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Thread: Why did the Italians lose?

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    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.
    But the same did all the european nation, didn't they?
    The entire ww1 has been started and waged for , in sense ,colonies.
    The own Japane "invention" was a yellow race based imperialism.
    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 systematic massacre in China was in sense , the anti-guerrials punitive actions in their new colony
    Let me remind you the same did the :
    Britain in India,
    USA in Phillipines,
    Russia in Caucause,
    France in Algire
    and so on..
    Why nobody wish to calculate how much locals died becouse of that colonisation?
    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.)
    Allied POWs were much more organized and had a primary medical treatment though. It seems you told me this.
    From the another hand this fact tells that Japanese didn't creat the special worst condition for Whites labourers, that tells, sure, not about their humanity but rather about pragmatism.
    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.
    That imply at least they provided them a chance to for self-determination. For Japane profit , but though. The chance they had never before.

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

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Poor commanders, italian industrial capacity wasn't sufficient, poor tanks, little help from hitler, italian navy was designed to combat the french, not the english, they didn't conquer malta. Those were, summarizing, the reasons of the Italian defeat.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Dear Jugleguerilla , we answered these questions in a post, but you just summarize the situation, you just understand that when Mussolini declared war his army is just not ready. The material is in the majority of another age and there are few modern equipment. This has nothing to do with the pugnacity of the Italian soldiers, there's ask the Australians and New Zealanders who have fought on the other the German retreat is made ​​through the sacrifice of soldiers Italians and especially the Folgore.
    Friendly Fred
    He who asks a question remains ignorant five minutes, who does not ask remains ignorant of his life.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    fred109 YOU JUST SAID IT! i totally agree with you!

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    The Italians were not bad fighters at all; they gave good account of themselves on several occasions during the NA campaign in spite of their very poor weaponry. Like every other army, there were good formations and poor ones. In the Italian army it seemed that the formations tended to be extreme in this regard; they either fought with great valor or crumbled with little or no fight. I have read accounts of German troops breaking during combat while the Italians next to them held their ground to the last man.

    It's true that the Italians did not care for the conflict but that doesn't mean they weren't willing to fight. They fought out of duty, not for nationalism (the common soldier was typically not a hard-core fascist). Most had little love for Germany and disliked being treated like the little brother in the alliance, but the general viewpoint was to "win this war now, and settle accounts later".

    Their war plans were for a war in the Alps and Balkans. They expected to "hold on the defensive" in Libya and the army was built with this in mind. (It is one reason their tanks were so small; they had to be able to fit through mountainous terrain). The army in Africa was given short shrift early on; the generals told Mussolini it was not fit for an advance into Egypt but he would not listen.

    Their industry was terrible as well and, just as important, it was not controlled by the government. In fact, the companies making the weapons for the armed forces could dictate what would be produced and their main goal was to make money not equip the armed forces adequately.

    Leadership was either good or very, very bad. However it, as well as combat performance, improved dramatically once the colonial mindset was discarded and the better formations, such as the Ariete, were sent to Africa.

    To my mind, the central reasons for the Italian defeat had nothing to do with "fighting spirit" or the common soldier, but were instead rooted in a regime that was "far more style than substance" and a corrupt and inefficient industry that would have been hard-pressed to adequately supply the army if had been a picture of nationalistic efficiency. Just my thoughts.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    The article "Rising Sun" posted is informative [Italian Army in WW-II] and it does show the Italian mechanized forces were quite good and I do recall that histories of the Africa Korps also make mention of this. That the Italian mechanized units worked well along side the German mechanized Divisions. Lack of mechanization in campaigns , where ones enemies are mechanized, puts one at a decided disadvantage in such battles/campaigns. Essentially you must cede initiative to your adversary. However mechanized units consume twice as much supplies compared to simple leg-mobile infantry units of corresponding size and this became a critical problem for the Axis.

    With reference to the naval situation, I was reading O’Hara’s "Battle for the Middle Sea" and it looks like the Italian navy did very well in its primary mission of supplying the forces in North Africa. It seems that despite occasional incidents like the RN attack on "Beta convoy", most such convoy attacks were failures. Overall something like 90% of the supplies and troops, the Axis sent, reached their destination. In its worse incarnation only in late 1942 did the supply fall to maybe 3/4 reaching destination. Infact a primary factor in the Axis defeat looks like the arrival of the Americans in late 1942.It was just too much for the Axis to handle.

