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Why did the Italians lose? - Page 7
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Thread: Why did the Italians lose?

  1. #91
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by jungleguerilla View Post
    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.
    On the one hand there were the Italians have outdated weapons opposite the heavily and modern armed fanatical Germans, the Italians were much more relaxed in the WW2
    In many cases and reports, the Italians were useless because they surrendered immediately to the Allies, rather fight against them

    The British were able to win just because Hitler had seized a multi-front war that time can't help the Afrikafront with the Wehrmacht or the SS, and the British and they allies were outnumbered and the Italians are against the Germans anyway

    Allies
    *United Kingdom
    *India
    *Southern Rhodesia
    *Australia
    *Canada
    *New Zealand
    *South Africa
    *United States
    Free France
    France, Algeria
    Tunisia Tunisia
    Morocco Morocco
    Troops of Poland
    Czechoslovakia Czechoslovak Legions
    Greece

    Against

    Italy and Germany
    France Vichy troops
    France Algerian troops
    Tunisia Tunisia troops
    Troops from Morocco

    Bad ratio for the Italians and the Germans, especially the large number of the Allied troops
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  2. #92
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    And the Middle East oil industry?
    I'm happy to be corrected as I'm commenting from general knowledge but, apart possibly from some modest production in Egypt, I don't think there was any "oil industry" or strategically useful oil production in North Africa and particularly in the Italian territories in Libya and Eritrea.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    And the Mediterranean Sea, strategical way on seas and vital link for the British Empire communications? (It was not a case if GB possessed its doors, Gibraltar, Suez and Malta)
    But wasn't Italy was well placed to effect some control of the Suez Canal traffic if it had placed naval forces in Eritrea at the narrows between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden?

    I confess that I've always been a bit mystified by Italy's involvement in North Africa beyond the obvious defence of its territories there after Italy declared war in 1940 which led to war with the British in North Africa and Germany getting drawn in to bolster Italy, as happened about a year later in another Italian overreach in Greece. There doesn't seem to be a clearly thought out and achievable strategy beyond, perhaps, Mussolini's usual extravagance in wanting to make the Mediterranean an Italian lake denied to every other nation.

    As was mentioned above, Germany's war in the East might, perhaps, have turned out differently without the diversion of troops and logistics to North Africa and Greece.
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  3. #93
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    On the one hand there were the Italians have outdated weapons opposite the heavily and modern armed fanatical Germans, the Italians were much more relaxed in the WW2
    In many cases and reports, the Italians were useless because they surrendered immediately to the Allies, rather fight against them

    The British were able to win just because Hitler had seized a multi-front war that time can't help the Afrikafront with the Wehrmacht or the SS, and the British and they allies were outnumbered and the Italians are against the Germans anyway

    Allies
    *United Kingdom
    *India
    *Southern Rhodesia
    *Australia
    *Canada
    *New Zealand
    *South Africa
    *United States
    Free France
    France, Algeria
    Tunisia Tunisia
    Morocco Morocco
    Troops of Poland
    Czechoslovakia Czechoslovak Legions
    Greece

    Against

    Italy and Germany
    France Vichy troops
    France Algerian troops
    Tunisia Tunisia troops
    Troops from Morocco

    Bad ratio for the Italians and the Germans, especially the large number of the Allied troops
    I don't know where you got those figures and 'facts' from, but they are hopelessly wrong so far as the opening war between Italy and the British Commonwealth in late 1940- early 1941, about a year before the US got into the war and about two years before the US got involved in North Africa.

