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Battle for Northern Africa-interesting info

Discussion in 'North Africa: Western Desert Campaigns 1940 to Ope' started by Kai-Petri, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Italy and wartime production

    " Production of armaments and munitions either stagnated or declined after 1941. The navy took delivery between June 1940 and Sept 1943 of only 240,000 tons of warships, about a third of Italy´s tonnage at the outset. Capital ships construction largely ended, stalling key projects that included two belated aircraft carriers. Aircraft production peaked in 1941 and fell thereafter. When the plants the army had belatedly commissioned in 1938 for its new generation of artillery were ready in 1941-42, energy shortages kept production well below planned output. Capacity for one key although characteristically obsolescent item, the 47 mm light AT gun, was 290 units per month in Feb 1942, but coal and electricity shortages and industrial disorganization held production to 170, barely enough to replace combat losses. Italy´s overall production of equipment and munitions was enough to supply meagerly fewer than twenty divisions actually in contact with the enemy!"

    "Hitler´s Italian Allies" by Knox
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    That does not surprise me since Italy lost pretty much all of the sources of raw materials when it joined the war on the Axis side and Germany's promise to provide them did not materialize. Was there a bombing campaign against Italy as there was against Germany?
     
  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    "...the Italian Navy Staff had assumed combat only occurred in calm weather, and therefore did not discover until 1942 that key electrical systems and rangefinders on its Littorio-class battleships had little or no waterproofing...."

    On operation to Malta

    " the Comando Supremo estimated in 1941 that dropping the entire paratroop division ( then being formed, and eventually baptized Folgore ) in a single lift would require sixteen months´production of transport aircraft, not including production to compensate for the predictable losses in the meantime!"

    "Hitler Italian Allies" by Knox
     
  5. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Italian war production in WW2 was low, mostly due to a shortage of raw materials not bombing, it was actually far lower than WW1 production but those quotes look a bit extreme.
    The production of the SM82 (720 built in 3 years so around 20 per month) was high enough that 200 were given to the luftwaffe before the armistice, aidropping a two regiment division of around 8.000 men would require around 350 sorties, the capacity of the SM82 was 24 fully equipped paratroopers or about 4 tonns of equipment. So that figure seems to take only the SM82 into account and not the other transport types that did exist.

    I can agree the Regia Marina didn't expect night combat, the Littorio had four howitzers for firing illuminating rounds but no flashless charges for the main armament and no night gunnery training, but expecting good weather ... can you give me the sources? AFAIK Littorio suffered damages to her forward turret during the gale that followed second Sirte but similar things happened in most navies during exceptional weather.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Sure. It´s at the bottom of my posting,too.

    "Hitler Italian Allies" by Knox
     
  7. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Thank's Kai, I had seen that but was hoping on info on his sources without getting hold of the book, I should have written "did Knox quote any specific sources?".
    The low Italian WW2 production figures are still mostly an unexplained mistery, I'm beginning to suspect there's a "big picture" there that hasn't been much researched yet.
    I've found lots of "spot" info, for example a paper on recycling spent ammo cases for heavy caliber AA guns where it appears the production bottleneck was lack of metal or an "ufficio storico" report on the fight between the army and ansaldo/fiat against setting up a competing second tank production source, artillery production is also rather well researched while aircraft production is a mess (too many models and small factories) and shipyards I still have very little data about.
    The results, often inferior equipment nearly always in insufficient numbers, are evident but I'm still looking for a pattern on the causes assuming there is one.
    Every WW2 partecipant had some SNAFU in production but the Italian one seems to be on a much larger scale, and filtering the "insufficient pre war testing" episodes that happened to everybody from the really significant info is hard.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I´ll check on that source later on.

    The Knox book mentions that the Italians simply did not have enough sources ( minerals, coal, iron ore ) of everything practically, and the Germans did send enough coal all right, but according to the book especially the low input of scrap metal ended in lower production figures.

    back with more info on these soon.
     
  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I have some info on Germans shipments to Italy from a 1943 document (the data is broken down by year but as I don't know how to create an HTML table I will just post totals) the materials below were sent to the factories:
    Coal 40.477.855 tonns
    Coke (carbon for electrodes???) 99.859 tonns
    Ghisa (I think the english term is "pig iron") 306.145 tonns
    Scrap iron 397.830 tonns
    Steel 1.722.254 tonns
    Additives for steel (crome & tungsten?) 15.922
    Copper 37.413
    Tin 1.659
    Nickel 700
    Lead 21.432
    Antimony 487
    Alluminium 18.573
    (there are some more special items for around 100.000tonns in the report but I need a dictionary to get the English term right)

    In addition to that the following went directly to the armed forces

    220.000 tonns of aviation fuel
    421.591 tonns of oil for shipping
    352 vehicles (no details)
    404 engines (no details but most likely DB601 for the Mc 202 fighters)
    977 guns of caliber below 50mm (mostly 20mm AA)
    1.202 guns of caliber between 75 and 105mm (most of them were 88/56 AA that Italians called 88/55)
    220 guns of caliber above 120mm (?)
    240 81mm mortars
    1.420 G7e torpedoes, strange because at the same time the whitehead factory was delivering a lot of it's production to the Germans (maybe delivered at the Betasomm boats at Bordeaux?).
    Around one million mines and some comunication and electronic equipment including a few radars.
     
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  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Some DAk pics!
     
