power
AB353 hp
RB and SB185 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB22.8 hp/t
RB and SB11.9 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 42 4 15.5 263 353 16.97 22.77
Realistic 39 4 164 185 10.58 11.94

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 103 → 1 492 Sl icon.png
RB890 → 1 204 Sl icon.png
SB1 389 → 1 879 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications19 610 Rp icon.png
32 300 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost980 Ge icon.png
Crew training13 000 Sl icon.png
Experts47 000 Sl icon.png
Aces330 Ge icon.png
Research Aces280 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
80 / 90 / 130 % Sl icon.png
136 / 136 / 136 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
105 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
1 200 Rp icon.png
2 000 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
105 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement it.png
Crew Replenishment
1 200 Rp icon.png
2 000 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
105 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
990 Rp icon.png
1 600 Sl icon.png
105 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
890 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
95 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
1 200 Rp icon.png
2 000 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
1 200 Rp icon.png
2 000 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
1 600 Rp icon.png
2 600 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png


Main armament

Ammunition640 rounds
Belt capacity160 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
15.6 → 12.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Vertical guidance-5° / 90°
20 mm Scotti-IF 20/70 mod.41 (x4) Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 640 (160) 600 -5°/+90° ±180° N/A 52.8 73.1 88.8 98.2 104.5 5.20 4.60 4.24 4.00
Realistic 35.7 42.0 51.0 56.4 60.0


  • Default: API-T · HEFI-T* · HEFI-T* · HEFI-T* - The standard belt fits the anti-aircraft role.
  • Granata mod.35: HEFI-T* · HEFI-T* · HEFI-T* · API-T - This belt is perfect for shooting at aircraft.
  • Perforante mod.35: API-T · API-T · API-T · HEFI-T* - This belt is adapted to destroy lightly armoured targets.
  • PzGr 40: HVAP-T · API-T - This is the most powerful belt that can help you even take on armoured targets, although you lose almost all your penetrating power above 500 m so use it in CQC.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
HEFI-T* 5 5 4 3 2 2
API-T 38 36 27 19 14 10
HVAP-T 48 45 31 20 13 8
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
HEFI-T* 830 0.14 0.04 0.1 3 79° 80° 81°
API-T 832 0.14 1.2 9 1.7 47° 60° 65°
HVAP-T 1,050 0.1 - - - 66° 70° 72°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the M42 (Italy)
rack empty
4 0 (+4) No


  • Ammo is modeled as 4 magazines of 160 rounds each.
  • It is not possible to select how many rounds to bring into battle.
  • It is possible to take only one type of ammo into battle.

Usage in battles

In Realistic battles, the Quadruplo is best used in the support role when tank hunting, sticking with teammates, assisting them and potentially distracting the enemy. Your best bet of killing any tank, usually a Sherman, Cromwell or T-34, is from the side as the HVAP will pierce through their side armour, killing the tank. Light tanks such as M24s, Stuarts and Crusaders are able to be penetrated from the front, but usually this is only in close range engagements. T-50 and other slightly armoured light tanks will be tougher to kill, but you're still able to flank them. You can kill basically any SPAA you see, as you'll usually encounter trucks or armoured cars. Ambush and surprise tactics are good options to kill tanks effectively, as the enemy will stroll past you, usually showing their side armour. Aggressive playstyles are suggested to get the most out of the Quadruplo, similar to playing a Wirbelwind when tank hunting. Try not to expose yourself too much and move from cover to cover, as one hit from a tank shell, usually APHE, will knock you out in one shot, or the machine guns pierce your turret armour and kill both your gunner and commander. When it comes to shooting down planes in the Quadruplo, it is best to get their attention so they try to strafe you, or surprise them as they come closer to you, when you have a good shot as they won't have enough reaction time to evade your shots if they connect. Be mindful that you are open-topped, and you're less likely to survive a strafe run. It should also be noted that shooting continuously will sway the hull back and forth, which will make your aim go up and down.

