In October of 1918, near the end of World War 1 (1914-1918), Czechoslovakia declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the declaration came many responsibilities pushed upon the new nation and one of these was in self-defense by way of a standing military. The MNO was established as the material commission to stock the new Army with suitable war-making goods and one of these became the Italian FIAT 18BL military truck.
In 1919 a request came down for a new armored vehicle and this charge fell to the Skoda Works. For expediency, engineers selected the 18BL truck as the basic framework of the new vehicle and to this was added an equally-new armored superstructure protecting the internal drive components as well as the occupants. Armament was fitted along the roof line and constituted a pair of swiveling turrets. A prototype was made ready for 1920 and trials of the vehicle were seen as fulfilling the requirement. The vehicle went on to be known as the Skoda-FIAT "Torino" and a dozen examples arrived before the end of the year.
Internally, the vehicle retained its FIAT truck origins with its front-mounted engines and 4x2 wheeled arrangement. The rear axle was double-tired to compensate for the weight of the armored superstructure and the superstructure itself held slab sides and rounded corners. Vision slots were cut into the design for some situational awareness to be had by the crew of five - made up of a driver, co-driver, vehicle commander, and two dedicated machine gunners. Armament became 2 x 7.92mm Maxim MG08 water-cooled machine guns, one fitted to each traversing turret along the roof. The turrets were also offset from one another along the centerline axis of the roof to provide for much improved firing arcs for each emplacement. Armor thickness reached 6mm along critical facings.
Drive power stemmed from a single FIAT 4-cylinder engine of 64 horsepower output. This gave the 6.25-ton vehicle a maximum road speed of up to 10 miles per hour.
The Torino did not prove an outright success and problems arose as soon as it entered practical service with the new Czech Army (they were eventually utilized primarily as trainers before the end). Eight vehicles were out of service by 1925 and the rest would follow before the end of the decade - bringing an end to the Skoda-FIAT armored car project. The line was eventually succeeded by the Skoda PA-I which served as a pair of experimental vehicles of 1922, paving the way for the iconic Skoda PA-2 "Zelva" ("Turtle") design that followed.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.
17.8 ft 5.44 m
6.6 ft 2 m
8.7 ft 2.65 m
13,999 lb 6,350 kg
7.0 tons LIGHT
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Skoda-FIAT Torino production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
1 x FIAT 4-cylinder engine developing 64 horsepower to 4x2 wheeled arrangement.
9.3 mph (15.0 kph)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Skoda-FIAT Torino production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 7.92mm Maxim MG08 water-cooled machine gun in portside roof turret.
1 x 7.92mm Maxim MG08 water-cooled machine gun in starboard side roof turret.
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
300 x 7.92mm ammunition
"Torino" - Base Series Name; twelve total vehicles produced.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.