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Thread: Why did the Italians lose?

  1. #1
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    Default Why did the Italians lose?

    Hey guys, I have a few ideas why the Italians in North Africa lost the battle.

    1.) Because of lacking in supplies.
    2.) The German Afrika Armee didn't put them to a right location.
    3.) They didn't have enough support.


    I need to be corrected guys, so, what do you say why the Italians lose to the British in North Africa?
    All feedbacks will be respected.
    Being a Hero is really hard to say but easy to do. But being a Soldier less than a Hero is easy to say but hard to do.It's a full crap! Nobody asks Soldiers to be Heroes! -Lt.Col.Chesty Puller

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    No's 1, and 3 are pretty much the same thing, and was there such a thing as a"right location" in N. Africa? I suspect that nearly any google search will answer your questions.

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    1) Lack of supplies is certainly why the Germans lost. Since the Italians lost early on in the war before supply became a major issue, we need to look deeper.
    2) Again, the Italians suffered some huge defeats before the Germans got involved in North Africa (the magnitude of the defeat was why Germany got involved in the first place). So This one doesn't fly either.
    3) Support from who? In their initial defeats they outnumbered the British something like 10:1! Something other than numbers is at play here.

    Other potential issues for you to ponder:
    1) The British forces in North Africa were 100% motorised or mechanised. The Italians never even got close. This enabled the British to run rings around the Italians.
    2) Fighting spirit. There is a famous photograph (which I can't find on google right now) of a large group of Italian prisoners being guarded by a single British soldier. It's a hot day, and he's given his rifle to one of the Italians to carry. You'll never get troops like that to willingly risk their lives in battle.
    3) Leadership. The Italian leadership was locked in a WW1 mindset and did everything slowly, trying to secure their flanks, etc. This is impossible in the Western Desert, while moving slowly against a mechanised enemy just makes life easier for them.
    4) Equipment. The Italians started modernising their military much earlier than everybody else. Unfortunately, this meant that in 1940 they had equipment which was outdated but not old enough to be replaced.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Yeah, what pdf said. The Italian Army was completely outmoded and was years away from a projected modernization program in September 1939. And I think we can add to the leadership question here. From (what little) I've read, the Italian Army had one of the worst levels of junior leadership and a systemic class divide between officers and enlisted men/NCOs that was poisonous to any sort of espirit de corp and resolve the Italian fighting man might have had. That doesn't mean in certain circumstances that they weren't often fierce and effective, like when under senior German leadership and when properly equipped and supported. Or in cases where their enemies couldn't use their mechanized advantage. There were instances of fierce fighting in the mountains of North Africa where Italian soldiers sometimes were throwing rocks at American soldiers when they ran low on ammo and many only surrendered well beyond the end of their means of resistance. Some sons of Italy were said to have resisted to the bitter end fighting from caves...

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    just to add a bit to written above.
    Italian army fought much worse then germans under the GErman command either.Their soldiers were also no match for Germans soldiers.And the war professionalism wasn't the only the difference.The reason was another- the Italian soldiers were MUCH less motivated in THAT war. If it was war for survival for Nazi Germany.Italian troops ( as most of German European allies) were not that much involved itno that Ideological battle that "Hitler waged against the Jewry"
    Albert Speer in his memours wrote that Hitler almost despised the his Italian "ally" for its pure military helplessness. In Stalingrad, Speer added, the Romanians and Italians surprised German unpleasantly by "lack of will to fight".
    Last edited by Chevan; 08-07-2010 at 01:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Will power.

    Yes the will to win. An awful lot of Italians didn't want the war.

    Yes their material support as bad. Their pistols were pitiful, their rifles inadequate, their tanks and artillery obsolete, and their aircraft few in number and quality. Even their navy’s ships were nowhere near enough to challenge such as Great Britain.

    But it was their will power, or lack of it. Mussolini may have had dreams of a second Roman Empire, but most of his country men didn’t.