    The Italians vastly outnumbered the British at the time Italy declared war, in artillery, tanks and troops. Troop ratio was something like 4 to 1 in Italy's favour.
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  4. #94
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I'm happy to be corrected as I'm commenting from general knowledge but, apart possibly from some modest production in Egypt, I don't think there was any "oil industry" or strategically useful oil production in North Africa and particularly in the Italian territories in Libya and Eritrea.
    And Iran and Iraq? And the Arabic peninsula?
    You're forgetting them. How could GB defend and control them after a Suez fall? In fact the dream of Rommel was to reach the Caucaso from the middle East.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    But wasn't Italy was well placed to effect some control of the Suez Canal traffic if it had placed naval forces in Eritrea at the narrows between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden?
    If you have sufficient means there, and above all the freedom to supply them.... if the way is cut by the enemy doors it becomes difficoult after a bit of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    As was mentioned above, Germany's war in the East might, perhaps, have turned out differently without the diversion of troops and logistics to North Africa and Greece.
    A leader must have the ability to flex the plans following the reality of the time and of the moments. Germans were too strict as usual, to change their plans following the reality rather than their blind will.
    The Germans would like the Italian help without putting their power aside the weaker ally. It was a bad idea, and politics and wars don't work so.
    Hitler should say: ok Ben, thank you, but we prefer you stay out. We can't help you if you can't make by yourself, because we don't want to change our plans. But instead, if you accept Italy as an ally, you have to respect her request:

    "Our intervention can, therefore, take place at once if Germany delivers to us immediately the military supplies and the raw materials to resist the attack which the French and English especially would direct against us".

    Because at last it's the same your interest.

  5. #95
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    The Italians vastly outnumbered the British at the time Italy declared war, in artillery, tanks and troops. Troop ratio was something like 4 to 1 in Italy's favour.
    Italy outnumbered the British forces in Africa just about men and bayonets, in the "heavy tools" there was no match, worsening day by day, especially for the Eastern Italian Africa too far from home supplies.

  6. #96
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    And Iran and Iraq? And the Arabic peninsula?
    You're forgetting them. How could GB defend and control them after a Suez fall? In fact the dream of Rommel was to reach the Caucaso from the middle East.
    I'm not forgetting them. I'm excluding them, as they were theatres far removed from Italy's war in North Africa and with entirely different strategic considerations.
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  7. #97
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    . Germans were too strict as usual, to change their plans following the reality rather than their blind will.
    Germany changed its plans very quickly to rescue Italy from its failed invasion of Greece, which possibly put Barbarossa back by six weeks which became critical as Germany approached Moscow.
    ..
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    Montesquieu

  8. #98
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I don't know where you got those figures and 'facts' from, but they are hopelessly wrong so far as the opening war between Italy and the British Commonwealth in late 1940- early 1941, about a year before the US got into the war and about two years before the US got involved in North Africa.

    The Italians vastly outnumbered the British at the time Italy declared war, in artillery, tanks and troops. Troop ratio was something like 4 to 1 in Italy's favour.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_Campaign

    The whole world into war, it became part of the German negatively when Americans entered the war against Hitler
    With this US action seriously divided the Wehrmacht and the SS,and now they not only had to deal with the Russians but also a large number of Americans
    As already mentioned, the Italians were not too bright due to warfare with their old weapons and loose morale and without German support their lost the battle, because their opponents were outnumbered and have much more modern weapons than the Italians
    The English or Soviet Union probably would never have won without the large number of US personal army support, as it would Hitler took Moscow for the second time if the USA not enter into the world war 2
    Hitler wary of going in a two-front war again like ww1, but the arbitrary Japan are caused the two front war and this cause the downfall of the Third Reich
    Last edited by imi; 06-10-2016 at 10:43 AM.
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  9. #99
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Germany changed its plans very quickly to rescue Italy from its failed invasion of Greece, which possibly put Barbarossa back by six weeks which became critical as Germany approached Moscow.
    They just rescued their southern side from the sudden Jugoslavian anti-Axis and pro-Britain "rebellion"... when Italy was being already involved in Greece for 6 months... And the Germans opened a new front with a strong enemy still fighting in the back. A crazy mistake much worser than the Italian war in Greece.
    Hitler thought to knock out Soviet Union in a few months... the worst mistake of the war.

