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Old 06-29-2013, 06:41 PM
Location: Saugus, CA
98 posts, read 98,695 times
Reputation: 14


I'm new to this site & I want to see what your opinions on this...controversial topic. Here's a basic overview.

Italy started off with certain disadvantages, such as half there artillery & equipment being from WWI, there resources being sucked out by Hitler & had been in many previous wars in the Interwar Years, most of which were Mussolini's fault for not improving.
Mussolini joined Hitler late in the invasion of France, which was smart, being that Germany lost the invasion in WWI & was seeing whether or not they would this time. They invaded with a forces twice the size of the defenders, but because of their route being through the Maginot Line AND the Apennine mountains, the invasion force was seriously bogged down. They still, however, gained some territory, to which they were only going for the Alpine mountains anyway.
In East Africa, Italian forces quickly took several forts on the borders of Sudan & Kenya, defended them well from counterattacks, bombed the rest of said territories, including Rhodesia, & tore apart British Somaliland.
In North Africa & Greece, Italy received modest gains. In Greece, reinforcements of reserve forces halted the Italian forces & split them in two, & as they fighting for a breakout, they were bombed out by the RAF, letting the Greeks fight off the rest. Meanwhile in North Africa, Commonwealth reinforcements replenished what was lost of the 7th Armored Division & launched a counterattack(Operation Compass). Though they were a much smaller force, they were going against a force of mostly infantry, being that this was the first time commanders realized what advantage Armor had in the desert. They lost a third of Libya, which by the way, took a lot longer to take back & conquer then the Italians did. Italy received reinforcements in Albania that doubled the Greek army, just as Yugoslavia joined up with Greece, seeing an easy victory. Mussolini then gained assistance from Hungary & Bulgaria, with some somewhat pointless forces from Hitler. Both countries were easily taken down shortly after. In Libya, they were sent reinforcements of Italian tanks, tank destroyers & the Afrika Korps led by Erwin Rommel, which evened it out & let the axis push forward
In Operation Barbarossa, the Italian Army did exceptionally well, they hijacked several T-34s & covered the German 8th Army's retreat out of Stalingrad. "The Italian Alpini are my Panzers!" one German General said.
In the Mediterranean, the British were put at a stalemate that was broken several times by the X MAS, Italian frogmen that bombed several ports.
Back to North Africa, the situation was back & forth, but with armor backing them up, they did pretty well. "The German soldier has impressed the world, but the Italian Bersaglieri has impressed the German soldier" - Erwin Rommel. They were eventually pushed back by a US & British encirclement, but Marshal Giovanni Messe held them back for months, but of course could not stop the inevitable.
The US had previously struck a deal with the Mafia & took further to help in Operation Husky. They sabotaged & stole the schematics for an Axis blockade, both actions showed why the US did so well & how they won. After the capitulation, start of the civil war & the loss of Rome, the Italian Army held off the Nazis long enough to have the Allies assist them. Along with help from what was left of the Italian Army, partisan forces freed several cities single handedly, unlike other partisan groups of other nations. Also, the forces that were sent into Italy were taken out from all over the Reich, including Normandy & the Eastern Front, which aloud both opposing forces to be successful. Being that the Mafia Boss Charles "Lucky" Luciano won the invasion which overall caused the victory in Europe, & later the Pacific, it was an Italian, or I guess an American, who won the war.

