About Why did Germany lose WW2? Page 80
|August 22nd, 2012||#791|
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Well I spent most of last night reading a paper a friend had given me pushing the theory that Germany's biggest problem throughout the war was the failure of the Italians as allies.
Where most countries can rely on there allies to perform rudimentary operations it seems that everything the Italians touched ended up using up scarce German resources at crucial times during the war.
Examples of this were:
- Failure in Libya requiring the formation of the Afrika Korps.
- Failure in Greece bringing Allied forces back onto the continent requiring Germany to delay Barbarossa to deal with this.
- Collapsing in a screaming heap in 1943 requiring Germany to occupy Italy itself.
- I will leave out the Stalingrad connection.
So perhaps the failure of Germany to have functioning Allies who could provide an adequate military presence or a decent industrial infrastructure to help supply the German army (such as the USA was to the Allied cause) cost more than has been discussed?
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Last edited by MontyB; August 22nd, 2012 at 21:07..
|August 22nd, 2012||#792|
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The big problems faced by the Italians was very poor equipment and to little of it. There were times when the Germans had properly equipped a few battalions of Italian Soldiers that they put up a good fight. There were Italian Paratroopers that the Canadians ran into in Italy that gave a very account of them selfs. Also many Italians fought against the Germans and did a very good job. We have just buried a chap over here from the SAS who was carried by a couple of Italian women over the mountains on a journey of around forty miles so that he could get medical treatment for his battlefield injuries and with out their help he would have died on the battlefield, so running down a whole race of people for failures of a dictatorship is a bit over the top.
LeEnfield Rides again
|August 22nd, 2012||#793|
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It isn't "running Italians down" it is about recognising that Germany's allies were more of a drain on there resources than a help where as for example the Allies had the USA's huge industrial base to keep them in the war even had American manpower not been available the German economy had to pretty much prop up some very weak allies as well as support a nation at war.
As far as Italian forces during WW2 went I am sorry but for the most part they were terrible allies and to be fair the only help they provided the Germans was to clutter up the allied rear with POWs.
When you look at it I can find no praise from any German leader for Italian forces yet they seemed to have a high opinion of the Finnish troops and both Raus and Manstein commented that Romanian forces while poorly trained and equipped fought to their limit, I have heard nothing about Hungarian troops and all I know of Spain was a comment by Hitler about sooner having his teeth pulled than having to deal with Franco again.
I would be interested to see if you could even find an Italian that would tell you they performed well either individually (the Albanian, Greek or North African campaigns) or as German Allies.
Last edited by MontyB; August 22nd, 2012 at 22:00..
|August 23rd, 2012||#794|
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As far as I am aware Italians invented or at the least used the "Human Torpedo," which as far as I am concerned took a lot of guts..
1 November 1918: Two men of the Regia Marina, Raffaele Paolucci and Raffaele Rossetti, in diving suits, rode a primitive manned torpedo (nicknamed Mignatta or "leech") into the Austro-Hungarian Navy base at Pola (Istria), where they sank the Austrian battleship Viribus Unitis and the freighter Wien using limpet mines. They had no breathing sets and they had to keep their heads above water, and thus they were discovered and taken prisoner.
1938: In Italy the "1a Flottiglia Mezzi d'Assalto" (First Fleet Assault Vehicles) was formed as a result of the research and development efforts of two men - Major Teseo Tesei and Major Elios Toschi of the Italian Royal Navy. The pair resurrected the idea of Paolucci and Rossetti.
1940: Commander Moccagatta of the Italian Royal Navy reorganised the 1st Fleet Assault Vehicles into the Decima Flottiglia MAS (Tenth Light Flotilla of assault vehicles) or "X-MAS", under the command of Ernesto Forza. It secretly manufactured manned torpedoes and trained war frogmen, called nuotatori (Italian: "swimmers").
