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Thread: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Cant said yes or no with 100% accuracy but something is true: They italians had bad commanders and equipment in early part of the war, thing that undermined the morale.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    They also lacked adequate training. For instance, crews of the 90/53 were not trained to engage ground targets at all during 1942. And I've yet to see any evidence that they were prior to the Armistace.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivaylo View Post
    Maybe a little bit off topic but one question always wonders me when speaking of Italians in WW2 ... does really the italians were so bad fighters in WW2 or that is a fake and they were moderate as they were against superior enemy ? ( something like Germany latter in the war )
    The good Italian units which faced Australians in North Africa (which are the only ones I know much about) were as good as any other good units. They fought hard, with skill, determination, and bravery.

    Some other Italian units were very ordinary and at times surrendered at the first opportunity, leading to the well known pictures of columns of Italian POWs stretching to the horizon, and other events such as largish groups surrendering to Allied photographers. This was largely because those units were composed of blokes who didn't want to be there and who didn't think they were involved in a cause worth dying for. Later events proved them correct.

    A bit further off topic. Many Italian POWs came to Australia during the war and were released to work on farms to overcome labour shortages. Many of the host families came to have high regard for their hard-working qualities and agricultural skills, and for them as men and people. Quite a number of those farming families sponsored their former POW workers as migrants in our post-war migration program, which shows the respect and affection they earned.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Italian troops were as capable of being as courageous as soldiers in any other army. But they had a hideously insulting class system between the junior officers and men which demoralized the soldiers and destroyed any concept of leadership, outdated arms and tactics, and they were virtually immobilized compared to their enemies. Their shortcomings in arms and transport compared to the British, and later the Americans, probably made a lot of them feel betrayed and that Mussolini as an ******* throwing their lives away for nothing. However, when backed into a corner knowing the capitulation of North Africa would inevitably lead to the fall of Italy and when the Allies were forced to fight them with poor bloody infantry tactics that often devolved to throwing rocks at one another in the mountains of Tunisia, there were instances of Italians fighting tenaciously from caves and fortifications --sometimes they fought virtually to the death...

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Italian troops were as capable of being as courageous as soldiers in any other army. But they had a hideously insulting class system between the junior officers and men which demoralized the soldiers and destroyed any concept of leadership, outdated arms and tactics, and they were virtually immobilized compared to their enemie
    I tend to agree with that, however with better commanders ( mostly germans but still some italian like Baldasare, La Ferla, Navarini) in charge there were several improvements in fighting spirit even with the outdated weapons and tactics.

    A very good indication of that is the book of the memoirs of Rommel, "The Rommel papers", he had a very low opinion of italians at the beggining of the Africa campaign, then as the fortunes of war moves against the british it can saw and recognize an heavy improvement in discipline and morale between the soldiers.

    And finally if we speak the awful truth there was no way of winning the Battle of Gazala as Rommel did in 1942 without a good italian military performance and support.


  6. #66
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Hitler had his very own opinion regarding this issue. A told quotation reads as follows: "The best soldier allied with the worst."
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Italian troops were as capable of being as courageous as soldiers in any other army.
    Every army in WWII had formations that simple vanished when they made contact with the enemy and other formations that stood and fought to the last man. Most combat formations fall somewhere in between, performing "adequately or well" in combat (depending on a number of factors).

    For a variety of reasons, the Italian army seemed to perform along the extremes more than other armies. There were plenty of formations that fought exceptionally well in both NA and Russia. There were also a number that simply collapsed when the fighting started. However, there are accounts of German formations breaking in combat while the Italians continued to fight. This type of thing happens in all armies.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    The Italian government also viewed the infantry as the mundane of the services, which more or less got the dregs the others services didn't want. IIRC, a US intelligence manual I read of the time also noted they were the least-paid service as well, with standard pay for the lowest rank being something like 17 cents (US value) a day, which I think is a truly pitiful sum, even for the days emerging from the Great Depression, even allowing the Government provided clothing, room and board. Married soldiers/those with children got somewhat more. (I'd have to dig up the source if anybody is really interested about the wages, and that might prove either very easy or very hard -- and nowhere in between.)

    In any case, the point was that the Italian Navy and air force - and I believe specialized infantry such as Alpini as well -- got first pick among conscripts, and these services were also -- by popular image, pay, and other factors - the ones viewed as most desirable for careers/volunteers. Basically, the infantry was looked down upon, and strongly so, by their own government. If you want to start looking more roots of morale problems, this would seem a pretty good place to start....
    "...we have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo (Walt Kelly)

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Italian 90/53 "portee" I had seen footage of this Ansaldo truck used extensively during the Gazala battle in may 1942, probably this was a very powerful adittion to italian formations against british tanks.


  10. #70
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Panzerknacker.

    I am sorry, it is not an Ansalado combination, but a Lancia 3RO.

    I'm also not so sure about "extensive" use during the Gazala battles, as there were only between 10 & 20 such vehicles in North Africa at the time. And they certainly would not have been powerful formations against the Commonwealth tanks, as they were used exclusively in the anti-aircraft role, as the crews had no training in the engagement of ground targets, nor was there any suitable ammunition available at the time.

    Please understand that I am not "attacking" you. Just putting forward the facts, in what I hope is a friendly manner.

    it is a very nice photo by the way. It is of a post war vehicle attached to the Centauro Division.
    Last edited by DavidW; 02-09-2009 at 02:43 AM. Reason: Error in unit identification

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    I'm also not so sure about "extensive" use during the Gazala battles, as there were only between 10 & 20 such vehicles in North Africa at the time. And they certainly would not have been powerful formations against the Commonwealth tanks, as they were used exclusively in the anti-aircraft role
    I dont know about the quantities , probably wasnt much as you say, however I did saw the 90/53 firing at ground targets as long range artillery and there are accounts of its use as antitank.

    http://www.archivioluce.com/archivio...&findCine=true#

    Open the link above and then clik in "high" and you ll see.


  12. #72
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Sorry link doesn't work.

    I should make it clear that I'm not saying that they were never ever used in the ground role. Just that during 1942, there was not suitable ammo or adequate (if any) training.

    As for numbers, 10 arrived at Tripoli in May 1942 with DII Gruppo C/A.
    And another 10, with DI Gruppo. My dates of arrival ar sketchy, but somewhere between February & August 1942.
    DI Gruppo C/A went on to serve with Ariete Division, as IV Gruppo 132nd Artigliera Reggimento.
    Last edited by DavidW; 02-09-2009 at 02:39 AM. Reason: Spelling

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Errr, use my account

    name: marceloe
    pass: sw1sw2

    Your numbers seems right, the vehicle is hardly seen in more of 5 or 6 group.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    A Batterie was of 5 Cannoni.

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Italian Artillery and Anti-Tank Weapons

    Well, then the video showed some vehicles of the Ariete, it was taken in late May 1942.


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