Pros and cons


  • PzGr 40 shells are great at penetrating tanks from the sides and knocking out modules
  • High mobility when spaded
  • Great armour for a SPAA
  • Guns have a very high rate of fire
  • Ammo is stored in one belt, meaning you can continuously fire unlike the Wirbelwind
  • Guns are placed very close together


  • Terrible reverse speed
  • HVAP-T PzGr 40 belt is a tier IV modification
  • Performance is inadequate when stock
  • Gap in the gunner's position of the turret armour
  • Turret can be penetrated by .50 cal machine guns
  • 2 of 3 crew members crammed inside the turret
  • Hull rocks back and forth when firing causing some rounds to miss
  • Low ammunition count compared to its high rate of fire


Main article: History of the M15/42

The history of the M42 Contraereo began during the late stages of the Second World War. In the years following 1942, the Royal Italian army would set out a request for a mobile platform which could mount a special anti-air mount to bolster and provide protection to Italian mechanised columns. At the time they would be subject to very frequent air raids by the British RAF. Although they had some anti-air coverage, it was not enough for their needs. Ground units only really widely access to single 20 mm mounts, usually installed on armoured trucks.

To save time and to reduce maintenance costs, the Italian army opted to go with the M15/42 tank to be used as the basis for the SPAA platform. The original turret would be removed and completely replaced with a new polygonal welded open turret, containing quadruple 20 mm Scotti Isotta Fraschini anti-air cannons. The turret could accommodate belt-fed munitions or clip-fed munitions. At the time this was actually one of the better anti-air vehicles made, not many countries had something remotely comparable, but it would not be long until the Germans had gained a particular interest in the vehicle which would play later on. The first prototype of the M42 Contraereo would be completed by January or February 1943, it would then also be presented for trials at the "Centro Studi Motorizzazione dell'esercito" (in English: "Center for motorization of the army").

In terms of mobility, the M42 kept pretty much all the previous stats of the M15/42 tank, meaning it could reach speeds of up to 40 km/h. When it came to survivability, it also kept the same protection values as the previous M15/42 tank it was based of, however it is good to note that the removal of the 2 x Breda 38 machine guns that previously would be installed in the hull, would instead be covered by a 42 mm armour plate. The new anti-air turret was for the most part exposed to incoming enemy fire, and did not offer adequate protection levels.

As development of this anti-air platform continued, it's likely that a handful of prototypes were made. What ceased the further development of the vehicle however was the 8th of September Armistice of Cassibile. During the confusion of leadership in Italy, the Germans would use that as an advantage to invade the north of Italy and set up a puppet state lead by Mussolini. Due to this, the Germans took over any production factories, any vehicle development and would integrate it into the German army. In this case, at least one unit of the M42 Contraereo was captured by the German army and was likely thoroughly examined by German engineers.



See also

Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links

Autoblindo  AB 41 · AB 43
Light Tanks  L6/40 · L6/40 (31 Rgt.)
Medium Tanks  Celere Sahariano
M11/39  M11/39
M13/40  M13/40 (I) · M13/40 (II) · M13/40 (III)
M14/41  M14/41 · M14/41 (47/40)
M15/42  M15/42
P40  P40 · P40 "G.C. Leoncello"
Tank Destroyers 
L3/33  L3/33 CC
Semovente L40  47/32 L40
Semovente M41  75/18 M41 · 75/32 M41 · 90/53 M41M
Semovente M42  75/34 M42
Semovente M43  105/25 M43 · M43 "G.C.Leoncello" · 75/34 M43 · 75/46 M43
SPAAs  M42 Contraereo

Italy anti-aircraft vehicles
R3 Capraia  R3 T20 FA-HS
SIDAM 25  SIDAM 25 · SIDAM 25 (Mistral)
Wheeled  AS 42 · CM52
Tracked  M42 Contraereo · Leopard 40/70 · OTOMATIC
Hungary  ◔ZSU-57-2 · ◔ZSU-23-4