26 July 1941: An attack on Valletta Harbour ended in disaster for the X MAS and Major Teseo Tesei lost his life.
19 December 1941: The Decima Flottiglia MAS attacked the port of Alexandria with three maiali. The battleships HMS Valiant and Queen Elizabeth (and an 8,000-ton tanker) were sunk in shallow water putting them out of action for many months. Luigi Durand de la Penne and five other swimmers were taken prisoner. De la Penne was awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor after the war.
The idea was even copied by the British.
Adversus solem ne loquitor
Last edited by BritinAfrica; August 23rd, 2012 at 07:40..
|August 23rd, 2012||#795|
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I think you are missing the point, I have no doubt that there were some very good Italian units they were on the whole a huge drain on the German war effort.
To stress the point a bit further in terms of manpower according to Percy Ernst Schramm approximately 300,000 German troops were killed, wounded or taken prisoner in the North African, Italian and Balkans campaigns that is almost 1/10th of their total land force losses for the war due to failed Italian ambitions this does not take into account material losses.
|August 23rd, 2012||#796|
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Now as a starting point can we agree that the Italians were poorly led and poorly equipped. They had no decent tanks, no decent artillery, their machine guns were rubbish [thank goodness] and their air power doesn't even deem a mention. Mind you they did bring out a decent fighter but it was to late to have an impact. The Italian Air force did join in the Blitz against Britain and the whole lot where shot down on their first raid. When the Germans wanted transport or any thing else they needed they just took it of the Italians by force. Also the Germans shot thousands of them when Italy surrendered to the allies so that they could not fight against Germany. Now if you were an Italian just how hard would you fight for Hitler.
|August 23rd, 2012||#797|
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The problem here is that the Italians never fought for Hitler the invasion of Greece and Albania was purely an Italian thing that went so badly that the Germans had to bail them out, they tried to invade Egypt with 300,000 troops and managed to get there collective arses handed to them by O'Conner and his 30,000 troops to the point that they almost lost Libya and once again Germany bailed them out and then in 1943 they basically refused to defend Italy forcing the Germans to do that for them as well.
So just to be clear I can only think of one instance where Italy was fighting for Hitler and that was in Russia and they even managed to collapse in a screaming heap there as well which ended up costing the 6th Army.
So not only were they inept on the battlefield relying on the Germans to rescue them from disaster after disaster they could not even provide enough materials to provide some compensation for the materials the Germans were expending helping them out.
Last edited by MontyB; August 23rd, 2012 at 09:57..
|August 23rd, 2012||#798|
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So in effect their poor showing was generally down to bad leadership, poor equipment and lack thereof.
The Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia fought under General Giovanni Messe, who acknowledged the limitations of his Corps in material and equipment and thus was relieved of his command on November 1, 1942. When the Soviet offensive Operation Saturn began on December 12, 1942 the Italian 8th Army was quickly crushed and only about a third of its troops managed to escape the Soviet cauldron; notably the three Alpini Divisions Tridentina, Julia and Cuneense fought stubbornly and to almost their total annihilation to escape the Soviet encirclement.
In North Africa, the Italian 132 Armored Division Ariete and the 185 Airborne Division Folgore fought to total annihilation at the Second Battle of El Alamein. Although the battle was lost, the determined resistance of the Italian soldiers at the Battle of Keren in East Africa is still commemorated today by the Italian military.
Their poor showing on the battlefield was certainly not down to cowardice.
Last edited by BritinAfrica; August 23rd, 2012 at 10:28..
|August 23rd, 2012||#799|
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Good grief, so even the Italians admit they were a drain on German resources.
My argument has nothing what so ever to do with the performance of individual Italian soldiers but Italy's performance in general through out the war.
1. They failed on the battlefield for whatever reason in campaigns they started (Greece, Egypt, Italy) and had to be bailed out by the Germans at a time when those resources were desperately needed elsewhere.
2. Unlike Britain none of Germany's allies had the capacity to provide any worthwhile material support, all with the exception of Romanian oil were a drain on resources, material and manpower.
|August 23rd, 2012||#800|
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I'm not arguing that the Italians weren't a drain on German resource's, all I'm saying is, their poor showing on the battlefield as I have said before is due to poor equipment and poor leadership.
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