Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart Quote - Page 10

December 21st, 2020  
Originally Posted by MontyB
Again I think this is a battle of semantics rather than a disagreement, what you say is true however that doesn't make the counter argument wrong either.
Market Garden is an interesting argument in that the plan was dubious from the beginning, ignored intelligence and it seemed to entirely underestimate the German soldiers will and capacity to fight all issues that I think can be attributed to Montgomery but on the other side of the coin it damn near worked.

I would argue that the Italians never had the will to fight and I would use both their attempted assault on southern France and Greece in 1940 as proof as both campaigns were abject failures, hell the Greeks had to pretty much form an army to fight them and still kicked the crap out of them.

In the end this has become a bit of a "which came first the chicken or the egg" battle as I think they are two sides of the same coin, a modern military requires a robust logistics system to keep it going but all the material in the world won't help if you don't have a force prepared to use it.
About MG : it could only succeed if the Germans decided to give up.Thus one can not blame Montgomery to found MG on this assumption .With the small forces available, the success of MG depended on the Germans .
About the Italians : they had also successes : the Ariete division took POW a whole British brigade and the Italian fleet succeeded to the end to supply the Axis forces in North Africa .
December 21st, 2020  
I find it questionable to label the Italian attack in South East France in June 1940 as an abject failure,or even as a failure : failure depends on the aim .And the aim of the attack was not to capture Paris, Lyon or Marseille : the aim was political : Italy needed some fighting and a few thousands of deaths to participate on the negotiations after Briton's surrender .

After WWI ,Italy wanted to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean,at the cost of Britain and France . This could only happen by war. The problem was that Italy could not win such a war . It needed an ally :Germany .Thus,it had to wait on a war between France + Britain against Germany and becoming a German ally at the right moment = when Germany was winning .But a DOW was not sufficient : Germany would expect Italy to fight and to have losses , not to win:Germany was convinced that it could win on its own . But if Italy wanted to have Malta, Egypt, Corsica, Nizza,it had to fight ,as Hitler said one year before to the Hungarians : if you want to eat, you must help in the kitchen .
In June 1940 Italy could only fight against France, an offensive against Egypt could not happen before the winter .And the only place where the Italian Army could fight against France was on the border with France, an attack against Tunisia in June was also not possible .
Thus ,that Italy was not advancing and conquered only a few square km of French territory was not very relevant ;what was relevant was
that Italy had fought and lost a few thousand of deaths .
And even if the attack was a failure, this does not mean that the Italians did not want to fight : Barbarossa was a failure, MG was a failure, the air attacks on Berlin at the end of 1943 were failures,,the U Boat war was a failure,the Battle of Britain was a failure, but that does not prove that the Germans and the British did not want to fight .

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