Armored truck (1920)
Czechoslovakia - 12 built
Based on the Škoda-Fiat truckThis armored vehicle was made following an order issued in 1919, by MNO (the new Czech army materiel commission) to Škoda. The order also specified it had to be highly mobile and well-armed, for which Škoda designed two separate turrets armed with machine-guns. After demonstrations and testing the prototype delivered in January 1920 was accepted into service and another 11 units were ordered, delivered in mid- and fall-1920, with the registration numbers 3 to 14 painted on the hull. The registration was later changed to NVII 753-764.
DesignSince the design of a specialized chassis would take too long for a new armored vehicle, Škoda decided to use a conventional truck chassis. They quickly settled on a Fiat 18BL chassis, which a year earlier was adopted by the Czechoslovak army and from which parts were already largely supplied. The chassis was a 4x2, with double rear wheels. The tires were tubeless, made of hard rubber, suspended by leaf springs on both axles. According to the photos, these were metallic spoked wheels, and only the front ones were protected.
The hull was made of an armored steel frame covered with plates of 5-6 mm (0.2-0.23 in) thickness assembled with rivets. The layout of the vehicle was standard, with a front engine and after the driver compartment, combined with the fighting compartment. Its internal space was large enough for two 7.92 mm (0.3 in) MG.08 machine guns placed in individual cylindrical turrets in alternate positions left and right (off-axis), a feature tried before on the well-known Russian "Austin Putilov".
Active serviceAfter being put into service the crews experienced many problems arising from construction defects. Eight vehicles were be scrapped in 1925 and the remaining four in 1929. The vehicles were used for crew training throughout Czechoslovakia, and later the battalion was based at Milovice. They never came to replace the armored PA-II. Since the last four Škoda-Fiat Torinos were scrapped in 1929, nothing but photographs have survived.
Links about the Škoda-Fiat Torino :On Valka Forum (Czech)
|Škoda-Fiat Torino specifications|
|Dimensions||5.44 x 2.00 x 2.65 m (214 x 78 x 104 in)|
|Total weight, battle ready||6.25 tons (14,000 lbs)|
|Crew||5 (driver, co-driver, commander, 2 gunners)|
|Propulsion||Fiat 4-cylinder 64hp (38 kW), 5650 cm3|
|Top Speed (road)||10/15 km/h (6/9 mph)|
|Armament||2x Maxim cal.303 MG08 liquid-cooled (7.9 mm) machine guns, 300 rounds|
|Armor||From 5 to 6 mm (0.2 to 0.23 in)|
Škoda-Fiat Torino number 5 in 1921. According to the photos, the livery was probably a uniform medium olive green.
Škoda-Fiat Torino gallery
A Skoda Torino and crew (credits aviarmor.net).
Two Fiat-Torinos (Valka.cz)