Let's see what you people have to say.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:49 PM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,016 posts, read 20,614,032 times
Reputation: 32529
OK Commando, your readings of World War II military history show a staggering lack of perspective, that is, a failure to grasp the big picture out of the bewildering proliferation of details in a conflict so huge in scope. For example, to exaggerate the role of Mafia boss Luciano to the point of saying he "won the invasion" is preposterous. Also, while some Italian units fought well in the Soviet Union, it is clear that they played a minor role on the eastern front simply by the fact of their small numbers compared to the numbers of German troops engaged. Also, there is a big difference between quoting some German general who was paying tribute to his Italian comarades-in-arms (as would have been required by common-sense public relations considerations) and quoting a German general who, after the war, was attempting a carefully considered overall assessment of the quality of Italian forces.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:37 AM
1,037 posts, read 1,095,449 times
Reputation: 622
Italian soldiers fought bravely in some battles. But mostly they had not will to fight. In Russia, in North Africa, etc. In Russia Italian troops suffered terrible casualties. They had not enough modern weapon and transport, their tanks was too easy to destroy, and the planes couldn't fight against soviet, british and american planes. They easily surrendered (e. g. Stalingrad, Bedda Fom, Nibewa Fort etc.). Some soldiers were trained perfectly and they fought stoically. Bersaglieri and Alpini. At the same time Italian partisans fought against German occupants. As we can see, Italian soldier could fight if he knew what he fight for.
In total, it was a big mistake to join the Hitler for Italy in WWII. Italy should was being neutral. On the other hand, it was a fault of Allies that they lost Italy, and had allowed it to join Germany.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:53 AM
Location: Miami, FL
8,087 posts, read 9,595,560 times
Reputation: 6650
Italian Commando you truly are trying to make a pig look pretty in your OP. While the successes of the Italian war effort have been seriously denigrated post war due to the preceptions established by British wartime propaganda and postwar memoirs there is substantial reason to consider Italy a considerably weaker and more vulnerable member of the Axis. They failed in numerous areas where local superiority should have posited success.

Every point you mention above could be matched by more relevant counterpoint.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:45 PM
Location: Saugus, CA
98 posts, read 98,695 times
Reputation: 14
How else did the US have so much quicker success then the British AND Commonwealth AND Colonial AND Partisan forces? They were barely off the coast as the US took half the island! Plus, the main reason they won was because of the consistent flow of reinforcements, which was easily allowed because the Mafia had stolen the schematics for an Axis naval blockade, which allowed them to maneuver though it. Also, the fact that the Mafia's against them is what probably killed their morale.
The Italian forces allowed for the German evacuation at Stalingrad, & while many prisoners were taken, their would've been a lot more. They also fought in Caucus, the furthest expansion into the Soviet Union. Plus, the Soviets had overwhelming numbers as it was, another skilled force is very important.
What are you talking about, many German generals were incredibly mean to their Italian forces, even if not to their faces. Many were even sore enough losers to blame Italy on them losing the war!

All the Axis suffered horrendous casualties in the Soviet Union, why are you just pointing out the Italian ones?
Maybe you wanna actually look at the weapon & armor statistics of the Italian tanks, because most a much stronger then the British.

M13/40 Valentine MkI
Main Gun: 47 mm Main Gun: 40 mm
Armor: 42 mm Armor: 28 mm

M14/41 Crusader Mk I
Main Gun: same Main Gun: same
Armor: same Armor: 40 mm

Main Gun: same
Armor: 50 mm front
42mm sides
Then how were the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombers and Fiat CR.42 fighters the best fighters in the East African Campaign!?

Well that's not insulting!!
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:16 PM
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 14,207,381 times
Reputation: 10162
Set against all this spin in Italy's favor is Mussolini's own ridiculing of his people as a weak, unwarlike race. They had some highly motivated troops--the Folgore, San Marco, Alpini, Bersaglieri and some more mainstream units fought well, but many were badly led and badly used, which would kill anyone's confidence and will to fight. They had some good equipment, such as the Autoblinda scout cars, Semoventes, a fair bit of the navy, and some aircraft that gave very good service--but most of it was outclassed most of the time.