  10. #100
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    And the Germans opened a new front with a strong enemy still fighting in the back. A crazy mistake much worser than the Italian war in Greece.
    The craziest mistake in Greece was Churchill's decision to commit British Commonwealth land forces there without, consistent with his flawed strategy in Malaya, adequate air support.

    The Australian commander in Greece, General Blamey, saw it was a doomed campaign from the outset. One of his first actions on arriving in Greece was to identify embarkation points for his soon to be defeated troops.

    Not only did Churchill waste his troops and resources on a pointless exercise to show support for Greece in a strategically irrelevant campaign for Britain, he also took those troops and resources from North Africa where they could have been much better employed.

    Any impact the British involvement had on Barbarossa was entirely accidental rather than part of a well thought out strategy.
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    And Iran and Iraq? And the Arabic peninsula?
    You're forgetting them. How could GB defend and control them after a Suez fall? In fact the dream of Rommel was to reach the Caucaso from the middle East.
    I think nothing has been forgotten- it was a dream of Hitler and von Manstein - to reach the Iran and Turkey through the Caucaus. Therefore the 6 army so desperatively fought in Stalingrad. In fact the germans were much closer to the Meddle East oil , beeing on top of its eastern advance in late 1942.

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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Freemason
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  13. #103
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    The craziest mistake in Greece was Churchill's decision to commit British Commonwealth land forces there without, consistent with his flawed strategy in Malaya, adequate air support.

    The Australian commander in Greece, General Blamey, saw it was a doomed campaign from the outset. One of his first actions on arriving in Greece was to identify embarkation points for his soon to be defeated troops.

    Not only did Churchill waste his troops and resources on a pointless exercise to show support for Greece in a strategically irrelevant campaign for Britain, he also took those troops and resources from North Africa where they could have been much better employed.

    Any impact the British involvement had on Barbarossa was entirely accidental rather than part of a well thought out strategy.
    I don't agree, perhaps it was a military mistake, but Churchill had also political duties: often politics must prevail on military.
    Churchill couldn't leave alone, in front of the world, Greece and later Yugoslavia (where the anti-Axis golpe wasn't stranger to the British plots...).
    Sometime the political needs force some military moves that, considering them only under a military view, are not good.
    In my opinion you're neglecting those Churchill's hard political needs.

  14. #104
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    I don't agree, perhaps it was a military mistake, but Churchill had also political duties: often politics must prevail on military.
    Churchill couldn't leave alone, in front of the world, Greece and later Yugoslavia (where the anti-Axis golpe wasn't stranger to the British plots...).
    Sometime the political needs force some military moves that, considering them only under a military view, are not good.
    In my opinion you're neglecting those Churchill's hard political needs.
    I'm not neglecting the political aspects of Churchill's decisions.

    The problem is that Churchill neglected the military difficulties, to the point of almost certain failure, of offering military support in Greece to demonstrate ultimately pointless political support for Greece.

    All he succeeded in doing was demonstrate to the world that, as in France earlier, Britain couldn't defeat Germany in Europe. That was at least as bad in front of the world as not leaving Greece alone.

    His actions were a massive political negative as far as demonstrating effective support for Greece and, worse, a significant military disaster for the loss of troops, weapons, and materiel in a pointless and unnecessary diversion of those resources to Greece and then Crete, along with substantial naval resources, from the land war in North Africa and the Royal Navy's Mediterranean operations.

    Even allowing for the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the fact remains that before British Commonwealth forces were committed their local North African commanders (Wavell and notably the Australian Blamey) foresaw the looming disaster and that the Greek military commanders had also opposed British intervention because they knew any chance of resisting a German invasion required a force many times larger than that which Churchill and his Chiefs of Staff decided to commit to Greece.

    War is ultimately about military force prevailing over the enemy. No hot war has ever been won by demonstrating futile political support for an ally leading to military defeat of the ally and expulsion of the supporting force from the ally's territory. Greece stands as a clear lesson to politicians not to waste their military resources in what the military men already see as a futile exercise.