  11. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Always count on you Kai to post great photos! Well done.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Italian army in Africa :

    "Leave was infrequent, and until autumn 1942, despite the German example of tours of duty of twelve months or less, the Regio Esercito required that its enlisted men serve thirty-four months in North Africa before rotation. The troops inevitably came to regard themselves, as Bastico put it in early 1943, as "sentenced to remain until consumed." They were not wrong..."

    MacGregor Knox: Hitler´s Italian allies

    PS. Actually there is no spesific source for the "waterproof" part of the Italian navy systems... Otherwise quite many sources are mentioned.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    " During the long summer of 1942, the RA ( Regio Aeronautica ) flew 10,070 sorties over Malta, as opposed to 18,718 by the Luftwaffe. Of these , nearly 4000 were fighter sweeps by C.202´s. The brunt of the action was borne by 51 Stormo, which claimed 100 RAF fighters for the loss of 27 of its own."

    From Macchi C.202 in action by Gentilli and Gorena
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Lt. Gen. Lloyd R. Fredendall

    Ike was especially shocked by the dug-in, well-fortified and inaccessible command post (CP) so far from the front -more than 70 miles-and Fredendall's unwillingness to leave it for front-line visits. Located deep in a ravine that was accessible by a narrow road constructed by II Corps engineers, Speedy Valley as it was called, took three weeks to build and absorbed the efforts of a full company of men working day and night blasting elaborate shelters for the headquarters. It was, in Omar Bradley's words, "an embarrassment to every American soldier" and was contemptuouslytuously referred to as "Lloyd's very last resort" and "Shangri-la, a million miles from nowhere."

    Command failures | Army | Find Articles at BNET
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Some Africa pics. Streets of Benghazi and british (?) POW´s.
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    " In Albania, the casualty figures from Mussolini´s futile March 1941 offensive suggest that the Italin troops were at least as willing to die in doomed frontal assaults as they had been in 1915-18: almost 25,000 casualties from two corps, in six days, including 29 percent of the infantry and artillery strength of the lead corps. In their ratio of dead and wounded to prisoners of war- a key indicator of commitment to fight- Italian forces in North Africa rivaled their German allies from the beginning of the British offensive at El Alamein to the final collapse at Tunis: 1 dead or wounded to every 3.3 prisoners, against 1 dead or wounded to every 3 prisoners for the Germans."

    Hitler´s Italian Allies by MacGregor Knox
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    325th Figther Group

    325th Fighter Group

    They got their name from Axis Sally after they had shot down over 20 German planes during one mission. Axis Sally went on to say " We will remember you boys in that old Checkertail clan!" The name stuck.
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    USAAF MTO Aces of World War Two

    Herschel "Herky" Green

    He served with the 317th FS, 325th Fighter Group, 15th AF. Top ace of the "Checkertail Clan" with 18 air victories, (3 in P-40s, 10 in P-47s, 5 in P-51s), plus 10 destroyed on the ground. Total Combat Sorties: 100.

    Six Kills over Udine

    They arrived over the target at 11:45 AM, having climbed to 20,000-foot altitude. They caught a string of Ju-52 transports lined up for landing. The pilots of the 325th went down the string and shot them down. When came Herky around for a second pass, they were all gone! A huge dogfight ensued with Bf-109s and other e/a. He got on the tail of an Italian Ma-202 and shot it down, and later got a Do-217 bomber, which blew up spectacularly, probably due to mines it was carrying. During this mission, Capt. Green was credited with 6 enemy aircraft: 4 Ju-52 transports, the Ma-202, and the Do-217. Green was flying Capt. Buzz Hearns' P-47 instead of his assigned Jug that was in for maintenance. He was unaware that Hearns' plane was loaded with 800 rounds per gun versus the usual Group practice of 400 rounds. Capt. Green broke off any further engagement when he began to see tracer fire from his guns which was a Group signal for "down to 50 rounds per gun" or his tally for the mission may have been even higher. Green and his flight were credited with 15 aircraft destroyed. The 325th FG total was 38 destroyed and 6 damaged for the Jan. 30, 1944 mission, for which it received a Distinguished Unit Citation.
     
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  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Kalavryta Memorial

    KALAVRYTALand of Martyrs and Heroes

    Greece in the Second World War


    Massacres of innocent civilians by Nazis were a common occurrence in occupied lands throughout World War II. Some are only now coming to light in the public eye. Although the Kalavryta slaughter in Greece is the most heinous Nazi crime committed in the Balkans, it never captured the world's attention.

    In December of 1943 as a reprisal for the abduction and killing of 78 of their soldiers, the German army marches from Tripolis to Kalavryta, killing everyone they meet along the road. Another force from Aigion executes 42 men in the village of Kerpini and then burns it to the ground. In the village of Zachloros they murder 18 men and throw their bodies into the Vouraikos River, then burn that village too. They burn the villages of Souvardo and Vrachni before arriving in the town of Kalavryta, where they round up the entire male population and take them to Kapis' field on the edge of town and kill them, mowing them down with machine guns and individually executing anyone still alive. They burn the village of Kalavryta down before leaving and the next day burn down the Monastery of Agia Lavra, the birthplace of the Greek War for Independence, killing 4 monks and the caretaker. The Drama of Kalavryta" by Dimitris Kaldiris tells the story of the massacre. The book is an eyewitness account of the murders and contains interviews with some of the survivors. The massacre at Kalavryta does not stop the attacks on the Germans, nor do the Germans stop burning villages. By 1944 over 879 Greek villages have been totally destroyed.
     
  20. panzer kampf gruppen 6

    panzer kampf gruppen 6 Dishonorably Discharged

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    Man what a waste ammo.....I will never understand whats the point of this?
     

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