Mussolini's War series




 
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December 17th, 2020  
Marek Sobski
 

Topic: Mussolini's War series


Hello!

I wanted to introduce myself, my book series and its first volume.

“Mussolini's War” series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth. It will discuss in a substantive way the campaigns fought by the Italian forces on the ground, at sea and in the air during the reign of Benito Mussolini, the dictator. Reader-friendly language style, descriptions of previously neglected or unknown operations and actions, a lot of space devoted to the most important heroes of the events in question – the rank-and-file - all this makes these books dedicated to readers of all levels of historical knowledge and a guarantee of pleasant time spent reading. The painfully honest account of the weaknesses of the Italian military, in which however, we do not forget about the numerous examples of unprecedented heroism and endurance of the Italians, is based on references on the topic published worldwide, thanks to which we avoid mythologisation, which can often be noticed in other works. It is the first time that the subject is presented comprehensively in the English language.

Volume I is "East Africa 1940-1941 (land campaign): The Italian Army Defends The Empire In The Horn Of Africa" available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PC7FYMV (and every other marketplace)

When the Kingdom of Italy entered the war in Europe in June 1940, it did so only for a moment to hasten the fall of France and force Britain to the peace negotiations table. With each subsequent month it was turning out that the Italians had got involved in a war that was not going to have a quick and victorious end, and the state of their own unpreparedness for the conflict was shocking.

Due to the Italian colonial possessions, the war also spread to East Africa, so distant for Europeans. This is where the situation of the Italian forces turned out to be the most difficult. The troops fighting there, mostly consisting of natives, were disastrously poorly armed, trained only for the purposes of colonial warfare or maintaining internal order in the colonies, cut off from supplies by neighbouring French and British possessions, and the Italian high command lacked the abilities of waging regular campaign. The British Empire, too, began the battle for the Horn of Africa poorly prepared, but quickly realised the importance of this campaign, namely the safety of its own lines of communication across the Red Sea, the Nile and Africa. Having quickly mobilised its forces, it proceeded to eliminate the Italian threat in this part of the world.

This work presents in detail the campaign that lasted until November 1941, in which soldiers of about twenty nationalities from three continents fought on both sides for the colonial interests of Italy and Britain. The campaign in East Africa is not only about the frontline combat, it is also a brutal war between Italians and Ethiopian partisans. We also present issues such as the economic situation of Italian East Africa, the fate of the Italians inhabiting it, the history of the countries that constituted it after the campaign ended, and the Italian underground resistance, whose flame was smouldering up to the very armistice between Italy and the Allies.

Marek Sobski, a graduate of the University of Zielona Góra, is a historian. Author of several books (including some published in English like "Lictorian Fasces Over England. Regia Aeronautica In Action Against Britain 1940–1941" and the two-volume "Crickets Against Rats. Regia Aeronautica In The Spanish Civil War"), as well as articles in specialist magazines. Since late 2011, he has been a promoter of interest in the history of the Italian military in the first half of the 20th century, and his expertise has been made available to readers of the "Mussolini's War" blog and on social media.

Please wish me good luck!

Best regards,

Marek Sobski

January 30th, 2021  
Marek Sobski
 
Hi!


First review: https://comandosupremo.com/forums/in...823/#post-3114


In preparation Vol. 2: "Mussolini's Eastern Crusade. Italian Expeditionary Corps In Operation Barbarossa"



Color version of maps from "East Africa 1940-1941..." for download: https://files.fm/u/b8x6p4xrs



Photos of the book:

















May 31st, 2022  
Marek Sobski
 
Hi,

New release!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09ZV5QS3P

Next one (vol. 4): Betasom: Italian Submarines in the Atlantic 1940-1945 - scheduled for release in 2023!

The favourite weapon of Benito Mussolini was a bluff calculated for the intimidation of adversaries to force them to yield according to his will. This game of appearances the Italian dictator also practised in the military field. In order not to remain groundless, in 1936, General Alberto Pariani became the Secretary of the State in the Ministry of the War, and Mussolini managed the Ministry personally, and liked to stress the strength of the Italian Army in his cocky speeches, which, if necessary - according to him - would be able to deploy sixty fully equipped divisions. Reality, however, was very different, as for sixty whole divisions there was not enough weapons or even the appropriate number of officers. Thus, Pariani suggested that every infantry division will be reduced from three to two infantry regiments and in this wonderful way the Duce was still able to put a good face to bad game and claim that he had a large and well armed army.

The time of checking this view in a clash with reality, however, was approaching inexorably. On 1 September 1939, Adolf Hitler's troops attacked Poland, on 3 September, the Allies, Britain and France, supported her by declaring war on the Third Reich. A series of small conflicts and political tensions in Asia, Africa and Europe finally led to the outbreak of another war on a global scale. The Italian dictator, associated with Hitler by the Steel Pact, announced Italy as a "non-belligerent". Being aware that the country and the armed forces were exhausted by the costs of wars in Ethiopia, Spain and the invasion on Albania, he waited. He compared himself to a cat prowling for a mouse, as he must have had practically mathematical certainty that his attack would succeed and he would not be left with nothing.