    What is little known is that Britain (as distinct from British participation in wider British Commonwealth forces in 1941) invaded Greece twice: in 1941 and 1944. The second invasion was, like the first, essentially to support the Greek government but, unlike the first, primarily to ensure that the Soviets did not occupy Greece in contravention of an agreement between Britain and the USSR. The second invasion turned into a British anti-communist action against the Greek communist partisans who had contributed to the Allied war effort by their courageous actions against the occupying Germans. Churchill's aim in the second invasion was to suppress that part of the Greek population which was pro-communist and to use military force to do so. So much for Churchill's grand commitment to democracy and, worse, in its birthplace.
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  15. #105
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    Default Re: Why did the Italians lose?

    Churchill did not have the manpower nor equipment to really defend Greece against the combined German, Bulgarian (although despite German 'requests' did not participate with troops in the actual invasions) and Italian forces - but politically he was required to do something.

    Greece was wavering with support for the Axis as opposed to the Allies, with intervention it sort of forced Greeces hand, as a result large numbers of Axis men and equipment (far more than the allies lost) was tied down for the duration. The Greek merchant fleet had 638 ships totalling 1.9 million GRT (most of which was cargo ships 607). It had the third largest merchant fleet in 1939. If Greece went to the Axis camp that fleet plus the Greek Navy (although the major units were quite old) could or would be available to the Axis. This was during the first U Boat 'Happy Time' as well so an important consideration for Churchill with the loss of so many British merchant ships.

    With Italy's beligerancy Greece was not going to stay Neutral, Germany would deal with it either by forcing it to join the Axis forces in some way (much like Bulgaria) or invade anyway. The Balkans had a large Soviet/Russian sympathy (Yugolasvian republics particularly) so would need to be neutralised and that would include Greece.

    There is still a debate about the reason for the delay in attacking the USSR - the reserves for Barbarossa (who were to take no part in the initial stages) outnumbered the troops sent to Greece (although they were not the best forces), the Rasputitsa lasted much longer than usual, during the first week of June the Polish and Russian river valleys were still flooded and impassable to the invading forces. So at most a week to two weeks (which is what actually happened) would have been the delay. By the time the Germans got to Moscow the forces were suffering from exhaustion and lack of man power, units being a shell of their former selves - much like the myth of Dunkirk - the Germans were stopped because they could not go further, but it is much better to blame some other force or nature rather than that the German army had fought itself to a standstill.

    The intervention in Greece also continued Churchills theme (which he was desperate to prove to the US mostly), that wherever was threatened by the Axis he would resist, no matter the cost. This helped (along with payments and supplies) to keep other nations out of direct action (Spain and Turkey for instance).

    With hindsight I can still say he had a hard call to make, Commonwealth and allied nations in North Africa was desperately short of equipment, supplies and the troops and equipment they did have were tired or worn out (high in moral though). Those troops and equipment sent may have been enough to push the Italians completely out of North Africa - although I doubt it before the Germans intervened, they may have been enough to resist the Axis advance though.

    Chances are though the Greek merchant fleet would not have sailed to join the Allies (75% of the Greek freighters were sunk in WW2 by the Axis), or at least would not have joined in early on, during the most desperate days.

    Hindsight and/or looking at a single action without looking at what Churchill could see of the bigger picture (including knowing that Germany was going to attack the Soviet Union in 1941) can lead to conclusions that may not be in tune with what was known and thought at the time. Its very difficult to look back and ignore hindsight and to limit a view to just that action.

    Much like the Dardeneles in WW1, Churchill gets all the blame but his initial idea was to force the straights with an Anglo/French naval force carry troops direct to the capital - which (unknown to the Allies) almost succeded. The seaborne landings was not part of his original idea, Generals on the ground tend to get less blame for their failures to advance on day one.

    Churchill with hindsight made some huge blunders, some which are considered blunders if taken in the wider context can be considered otherwise. He also did many great things and was possibly the only leader in Britain who would have kept Britain in the war against the Axis (the make peace lobby was quite strong in parliament at the time).
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