About Why did Germany lose WW2? Page 82
|August 27th, 2012||#811|
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I enjoyed reading that- it will be interesting to see if anyone can form a logical rebuttal.
|August 27th, 2012||#812|
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Well, as I said before, my uncle Charlie was in the LRDG in North Africa and then he went onto Italy finally ending up in Austria. His remarks regarding the Italian Army was, they had very poor equipment, were badly led by their own officers, BUT their artillery and machine gunners were very good. As Opa stated the Italian Alpini (mountain troops) and Voloire (horse artillery) regiments during Operation Barbarossa was legendary.
I always give credit where its due.
Adversus solem ne loquitor
|August 27th, 2012||#813|
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However oddly enough the thread has derailed itself in some respects as my point was not really to stick the boot into the Italians as much as it was to support the argument that Germany lacked an ally that could genuinely back it up and that the time, manpower and material wasted in providing the backbone for its allies were a drain on resources in crucial times that they could not afford (especially in the 6 week Balkans campaign).
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
|August 27th, 2012||#814|
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I saw that happen, and I think perhaps it was a response to a kind of unconscious sympathy, or exasperation the ahem 'older gentlemen' feel at the old I.T's getting the boot stuck in them one more time because people think they were *******s.
Your initial points really didn't address or question any of the things which the rebuttals were made of though, so pretty poor debating haha.
I suppose if I was in the war but didn't work with them directly I might appreciate how horrible it must have been for the Italians. Everyone that did however doesn't have the time of day.
Well except for Brit's Uncle, but really how much time can you spend getting to know someone when your weekdays involve screaming down airfields firing the biggest guns you can strap to the bonnet of your land rover.
|August 27th, 2012||#815|
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What did Germany get out of Italy joining the Axis? info
A buffer zone that would not present Germany's underbelly to an allied invasion. While in our past, the Allies did invade Italy and marched north, it took a conciderable amount of time, and was concidered by some as a waste of time.
Another big consideration was the ability to to threaten the Suez Canal and Britain's supply lines to its Asian colonies. In addition to being able to threaten shipping in the Mediterranean from the Italian mainland and Libya, at the beginning of the war Italy controlled the Horn of Africa.
As it turned out, they lost the east African colonies very quickly and the Germans had to step in to hold on to the north African ones. But had the Italians actually been able to defend their possessions or even take Egypt, it could have helped starve out Britain faster.
And while the Italian army wasn't very effective, Italy's at least nominal control of several strategic points in the Mediterranean was a constant threat to British supply lines in the first years of the war.
Strategically, one big attraction to the alliance was the Italian navy. The Regia Marina was significant, both large and relatively modern, and it was positioned in the middle of an area strategically critical to Britain.
In the course of events, the British beat the Italians lopsidedly twice (Battle of Cape Matapan and Taranto), but we have the advantage of hindsight, they seemed formidable before these battles.
It's my opinion that, in general, the poor performance of the Italian forces in the war reflects not so much on the bravery of the Italians as on the fact that the average Italian did not want to be in that war. They were longstanding admirers of the United States (since so many had immigrated) and were horrified to find themselves at war with the US, and they rightly judged the idea of invading the Soviet Union as crazy, but in both cases were dragged into it by their German Allies. I imagine that finding they would have to fight a total war against the UK, the US, and the USSR all at the same time would have disheartened any sane Italian.
They did have more than their share of bad leaders. But most important of all, the Italian generals were trained to the trench warfare of World War I and were not prepared at all for the new style of mechanized war based on the German "blitzkrieg" model.
It looks like Italy's joining in the war was to a large extent a result of events overtaking Mussolini. Like many others including pros in the German military he had not expected the Big One to start in '39 and thus was only just starting to apply lessons learned from Ethiopia and Spain and planned upgrades including not just new gear but a new doctrine of mobile tactics; like many other countries their forces on the field at war's start were nowhere near their "paper" strength in numbers or equipment.
Once war was on, again following conventional wisdom he had expected the campaign in France to be a slower grind so he could be a valuable asset by merely threatening a southern front. But then France began collapsing fast and Italy was faced with a "now or never" choice to enter the war as an active combatant on his own initiative and be on Germany's good side as a reliable ally in his own right. Now that the smart money flipped to expecting that Germany would just roll over everyone relatively quickly, Mussolini risked having been a mere spectator at the critical point and Italy becoming just an accessory satellite subject to being itself preyed upon in due course. (Franco at least had the excuse of a nation in ruins to argue he was in no position to formally join the fight.) Once he was in, though, he was in for the whole calzone.
On paper the Italian military was a strong force, and specific units and pieces of equipment were up to the task so they could be an asset for specific operations. But as a whole it needed upgrading, had poor leadership (too much political and "social" promotion) facing an unfamiliar change in tactical doctrine, defective attention to training and morale, and lacked depth to sustain extended (in range and in time) fronts, not only militarily but also industrially. And yes, a lot of the force and the people, even from the start and increasingly more as it went along, grew to feel they were fighting in the wrong war. That really saps your effectiveness, and eventually his own government and army got sick of it and booted Mussolini from office in '43.
|August 27th, 2012||#816|
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However I really did not expect that it would break down in to a "poor Italy" argument, I would also like to point out that it is not only the Italians that bear the brunt of a poor showing during WW2 the French get pretty well lambasted for their failures early on as well but the Free French forces went on to be a very successful combat forces and by all accounts even the Vichy French forces put up a good showing in Syria.
Still I suppose I should attempt to put the boot in...
Lets look at Operation Compass after ten weeks, 13 Corps had advanced 800 km, destroyed or captured about 400 tanks and around 1,300 artillery pieces, and captured 130,000 Italian prisoners (including 22 generals), along with a vast quantity of war material. This was accomplished at a cost of only 494 killed.
Does this sound like an army that put up a fight or even wanted to put up a fight?
Seriously if every one of those 130,000 Italians had fired 1 bullet before hoisting the white flag I am pretty sure they would have hit more than 494 of the opposition.
The desert campaign is littered with Italian reports of inflicting heavy casualties on the allied forces hell in Operation BACON they even managed to take 1400 prisoners in a battle they weren't even at.
As I have said I do not really disagree with Der Altes assessment however I am not convinced that poor training, poor leadership, deluded dictators and a lack of desire to be at war negates the fact that they performed badly on all fronts it just explains why the performed badly.
Last edited by MontyB; August 27th, 2012 at 07:23..
|August 27th, 2012||#817|
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|August 27th, 2012||#818|
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Operation Compass.....This was one of the few times in the early part of the war where the UK & Commonwealth Soldiers came across another army that was more poorly equipped and more badly led than they were. The Italians had nothing that could stop a Matilda Tank, it was like our troops when they first came across the German Tiger Tank. Also Operation Compass was one of the few times that our troops swept right around the Italian garrison and cut them off and with out food and all the other things that troops need they had no option but to surrender
LeEnfield Rides again
|August 27th, 2012||#819|
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The threat to Suez would have remained as long as Italy had a presence in North Africa, Germany's underbelly was guaranteed by with a neutral Italy and Greece which was in the end completely screwed up by Italy's attack on Greece thus bringing the British into the region and lets face it Spain had a crap military and were tacit allies of Germany but were smart enough to stay neutral, no one attacked Franco to get to the Germans.
|August 28th, 2012||#820|
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Because Captain Edmund Blackadder showed up, along with Private Baldrick and Hugh Laurie. DARLING.
That is why the Germans lost the war. :P
Everyone comes into your life for a reason; some good, some bad. They shape, form and break us. But in the end, they make us who we are.
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