The French armed forces in the interwar period had the reputation of the most powerful in the world, additionally protected by the widely-publicised Maginot Line. Moreover supported by Britain and her population and the economic potential of His Majesty's Empire, they seemed unbeatable. Therefore, it was a surprise to the world when German armoured divisions broke through the forests of the Ardennes and threatened the rear of the Anglo-French troops trying to rescue the Low Countries. After Sedan and Dunkirk, the Duce came to the conclusion that the time for his decisive leap had just arrived, after which his victim would accept any of his conditions.

On 10 June 1940, Benito Mussolini, while speaking to the nation, stated that Italy was in a state of war with the western democracies. Completely unprepared for war, the Italian Royal Army, in the dictator's intention, had to perform one serious effort so that he could then, as a victor, sit at the peace negotiations table and impose his will on the world. Italian soldiers, despite the collapse of the weather in the Western Alps, were thrown into a frontal attack on the Maginot Line. The Duce calmly calculated that a few thousand corpses would be a small price for a success that he would achieve. The Germans, whenever they undertook frontal assaults on French fortifications, were slaughtered. Could the Italians possibly fare any better?

The book is being illustrated by 8 maps and 94 photographs of the main theme of the work as well as photo album: Blitzkrieg in the Western Europe as seen in the Italian press at the time.

List of chapters:

I. Political Relations of Italy and France in the Interwar Period
II. Time For The Final Decisions
III. The Maginot Line in the Alps
IV. Opposing Forces
V. The First Fighting
VI. Operation "B" - The Battle for the Small Saint Bernard Pass
VII. Advance In the Direction of the Town of Modane
VIII. Briançon: Italian Attack On The Town-Fortress
IX. Advance Of The 1st Italian Army In The Alps
X. Battle of Menton
XI. The Armistice
XII. The Situation On The Border Of Italian And French Possessions In North Africa

Regards!



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May 31st, 2022  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marek Sobski
Hello!

I wanted to introduce myself, my book series and its first volume.

“Mussolini's War” series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth. It will discuss in a substantive way the campaigns fought by the Italian forces on the ground, at sea and in the air during the reign of Benito Mussolini, the dictator. Reader-friendly language style, descriptions of previously neglected or unknown operations and actions, a lot of space devoted to the most important heroes of the events in question – the rank-and-file - all this makes these books dedicated to readers of all levels of historical knowledge and a guarantee of pleasant time spent reading. The painfully honest account of the weaknesses of the Italian military, in which however, we do not forget about the numerous examples of unprecedented heroism and endurance of the Italians, is based on references on the topic published worldwide, thanks to which we avoid mythologisation, which can often be noticed in other works. It is the first time that the subject is presented comprehensively in the English language.
I have no idea how I missed these posts so I apologize for the late response...
You say
Quote:
series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth
My father and three uncle's served during WW2 in North Africa, Greece and Italy with one then going on to fight in the Pacific and my father because of his youth joined J-Force in Japan at the end of the war, I grew up on their war stories and in each case it was the same...

In terms of their fighting ability and mannerisms in captivity they regarded:
- Germans as very professional and proud soldiers.
- Japanese as phenomenally resilient fighters and rather sullen in captivity.
- Italians as all to willing to surrender and little more than beggars and thieves in captivity.

Now I am happy to accept that there were units and individuals who didn't fit into these views, both the Germans and Japanese committed enough war crimes to show this and I also don't doubt some Italian units fought well but I am prepared to bet that the majority of British and Commonwealth troops who served in these theatres during WW2 share similar views of their enemy.

Now those views might be considered racist but given that they are prevalent amongst those who were actually there I don't believe they are either myth nor unfair.

Either way I probably should read the books.
4 Weeks Ago  
Marek Sobski
 
1. The Italian army from Sidi Barrani in 1940 and the Italian army from El Alamein or Tunisia are two completely different armies. I plan to devote several volumes and several thousand pages to analysing these differences. So I strongly recommend following my work.


2. I have been professionally researching the history of the Italian army for 11 years and in WWII two obvious cases of cowardice happened to them: Tel el Eisa in Egypt (1942) and Kantemirovka in Russia (a classic example of "tank panic"). But I would love to hear more examples and discuss them.



3. The treatment of Italian POWs (especially in Kenya and India) is a disgrace to the British Empire.



Regards,


Marek Sobski
4 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
Strangely enough I never saw Kantemirovka as cowardice, certainly as you say there was "tank panic" but the defending Italians as I understand it were more a mixture of rear echelon troops with few front line forces but to be honest my knowledge of Italian operations in Russia is very limited.

Most of my knowledge of that battle is reading reports from adhoc Luftwaffe kampfgruppe defending airfields.
 


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