They lacked a strong industrial base and the raw materials to fuel it. They resorted to poison gas to help beat the Ethiopians, barely captured enough of a mortally wounded France to build a soccer pitch, lost the main force of their fleet to air attacks in port rather than in challenge for command of the sea, came close to being thrown out of Albania by Greece before being rescued by Adolf, came close to being run out of Libya by the Commonwealth before being rescued by Adolf, did get thrown out of Ethiopia since Adolf couldn't bail them out of that, and promptly ditched Adolf for the most part as soon as the Allies invaded Italy proper--a sensible action, because Adolf evidently preferred to bail Italy out rather than help it build up the sort of force that would earn it the respect of a peer and ally.

In short, we never really found out how well a better-equipped, better-supported Italian military might have performed. None of those lacks were the fault of the Italian soldier, and it's unfair to blame him. But trying to repaint the overall Italian situation in a favorable light, as the OP is attempting, just doesn't square with the evidence. It comes from emotion and wishes, not history.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:05 PM
Location: Saugus, CA
98 posts, read 98,695 times
Reputation: 14
I've heard that old wives tale before, it's about as false as Mussolini hearing warnings about the economy & putting his fingers in his ears making noises.
The high commands of Mussolini & Badoglio & later Cavellero were horrible, but most of the commanders were average, along with a few great ones like Amedeo, Messe & Graziani who did exceptionally well.
The Regina Marina had a lot more modern battleships then the Royal Navy, plus, they doubled the Mediterranean forces. Both held half of the Mediterranean until the takeover of Greece, allowing naval supremacy over 80% of the sea. Plus, as for the British victories, you think they were only bailed out by the Commonwealth in North Africa.
As for aircraft, the Italians were the pioneers of long-ranged bombing, & their fighters were at least average.
That's because most of Italy's resources were sucked out by Hitler, they were funding the Nazi War Machine.
Enough of that crap! They didn't resort to using, they just used it, probably just because. You people make it sound like they were losing before they used it. They won 7 out of ten battles & the French predicted they'd take twice as long as they did.
They invaded France two days before the Armistice, of course they didn't take much.
Taranto only lost one battleship & one destroyer, along with another of both damaged, I'm pretty sure that's not even a fifth of their navy.
As for Greece, they only lost because of the RAF reinforcements, & the Italian reinforcements were twice as the entire Greek army, & along with invaders from the north against Yugoslavia, they didn't even need the Balkan reinforcements, little less the German ones.
For Libya, that's mostly what I was saying, but you can't possibly consider the Italian forces bad in a war with three on one. Rommel was just evening it out!
Ethiopia falling was because of all the force that were freed up because of the Commonwealth reinforcements in North Africa, plus, Keren falling was a matter of luck!
They turned on the Nazis, enough of this 'cowardly switching sides' horses**t!!
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:17 PM
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
11,260 posts, read 16,086,535 times
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Being that the Mafia Boss Charles "Lucky" Luciano won the invasion which overall caused the victory in Europe, & later the Pacific, it was an Italian, or I guess an American, who won the war.

Wait, so, "Lucky" Luciano won the war? What the hell are all these "Who won WW2?" threads about then?

Case closed, everyone.

Last edited by Magnatomicflux; 06-30-2013 at 05:28 PM..
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:00 PM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,565 posts, read 23,528,847 times
Reputation: 21188
Originally Posted by Italian Commando View Post
As for aircraft, ....., & their fighters were at least average.
That's why all the other nations feared them so...."Don't mess with the Italian air force, their fighters are average!"

Even with the extraordinarily positive spin you place on things in your summary, that still is an unimpressive record. They invaded France only after the outcome had already been decided....they "only lost one battleship & one destroyer" at Taranto. In Greece , "they only lost because of the RAF reinforcements."

The common theme is "lost." After unrelieved losing streaks, the recognition has to set in at some point that it wasn't the umpires, it wasn't bad luck or cheating opposition....it was that the other teams had better players.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:19 PM
Location: Saugus, CA
98 posts, read 98,695 times
Reputation: 14
I never said they were feared, & you even stated what I did say, which was they were average.
Technically, the common theme here is only, so stop trying to twist my words around & ignore the facts!
You could count to many players (countries) as cheating
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