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Old 11-16-2017, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,351 posts, read 5,946,167 times
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The Germans and their ally, the Italians, suffered some 30,000 dead and 20,000 missing in the Battle of France, so it is unfair to say that the French simply rolled over and didn't put up a fight. The problem was with French political and military leadership that bought into the idea of an impregnable, but static, defense that, as it turned out, was easily by-passed, rather than a dynamic defense in depth that was less vulnerable to pincer movements and envelopment. The Germans made the same mistake with the Atlantic Wall.
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:59 AM
 
Location: SE UK
8,904 posts, read 7,569,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
The Germans and their ally, the Italians, suffered some 30,000 dead and 20,000 missing in the Battle of France, so it is unfair to say that the French simply rolled over and didn't put up a fight. The problem was with French political and military leadership that bought into the idea of an impregnable, but static, defense that, as it turned out, was easily by-passed, rather than a dynamic defense in depth that was less vulnerable to pincer movements and envelopment. The Germans made the same mistake with the Atlantic Wall.
Great post! This is far too intelligent for this thread!
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:40 AM
 
Location: New York Area
20,767 posts, read 8,086,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easthome View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
The Germans and their ally, the Italians, suffered some 30,000 dead and 20,000 missing in the Battle of France, so it is unfair to say that the French simply rolled over and didn't put up a fight. The problem was with French political and military leadership that bought into the idea of an impregnable, but static, defense that, as it turned out, was easily by-passed, rather than a dynamic defense in depth that was less vulnerable to pincer movements and envelopment. The Germans made the same mistake with the Atlantic Wall.
Great post! This is far too intelligent for this thread!
We in the U.S. are making the same mistake now. After an attack like 9/11 we harden the airports. It's like generals fighting the last war. Hardening the airports and office buildings are creating "an impregnable, but static, defense that...(is) easily by-passed, rather than a dynamic defense in depth that (is) less vulnerable to pincer movements and envelopment" or other ways of bypass. The Israelis made the same mistake with the "Bar-Lev line" prior to the 1973 War.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:40 AM
 
12,687 posts, read 18,417,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
The Germans and their ally, the Italians, suffered some 30,000 dead and 20,000 missing in the Battle of France, so it is unfair to say that the French simply rolled over and didn't put up a fight. The problem was with French political and military leadership that bought into the idea of an impregnable, but static, defense that, as it turned out, was easily by-passed, rather than a dynamic defense in depth that was less vulnerable to pincer movements and envelopment. The Germans made the same mistake with the Atlantic Wall.
That about sums it up.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:58 AM
 
3,884 posts, read 2,413,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
The Germans and their ally, the Italians, suffered some 30,000 dead and 20,000 missing in the Battle of France, so it is unfair to say that the French simply rolled over and didn't put up a fight. The problem was with French political and military leadership that bought into the idea of an impregnable, but static, defense that, as it turned out, was easily by-passed, rather than a dynamic defense in depth that was less vulnerable to pincer movements and envelopment. The Germans made the same mistake with the Atlantic Wall.
Not to mention, I don't think any country on earth could have survived an invasion directly next to Germany at that time. Britain had the English Channel to protect themselves. The Russians gave up several thousand miles of territory before making a stand.

Put the United States, Britain, or the Russians in Frances same position and they would have lost too.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:32 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,431 posts, read 10,639,047 times
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Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
The poor showing of the Italians in WWII was nothing but because of that they weren't given the tools to do any better. Strip a WWII US division of 80% its artillery, 70% of its ammunition, 70% of its heavy weapons including machine guns and 90% of its motor transport, and you will have nothing but an unruly mob unable to perform anything else but sentry duty.



Nothing more ironic than Mannerheim, a former general in the Russian Army being the commander-in-chief of the Finnish Army in WWII.

Times change.
Sorry, I missed this post.

Ariete, you maybe right to some extent. I have read that the Italians were rearming early and the result by WW2, their military was equipped with outdated tanks and aircraft because there were great advances in military technology in the 1930s.

However, I still say that morale had a huge amount to do with the Italian performance in WW2. Also this is true with France and to a lesser extent the British and like I said it might be something to do with the memories of the mass casualties and foolish leadership of World War 1.

Keep in mind other nations were poorly equipped or supplied at times in WW2, such as partisans in Yugoslavia & Greece or the Japanese throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia. And the Japanese did NOT SURRENDER in the tens of thousands like the Italians so I really believe that bad morale was at least part of the Italian problem in WW2.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:41 AM
 
36,618 posts, read 18,832,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
The Germans and their ally, the Italians, suffered some 30,000 dead and 20,000 missing in the Battle of France, so it is unfair to say that the French simply rolled over and didn't put up a fight. The problem was with French political and military leadership that bought into the idea of an impregnable, but static, defense that, as it turned out, was easily by-passed, rather than a dynamic defense in depth that was less vulnerable to pincer movements and envelopment.
Pretty much. The thing is, looking at how some fortifications in WWI withstood assault (and locked down movement) movement for months, it must have been an easy mistake to make. Both sides looked at WWI and said "This changes everything."