    Further if you look at the combined aero-naval campaign the Axis waged against the Allied forces in the Med, it was quite effective through late 1942. Through out 1940 the Italians convoyed 5 times as much supply as the Allies did and as long as the RM functioned, Allied convoys from Gibraltar through Alexandria were impossible. In Malta during 1942 only 1/2 the supplies sent to the Island actually arrived, forcing the inhabitants into starvation diets of 1200-1800 calories a day. At several points the Governor of Malta reported they were just a couple of months away from having to capitulate, because of this situation.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    UBC,

    another point is ULTRA. The British Secret Service knew everything about Italian convoys thanks to Ultra. The 90% of convoys reached safely NA until the first months of 1941 when the communication codes were only Italian, after that time with the German arrival, the German communication were punctually intercepted... and the convoys sunk...
    And of course the British forces like to spread voices about "Italians chatterboxes"... This fable remains...

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    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".
    Of course it was absolutely false. Obviously the Soviets attacked the "weak points" around Stalingrad: Hungarians, Rumenians and Italians, all lacking of AT guns, heavy artillery, motorization and tanks. All left, by the German command, to cover positions too wide for infantry moving by feet.
    And even with this obvious consideration, the cause of the failure of German leaders becomes "the cowardice of Italians and Rumenians". Nazi fables. Read the book of Adolf Galland...
    And nevertheless, Italian Armir resisted more than the others allies armies, and his first backdown was caused by the sudden and not communicated retreat of the German 298th division that should had reinforced the Italian line.... The Alpine corp resisted fiercily, mpuntain troops wasted in the steppe plains by the German command that should use it in Caucaso.
    Another think was true instead: of course Italian soldiers fought just for duty, and not for hate. Perhaps many of them hated the communism, but certainly not the Russian people.
    When the Soviet-German war was an annhilation war between the soldiers and the civilians too and an old affair, Italian soldiers simply did their duty without hate in a far country. You should know that Russian people used to say "Talianski karasciò" "Italian good people", especially respect to the hard German ruling... German people had been brooding spirit of revenge for 20 years, Italian people hadn't.
    Italy was pushed into the war just for political reasons, realistic or cinic, but of course they never are enough to make into a people a "fierce will" against a "political" enemy that's not too an "historical" enemy (like for example Austria for Italy in WWI).

    http://www.ww2incolor.com/?g2_view=c..._itemId=572721
    Last edited by DVX; 07-17-2011 at 06:56 PM.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    I believe to summarize the main reasons of the Italian defeat - far from a complete view of course - repeating what I wrote in an another discussion.
    Apart the big lack of industrial output, the Italian war was just a bet over the idea that "Germany has already won, just some months and a bit of blood and we'll seat among the winners". The Comando Supremo, apart the fact the the armed forces would still needed at least 3 years of preparation to be quite ready for a great conflict (like agreed in the Steel pact) guaranteed 6 months of authonomy for such a conflict. If the war had lasted less, that would had been perfect, but after that time, nothing could be assured.
    In fact what strategical planes were prepared for the war? None. "Now we enter into the war, then we'll see what to do". To delay the invasion of Malta after june 1940 was a mistake consequenting a big general mistake based on these mistaken basis. The war against Greece was another worse mistake in the mistake. After the German military intervention in Romania, Mussolini wanted its own success in the Balkans. Mussolini, Ciano and general Visconti Prasca prepared a useless campaign without the mininum good sense, political and military. Few and insufficent troops, without moral motivation, in the worst season for an attack, should suddenly attack an enemy clearly stronger, morally fierce and motived in defending the homeland, and alerted by months of useless menaces, if the fate was to attack and not just warning about some disliked political attitudes. Apart the political disaster by Ciano and Mussolini, Visconti Prasca should be shot for inaptness and airiness.
    Still in 1941 the economy was not a war-economy: the Duce, the first year and more wanted to limit the fatigues of the population, under the usual idea the war should last no long.
    Even in september - october, the veterans in Albania were dismobilited, for the same reason: Mussolini, would a peace-time attitude in the homefront. A few weeks later those men were recalled with the confusion - many already at home - and the moral conseguences easily guessable.
    Troops that would hardly served in Africa, were wasted in Greece, without useful motivation and in the worst possibile military conduction. Discredit covered the Italian armed forces, that fought well, as usual, in their duty, for the ineptitude of the political and military leaders. Being not finished after december 1940, the war was already lost for Italy, as the Comando Supremo itself had already meant 6 months before. After that time Italy was towed by Germany, and this was not in the intentions. To send the CSIR and the ARMIR in Russia, was another military mistake, even if the political reasons of the move were understandable. Especially considering that the Germans wasted the Alpini Corp in the steppe's plains and not in the Caucaso mountains, for wich it was allotted.
    So, apart the army not ready, apart the completely insufficient industrial output, the absence of deep moral motivations, the Italian war was a big mistake from the start, with other and worse big mistakes in the tecnical conduction...
    So, considering all this, as the famous historician of the US navy Morison wrote, it's not surprising that Italy lost the war, it's surprising that was able to resist three years!
    And over with the RSI.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    UBC,

