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Thread: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

  1. #1
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    Default Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Tha battle wich marked phisically and psicologically the Comando Supremo for the entire Northern African campaing of 1940. Is in this this battle that some myths and inexactitudes about the italian Military are born.

    Last edited by Panzerknacker; 01-21-2012 at 09:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Beda Fomm was one of several major steps in that campaign. The damage to the Italians was done before Beda Fomm and they wouldn't have been there but for earlier defeats, but it was the final step in closing the trap on the Italian forces.

    What myths and inexactitudes do you have in mind?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    By Beda Fomm the Italian and Libyan forces were quite demoralized, they had suffered heavily at the hands of the British Commonwealth forces. The problem at Beda Fomm itself was that they tried to breakthrough with units as and when they arrived instead of building up and launching a proper coordinated assault. this meant that the Commonwealth blocking Forces, which were initially very weak, could prevent a breakthrough by the small forces that attempted to each time. As the Commonwealth strength increased it sealed the fate of the trapped Italian and Libyan forces.

    Many myths have been perpetuated (some with a basis) from the fighting around the forts when the British Commonwealth forces under Wavell counter attacked, couple them with the slow advance made by the Italians and the huge fanfare they made of it before digging in and fortifying after something like 50 miles.
    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.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Beda Fomm was one of several major steps in that campaign. The damage to the Italians was done before Beda Fomm and they wouldn't have been there but for earlier defeats, but it was the final step in closing the trap on the Italian forces.

    What myths and inexactitudes do you have in mind?
    True but I lately with my renewed interes in italian ww2 effort I been reading many books and italian internet sources ( the advantages of being multilingual) and by many historians was Beda Fomm who broke difinately the moral for 1940. That moral and fighting spirit was only restored with the arrival of more capable commander in march 1941 and of course, the afrika Korps.

    Myths and inexactitudes are pointings always toward an direction; italians cant fight, I have several documentation proving otherwise, later.

    By Beda Fomm the Italian and Libyan forces were quite demoralized, they had suffered heavily at the hands of the British Commonwealth forces. The problem at Beda Fomm itself was that they tried to breakthrough with units as and when they arrived instead of building up and launching a proper coordinated assault. this meant that the Commonwealth blocking Forces, which were initially very weak, could prevent a breakthrough by the small forces that attempted to each time. As the Commonwealth strength increased it sealed the fate of the trapped Italian and Libyan forces.

    Many myths have been perpetuated (some with a basis) from the fighting around the forts when the British Commonwealth forces under Wavell counter attacked, couple them with the slow advance made by the Italians and the huge fanfare they made of it before digging in and fortifying after something like 50 miles.
    That is a good general description of events, I will post more on it, unfortunately today saturday I very busy, beginning with making the lunch and others, ill post more soon.
    Last edited by Panzerknacker; 01-21-2012 at 09:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    Myths and inexactitudes are pointings always toward an direction; italians cant fight, I have several documentation proving otherwise, later.
    It depends on which unit you're looking at.

    I've posted several times over the years that Australian troops who fought Italian units which fought hard found them to fight as hard and as well as any other nation. As did French troops facing the Australians.

    However, the composition of the Italian army meant that many troops were not very well trained or led, and that they had no real commitment to the war into which they had been thrust by Mussolini for his own grand purposes. They wisely decided not to waste their lives in a, to them, pointless war.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    I have posted numerous times on various sites about the respect earned by many Italian units who fought the Commonwealth armies, why they had the failings they had when they did.
    Large numbers of the prisoners captured who are termed Italian were not actually Italian but Libyan with Italian equipment (usually the lower capability or obsolete) and Italian commanders. They had even less reason to support Italian expansion plans than the Italians themselves.
    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.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Prelude of the battle (I):








    Last edited by Panzerknacker; 01-23-2012 at 03:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Interesting, thank you PK...