France concluded that when even fairly simple defense lines (trenches, barbed wire, machine gun emplacements) could be held fairly easily and breached only at high cost, well - then a defense line built with every trick in the military engineer's book would be damn near invincible.

The Germans concluded that getting locked down in a static situation was to be avoided in the first line, at pretty much any cost. And embraced Guderian's ideas of using mobile armor formations to penetrate and exploit, with their flanks being exposed left and right (literally, I guess), and just considering that a calculated risk. Worked, too.

Quote:
The Germans made the same mistake with the Atlantic Wall.
Interesting point. I've never seen analysis on the manpower & materials used for the Atlantic Wall and how it could have been employed for a better mobile response, but seems as if someone must have done the math. If not - damn, there's a thesis waiting to happen.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,257 posts, read 20,411,730 times
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Originally Posted by LINative View Post
Sorry, I missed this post.

Ariete, you maybe right to some extent. I have read that the Italians were rearming early and the result by WW2, their military was equipped with outdated tanks and aircraft because there were great advances in military technology in the 1930s.

However, I still say that morale had a huge amount to do with the Italian performance in WW2. Also this is true with France and to a lesser extent the British and like I said it might be something to do with the memories of the mass casualties and foolish leadership of World War 1.

Keep in mind other nations were poorly equipped or supplied at times in WW2, such as partisans in Yugoslavia & Greece or the Japanese throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia. And the Japanese did NOT SURRENDER in the tens of thousands like the Italians so I really believe that bad morale was at least part of the Italian problem in WW2.
Yes I agree with you, there indeed was a problem with morale. But that was induced by simply awful logistics and armament. I remember an reading about an Italian commander in a fortress during Operation Compass. The Italian Army was unable to supply the fortress with anything due to lack of trucks, so their water became contaminated. Soon 90% of the defenders had cholera or at least diahorrea and fever. This was one of the cases where the commander decided to surrender without a shot being fired, as at least the British would give fresh water.

And a Russian, British, Finnish, Greek, Yugoslav or Australian soldier never had to ask himself "what are we fighting for?" And the Japanese were indoctrinated not to ask this question. But the Italians did quite often.

There are good youtube videos and they are bad. For all interested I suggest you watch this video by an Austrian military historian why Italy was in no position to fight any major power in WWII. What he reveals is quite shocking:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqoOk5nZEKw
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:45 AM
 
36,618 posts, read 18,832,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
Yes I agree with you, there indeed was a problem with morale. But that was induced by simply awful logistics and armament. I remember an reading about an Italian commander in a fortress during Operation Compass. The Italian Army was unable to supply the fortress with anything due to lack of trucks, so their water became contaminated. Soon 90% of the defenders had cholera or at least diahorrea and fever. This was one of the cases where the commander decided to surrender without a shot being fired, as at least the British would give fresh water.
I'd not be surprised if desert campaigns see a higher number of surrenders than campaigns in most other environments. The desert is a murder machine that will kill you stone dead in a matter of days if you don't have transport and provisions. Nothing dishonorable in surrendering if the alternative is dying of thirst. Nothing dishonorable in not escaping captivity into the desert, either.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:21 PM
 
Location: New York Area
20,767 posts, read 8,086,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
Yes I agree with you, there indeed was a problem with morale. But that was induced by simply awful logistics and armament. I remember an reading about an Italian commander in a fortress during Operation Compass. The Italian Army was unable to supply the fortress with anything due to lack of trucks, so their water became contaminated. Soon 90% of the defenders had cholera or at least diahorrea and fever. This was one of the cases where the commander decided to surrender without a shot being fired, as at least the British would give fresh water.

And a Russian, British, Finnish, Greek, Yugoslav or Australian soldier never had to ask himself "what are we fighting for?" And the Japanese were indoctrinated not to ask this question. But the Italians did quite often.

There are good youtube videos and they are bad. For all interested I suggest you watch this video by an Austrian military historian why Italy was in no position to fight any major power in WWII.
Also there is little scary about surrendering to the democracies (not including the USSR obviously). T won't abuse, torture or kill you. Surrendering to the Germans or Japanese was another story. And I'm not sure well losing returning soldiers were treated, even by Italy. It goes without saying that returning soldiers were treated poorly in Germany, Japan and especially the USSR.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_ZG6tRGMYk
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