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Old 04-10-2019, 04:30 PM
 
14,671 posts, read 3,894,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seenee View Post
Seems kind of crazy how in WWI Italy was part of the allies and in WWII they were part of the Axis yet regardless, they were awful and couldn't accomplish anything really noteworthy in terms of militarily speaking. Especially considering they were the ones that had the infamous Roman Republic/Empire. So what was it that made them such trash at warfare in the 20th century?
Consider some very simple things....

1. Italians are lovers, not fighters.
2. Italians are individualistic, not "good germans" (sorry Germans, but you know what I speak of).
3. Many cultures that had forever war...learned something! Look at the Swiss, who made a pact back in the 1500's or so (??) not to fight any more.

The way you or I may view these things is through a lens of whether "military might" is a good thing or a bad thing. I'd say, in modern times, it is mostly a bad thing.

Therefore to be "good" at it becomes a negative.

As if to put a dot on the "I", guess which country in Europe has the highest IQ?
https://brainstats.com/average-iq-by-country.html

Italy.
Iceland and Switzerland, two non-warlike countries, are next in European terms.

I'm not claiming this particular metric tells all, but most war is just stupid. I like to think of it this way - let's take all the best technologies, all the best people, all the resources from the earth...then DUMP THEM OVER A CLIFF.

Not really a smart way to do things.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:00 PM
 
11,867 posts, read 5,037,762 times
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As long as we're stereotyping, Italians enjoy life. They enjoy the good things which life brings such as good food, dressing nicely, going out and having a fun time and love their families which takes priority. They are emotional people and wear their hearts on their sleeves. They'll let you know if they like you or dislike you and have no problem doing so.
They don't do well with their government telling them they must goose step and go to war and die for reasons that are not personal to them. They'll gladly die defending their families. For most, they work in order to live well. They don't work because they are worried about the nations GDP or because another country outperforms them in manufacturing. They don't give a rats behind if Germany wants them to work more hours and wants to tell them what age they should stop working and retire. They've never had much love for Germans anyway nor Austrians which by the way are seen as the same people with a different name.

That's my stereotype for the day as someone who's lived in Italy

Last edited by marino760; 04-10-2019 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Proxima Centauri
4,730 posts, read 1,959,824 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
Another activity of the Italian Army in Africa, was to use the face of the Sphinx for target practice with their machine guns. That's one main reason it looks so beat-up today.

That would put the Italian army in Cairo. They never got further East than El Alamein.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:08 PM
 
6,486 posts, read 2,750,670 times
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I once had a renowned Austrian professor who was teaching a course in political philosophy. When we were discussing Renaissance philosophy, he made the comment that Italy was the only nation to conquer the world three times.

The first was the Roman Empire.
The second was through the Roman Catholic Church
The third was through the proliferation of Roman law that spread from Italy to all of Europe starting in the middle ages.


Some will disagree with his analysis, but I always found a certain amount of truth in it.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:20 PM
 
950 posts, read 606,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
This is just one of those posts that started wrong, so you have 3 pages of almost no answer to your question.

Simple answer -
a.) Italy didn't have modern equipment, they were a paper tiger, they were outmatched - they were fighting WW2 and WW1 like they were fighting colonial wars instead of modern European powers, who indeed did have modern equipment.
b.) Bad leadership and military structure - In WW2, Il Duce managed all aspects of the military adventures, and his main officers were his lackeys, furthermore, the different branches of military, instead of cooperating with each other, competing with each other,
c.) Morale - in WW1 Italy infantry fought well but sustained unimaginable casualties. Like France and Russia, they collapsed. There is only so much infantry can take. In WW2, well, Italy just didn't have it's heart in that war. It was Il Duce's war, not Italy's.

In general - Italian troops got a bad rap. Man to man, they fought well and bravely and suffered through bad equipment and bad leadership.

And those were some tough conditions they fought in too, high up in the Dolomites in sometimes frigid temps —all after having to haul whole cannons and other artillery equipment up sheer mountain faces by rope and hand. Basically rock climbing with all their gear up the Dolomites just to reach the battlefield. Impressive.



Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
As long as we're stereotyping, Italians enjoy life. They enjoy the good things which life brings such as good food, dressing nicely, going out and having a fun time and love their families which takes priority. They are emotional people and wear their hearts on their sleeves. They'll let you know if they like you or dislike you and have no problem doing so.
They don't do well with their government telling them they must goose step and go to war and die for reasons that are not personal to them. They'll gladly die defending their families. For most, they work in order to live well. They don't work because they are worried about the nations GDP or because another country outperforms them in manufacturing. They don't give a rats behind if Germany wants them to work more hours and wants to tell them what age they should stop working and retire. They've never had much love for Germans anyway nor Austrians which by the way are seen as the same people with a different name.

That's my stereotype for the day as someone who's lived in Italy

Glad to know your stereotypes match mine.

They were not like the Brits then, either, in fighting WWI for their “Empire”, King, or reputation. At least, not the average soldier or those not of the elite, who sought to gain more power and territory from the war.









[
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,577,242 times
Reputation: 6254
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeBeard View Post

As far as WWII, Italian leadership knew that Italy was not prepared for war. Il Duce thought the war was over when he intervened. He was an idiot as he did not heed his generals who told him they were headed for disaster.
That's probably the more accurate answer than the threads impugning the fighting ability of the Italian soldier or sailor.

Mussolini came to power with very expansionist goals to get Italy's place in the sun, so to speak. Unfortuntely, a lot of his actions put the country in a very poor position, given that Italy's economy at the time didn't have the industrial base to support the war machine for a prolonged conflict.

In normal times, Italy had to import a lot of raw materials, especially fuel. Once the conflict was on, many supplies were cut off or reduced - which hurt the Italian military's ability to train its forces and move them.

Their defense industry suffered from shortages of materials so that production could never really meet their needs. This worsened as the conflict went on.

Mussolini initially was hesitant to get involved in the war allied with Hitler, but soon his delusions of grandeur (to restore a new Roman Empire) and a FOLO (fear of losing out) got the better of him - and as a result, the results were pretty disasterous - as Italy was ill prepared to wage war - from a logistical and strategic standpoint
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,498 posts, read 8,705,702 times
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Look at modern Italy and you have the answer.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Saint Paul
890 posts, read 389,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
This begs the question of why they were so unprepared though. Fascists in Italy came to power a decade longer than the Nazis in Germany. What were they doing during that period?
Italy made the mistake of building up a powerful military in the early 1930s, but by 1939 most everything they had was obsolete. For example, their air force still had a great many biplanes, and their navy was vulnerable to attacks from the air and from submarines. Did the Italian army even have any real armored divisions? One source says they finally developed a "heavy" tank in 1943, the equivalent of the M4 Sherman tank, but only five were produced before Italy signed an armistice that same year.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:30 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,487 posts, read 8,490,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
They did a pretty good job in Ethiopia defeating Haile Sellasie’s donkey riding spear throwers. Things went downhill real fast though when they came up against a modern army.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Exactly. They had what they needed to defeat primitive armies in Africa. That's what Mussolini had planned for, not fighting another European war.
Only 20 years before WW1, in 1896, Italy had her head served back to her on a platter, courtesy of the Ethiopian Army.
The Battle of Adwa is still celebrated in Ethiopia today. It cost the Italians 6,000 of their 17,000 troops and they lost all their artillery and rifles It was a route. The Italians ran for their lives.

There are lots of moving pieces, including Russian involvement, and I will leave it up to interested parties to find their best sources. I can tell you one thing, though: The Italian mothers and wives were outraged! The action in Ethiopia was thought to be a simple affair against a much inferior foe. Finding that fully 1/3 of their fighting force had been wasted on a battlefield no one really cared about was hard to swallow.
I can imagine that the reaction was much like the US reaction to losing in Viet Nam - it would have been a little hard to get mothers and their sons excited about another "simple war".
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:28 AM
 
Location: San Jose
2,069 posts, read 628,262 times
Reputation: 2221
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Same can be said of that other Latin group, the French. Could explain why Prussia and later Germany kept invading and occupying that country most recently during WWII.

If the USA hadn't stepped in (again) things might look very different today for France. Even still that nation again is convulsing and heaving under another invasion; this time from migrants.
1.) The French had the strongest military in Europe for centuries. Much longer then any other European nation.

2.) Also the US were minor players in both world wars (In the European theater)
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