    another point is ULTRA. The British Secret Service knew everything about Italian convoys thanks to Ultra. The 90% of convoys reached safely NA until the first months of 1941 when the communication codes were only Italian, after that time with the German arrival, the German communication were punctually intercepted... and the convoys sunk...
    And of course the British forces like to spread voices about "Italians chatterboxes"... This fable remains...
    The Italians had penetrated the RN Codes and knew when the British knew about convoys.Infact the 90% figure is for the entire naval war. O'Hara reports that from June 1940 to Sept 1943, 98% of the personnel and 90% of the supplies convoyed by RM, reached their destination. So for the most part RN commerce warfare against the Axis was a failure in the Med, while RM was successful in its convoy mission.

    If the supply to North Africa was a problem it was not due to convoying. But probably more to do with the quantity sent. From what it appears, the Axis had ~30 divisions deployed across North Africa, while the bulk of these were infantry/Garrison divisions with little or no vehicles, they all needed food ammo and water to survive. Given 2.15 million tons delivered over 1188 days this averages out to 1810 tons per day . During the peak stretch in 1941-42 daily tonnage reaching NAfrica topped 2000-2700 tons. In combat the daily reqirment would have been in the region 10-12,000 tons including Africa Korps + LW and coastal naval traffic & civilian needs. If the needs of garrison divisions is cut to 1/3 , this might reduce the needed daily tonnage to 7,000-9,000 ton region. It still means the Axis Troops in N Africa were getting at best 1/4 to 1/3 of the supplies they needed to function properly in combat.
    Last edited by ubc; 07-17-2011 at 07:39 PM.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Anyway the tankers convoys were punctually sunk by the British forces... and this stopped the Axis movements and made worse the Mussolini's ulcer...

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by ubc View Post
    The Italians had penetrated the RN Codes and knew when the British knew about convoys.Infact the 90% figure is for the entire naval war. O'Hara reports that from June 1940 to Sept 1943, 98% of the personnel and 90% of the supplies convoyed by RM, reached their destination. So for the most part RN commerce warfare against the Axis was a failure in the Med, while RM was successful in its convoy mission.
    Um, do you have any literary basis for that statement or are you just making shit up again?

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Hard to imagine over 98% of personnel and 90% of supplies got through when over 2000 Italian Merchant Vessels were sunk from 1940 to 1943.

    In one convoy of five Merchant ships escorted by 3 RM ships all 5 merchants and 2 of the escorts were sunk for the loss of one allied ship.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    I agree that its hard to believe especially if you read British Histories of the war. The case you site is the exception rather than the rule.

    Nick as usual your lack of respect does you in.

    I already pointed out the source, so go read it. O'Hara "Struggle for the Middle Sea" and it is also mentioned in his collaberative work "On Seas Contested" where they state....
    " Between 1940 and 1943, section B deciphered 13.3 % of British Radio traffic-slightly less than the 13.75% British Code breakers achieved against Italian traffic. ...Sighting reports of Italian submarines and convoys were routinely intercepted , allowing the threatened units to take avoiding actions".
    pp 131

    BTW even the germans penetrated the RN codes before the war.
    Last edited by ubc; 07-18-2011 at 05:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?


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