In 1913, the Italian Army adopted a 65mm towed mountain gun artillery system intended for its specially trained mountain infantry elements. The system was designated as the "Cannone da 65/17 Modello 13" and entered service in time for the Italian commitment in World War 1. The Modello 13 received its long form designation by its projectile size ("65mm") and its barrel length (measuring "17" calibers). Modello 13 guns were used extensively throughout the war and remained in the Italian inventory long enough to serve in World War 2. Prior to this, the gun was also witnessed in the Spanish Civil War as Italy threw its support behind the Nationalist movement.
The Modello 13 gun was designed from the outset to be as portable an artillery piece as possible. As such, the type was a relatively lightweight development with wheeled carriage for ease of use in the mountainous regions of Italy which neighbored potential enemies of the period. The system constituted a breech-loaded barrel assembly fitted atop a recoil mechanism which, altogether, was mounted to a stout arrangement supported by a single axle and two solid, multi-spoked steel wheels. There was a single trail arm at the rear for towing by pack animal or mover vehicle. The carriage allowed for an elevation span of -10 to +20 degrees and a traverse of 8-degrees before the entire unit would have to be shifted. Muzzle velocity was 1,130 feet per second while effective range for the HE (High-Explosive) 9.5 shell was out to 4.2 miles. A trained crew could fire off between six and eight rounds per minute.