The first Italian self-propelled gun, the Semovente M41 da 75/18 based on the M14/41 medium tank, was introduced in late 1941. This provided the field artillery with both mobility and protection. Mounting the short-barrelled 75mm L/18 howitzer, it was used with great success in the Desert where it supported the medium tanks with accurate long-range supporting fire. In the course of production the chassis design has been amended several times to increase the engine power and to improve reliability. After the Italian surrender in 1943, 123 Semovente 75/18 were seized by the Germans and they continued production of another 55.
The necessity for a longer and more powerful gun led to the development of the Semovente 75/34, 75/46 and SPGs.