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    From George Fortys, The Desert War

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    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.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Very nice Leccy, I think some figures are nor exactly the same as osprey operation Compass (the scans above) Ill upload the second part so we can compare both sources.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Anyone interested in O'Connor as a general, and one unfortunately too often overlooked outside serious military history circles, might find old posts about him by 32Bravo and me, and perhaps others, but I can't recall the threads.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    A much overlooked and under-rated General, I wonder how he would have fared if he had not been taken prisoner.
    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.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    It depends on which unit you're looking at.

    I've posted several times over the years that Australian troops who fought Italian units which fought hard found them to fight as hard and as well as any other nation. As did French troops facing the Australians.

    However, the composition of the Italian army meant that many troops were not very well trained or led, and that they had no real commitment to the war into which they had been thrust by Mussolini for his own grand purposes. They wisely decided not to waste their lives in a, to them, pointless war.
    Entirely okay with you, Rising Sun. It is not one of the that I put in guard on several posts, and this myth yet persists. A lot of books on time actuellle, raised the veil on him either saying little courage and the few of morals that the italens had. Out that is the whole contrary, not only they are very well himself beaten, but several times they put their adversary in the worse difficulties. The Italian always have were fighters of value, the general Leclerc losque he/it captured the Saharianna, the famous "Saharianna "Kufra di made him return honors by his/her/its troops, knowing that it had captured one element of very big value. I recommend you to read the book of my friend Kuno Gross that speaks of first fights of the Saharianna of which I put the link here, this book hands to dish full of false ideas that one distributed on the Italian army.
    Fred regards

    http://italie1935-45.forumactif.org/...t-jebel-sherif
    He who asks a question remains ignorant five minutes, who does not ask remains ignorant of his life.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Anyone interested in O'Connor as a general, and one unfortunately too often overlooked outside serious military history circles, might find old posts about him by 32Bravo and me, and perhaps others, but I can't recall the threads.
    Hehe, overlooked because it was in a german prison as Leccy said (insert evil grin here), was captured by a motorcycle squad of the 500th machinegun batallion of major Ponath. Ponath was killed in action in the siege of Tobruk april 20th 1941.

    Entirely okay with you, Rising Sun. It is not one of the that I put in guard on several posts, and this myth yet persists. A lot of books on time actuellle, raised the veil on him either saying little courage and the few of morals that the italens had. Out that is the whole contrary, not only they are very well himself beaten, but several times they put their adversary in the worse difficulties. The Italian always have were fighters of value, the general Leclerc losque he/it captured the Saharianna, the famous "Saharianna "Kufra di made him return honors by his/her/its troops, knowing that it had captured one element of very big value. I recommend you to read the book of my friend Kuno Gross that speaks of first fights of the Saharianna of which I put the link here, this book hands to dish full of false ideas that one distributed on the Italian army.
    Fred regards

    http://italie1935-45.forumactif.org/...t-jebel-sherif
    Is interesting to see some squizophrenic behaviour of Rommel with the italians, in his memoirs in one paragraph he despises them, and some more pages later he apraised them, evidently is very good to have another sources in this subject.
    Last edited by Panzerknacker; 01-25-2012 at 06:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Disaster at Beda Fomm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    Hehe, overlooked because it was in a german prison as Leccy said (insert evil grin here), was captured by a motorcycle squad of the 500th machinegun batallion of major Ponath. Ponath was killed in action in the siege of Tobruk april 20th 1941.
    He was in an Italian prison and escaped several times, the last successful one in September 1943.

    He returned to England and gave good service as a commander soon after D Day in Normandy and was involved in several major operations, but unfortunately none which demonstrated the flair and success of Operation Compass.

    Perhaps his two year imprisonment took the edge off him, or maybe he wouldn't have done any better if he'd never been captured. But I'm inclined to think that a couple of years as a POW deprived him of the opportunities to build on his success in Compass and to build on his command strengths. Nonetheless, his performance in Europe was still rather better than some commanders who hadn't suffered the privations of imprisonment.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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