One of my uncles who served in North Africa stated that he had a lot of respect for Italian Artillery. As I wasnt there I cannot confirm or deny, but yes I agree the Italians did surrender in their thousands.
Cisco makes a number of fair and reasoned points regarding the abilities of Monty. In my opinion, Monty was a very good Commander, as was Rommel.
Weird neither my father nor uncles had any respect for the Italian soldier of the period where as they all came home with a great deal of respect for the German soldier, they always said that when dealing with POWs if a German needed anything they ask for it other than that you would pretty much hear nothing from them where as the Italians begged for everything and anything.
I don't have a problem with the idea that Montgomery was a good leader as he was a good leader but I do think he was over rated.