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Here is a useful consideration of the Italian armed forces and some aspects bearing on their capacity to fight and willingness to surrender: http://www.scribd.com/doc/9344344/Italian-Army-in-Wwii

    Another factor which might explain the huge surrenders of Italian troops is that, despite the issues covered in the link and despite Mussolini's posturing, Italy was in many areas outside, and perhaps even in, the major cities still little more than a village society with citizens who had no great conception of nationality or nationhood, let alone undying allegiance to Mussolini's new Roman republic to be wrought from their blood sacrifice in North Africa and elsewhere.

    Oddly enough, much the same could probably be said of Japan in WWII, but its citizens were at the other extreme in being willing to die rather than surrender in a national cause.

    There is probably a significant element of national character (whatever that means and involves in any given nation and however it is influenced by various national circumstances) which helps to explain the performance of a nation's armed forces in WWII, and no doubt in other conflicts.
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    But the Japanese had the Emperor, and the benefit of the mythology of Bushido to unify the masses...

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    But the Japanese had the Emperor, and the benefit of the mythology of Bushido to unify the masses...
    Yes, and as P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute." And the Japanese were the suckers who took it, hook, line, and sinker.

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    But the Japanese had the Emperor, and the benefit of the mythology of Bushido to unify the masses...
    Good point. I didn't think it through when posting.

    Japan under the Emperor gave a sense of unity or nationality that was absent in Italy.

    Moreover, Italy wasn't united as a nation until the 1860s where Japan's Emperor had been there for about 2,600 years, albeit with varying degrees of significance and control in that period.

    Then again, Germany wasn't united as a nation until 1871 and that didn't seem to cause any absence of national identity or nationalistic feeling in Germany before and during WWII.
    ..
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Yes, and as P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute." And the Japanese were the suckers who took it, hook, line, and sinker.

    Deaf
    To be fair, I don't think the average Japanese had much choice and most were indoctrinated from birth...

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post

    Japan under the Emperor gave a sense of unity or nationality that was absent in Italy.
    yet Japaneses had an effective race Ideology though.
    Formally they fought for "freedom of Asia from western colonial system".Their "yellow brothershood" also had the race roots - the fight against WHITE in asia.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    yet Japaneses had an effective race Ideology though.
    Formally they fought for "freedom of Asia from western colonial system".Their "yellow brothershood" also had the race roots - the fight against WHITE in asia.
    The Chinese would have found this a rather ironic pretension...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    yet Japaneses had an effective race Ideology though.
    Formally they fought for "freedom of Asia from western colonial system".Their "yellow brothershood" also had the race roots - the fight against WHITE in asia.
    Their 'fight' against Western colonialism was somewhat inconsistent with their own pre-war imperial colonialism in China and with the whole purpose of their imperial colonial expansion in WWII.

    As for a 'yellow brotherhood', it went beyond China to the systematic massacre of thousands of Chinese in Singapore to the deaths of an unknown but very large number, perhaps around 100,000, of Asian labourer deaths on the Burma Railway. The Asian labourers died in numbers roughly six or more times higher than the Allied POWs.

    Put another way, maybe a quarter of the roughly 60,000 Allied POWs employed on the Railway died while roughly half of the roughly 200,000 Asian labourers died.

    (I'm relying on ancient memory for these figures and calculations, but they'll be close enough to show that the forgotten - and in the West not even heard of - Asian labourers were even worse off than the Allied POWs in some terminal respects, whether or not they were volunteers or conscripted labourers.)

    The Japanese made some attempts to implement their supposed anti-colonial campaign, such as in the Philippines by creating a supposedly independent government, but only to the extent that these attempts supported Japan.
    ..
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    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The Chinese would have found this a rather ironic pretension...
    hmmmn, but problem is that the CHina itself look rather ironic complaining to Japane. We well known the own CHinese cruel imperialism toward the neighbourd asiatic nations. And their own Civil war succesfully competite with Japanes in reducing the own population.
    Last edited by Chevan; 08-12-2010 at 01:00 AM.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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