This modified garbage-can arrangement is apparently a Semovente M47 Audax Battle Mech. Created by Flickr’s Marco Marozzi, the Semovente was engineered after an alien ship crashed in Italy in 1933, following which the facist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini put it to work to reverse the losses Italy were facing in North Africa during World War 2.
The mech and its backstory might be fictional, but sadly Mussolini wasn’t, joining forces with Hitler to regain an Italian empire during the Second World War, despite the fact he actually thought Hitler’s ‘Aryan race’ ideas were nonsense. Still, a nice man he was not, brutally crushing all opposition to take absolute power, persecuting the Christian faith, and dividing Italy to create his own Italian Social Republic.
The Italian King finally managed to overthrow Mussolini in 1943, upon which he was jailed – his new puppet state lasting just 19 months. The Germans helped him escape from prison in 1945, but the war was almost over and he was promptly recaptured and executed by Italian Communists.
Had an alien ship really crashed in secret in 1933 though, the outcome of the War, and the future of Europe and North Africa, could have been very different… There’s more to see of Marco’s alternate dieselpunk reality on Flickr – click the link above to take a look.