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Italians in WWII

Discussion in 'Italy, Sicily & Greece' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Truth,

    I am growing weary of this revolving exercise.

    Either start reading what the others are posting about the Italian armed forces and direct your comments to what they are actually typing and not what you imagine that they are typing or find somewhere else to spin your wheels.

    Also, avoid trying to get the last word with me. That is one endeavor you will not be successful with.
     
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  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Sorry to read that Falks thread got highjacked again. I thought it was quite interesting , especially as it had a positive approach of Italian troops and I don't think any us was Italian bashing here: on the contrary. Keep on bringing the interesting postings guys.
     
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  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    here a small contribution about the Trieste Division:

    Although the Australian and New Zealand Official Histories of the Second World War reflect very poorly on the Italian units, the "Trieste" Infantry Division played a very important role in the campaign, containing and defeating the Allied counterattacks in the initial fighting at El Alamein. On 14 July and 22 July 1942 the Commonwealth forces attacked Ruweisat Ridge. The position was in the main part held by Colonel Gherardo Vaiarini's 65th Regiment and Colonel Umberto Zanetti's 66th Regiment both from the "Trieste" Motorised Infantry Division and the 9th Bersaglieri Regiment. The battles which erupted between 14 and 22 July exploded British propagandist claims that the attack in the Italian sector would lead to a speedy collapse of the Axis forces. Instead of Italian troops being taken prisoners, they encountered fierce resistance in the strongpoint such on 17 July. The Italian High Command reported on this day stiff resistance in the battlefield and the loss of Australian soldiers and equipment:
    On the Egyptian front a strong infantry and motorized attack launched against the sector of the Italian Trento and Trieste divisions has been repulsed. The enemy left in Italian hands about 100 prisoners most of whom were Australian. [1]
    In the second battle the Italian 101st "Trieste" Motorized Infantry Division held off an attack by 23rd Armoured Brigade giving Rommel time to concentrate and counterattack with German tanks. The inexperienced British tankers came under furious anti-tank fire and turning to avoid it, found themselves in a minefield. 5th Panzer Regiment launched what one observer described "a real balaclava charge" and destroyed more than forty British tanks. The rest of the 21st Panzer then destroyed what was left of the brigade. The determination of the "Trieste" infantry and the resulting failure of British armour to reach their infantry in time led to the loss of 700 men. More than 2,300 New Zealanders were killed, wounded, or forced to surrender to the Italians in the two battles.
    Italian press reports cited claims by soldiers of the Trieste and Brescia infantry that some 800 soldiers were taken prisoners in the fighting:
    Yesterday stubborn fighting took place in the zone of El Alameet. The fighting which assumed particular tenacity has ended in favor of the Axis. The enemy has been everywhere repelled with counter-attacks and has sustained grave losses in men and materiel. Eight hundred prisoners mainly New Zealanders and Indians have fallen into our hands and 130 tanks were destroyed on the field. During that action the German Africa Corps and the Italian Brescia and Trieste divisions particularly distinguished themselves. [2]
    It was during these battles that Vaiarini and Zanetti were mortally wounded and, for their gallant actions decorated posthumously. (Paolo Caccia-Dominioni, Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Allen & Unwin, page 83, 1966). Taken from Wikipedia.
     
  4. THE_TRUTH_HURTS

    THE_TRUTH_HURTS Member

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    I have received red flames, a "warning email" and criticisms because I have expressed my opinions.
    Here I just headed to some WW2 propaganda like that one shown in the article " THE ITALIAN MILITARY ENIGMA ". People of this forum weren't included in this discussion, it was clear.

    If there is not freedom to speak here I can leave immediately this forum, no problem. Just say it to me.
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Hi the Truth Hurts. You have freedom to speak here but your freedom stops where other members freedom starts and as long as you respect the forum rules and other rogues and don't treat them as ignorants. Other members have made some points but your answers did not reflect their statements, it is as if you had not read the postings and the warning you have received is just to avoid that this interesting thread was getting bananas for nothing (not to offense you). You have given your opnion: fine , others have too. So let's proceed now, there is no need to start a tempest in a glass of water about the matter.
     
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  6. THE_TRUTH_HURTS

    THE_TRUTH_HURTS Member

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    Please read all my posts on this thread and copy and paste the sentences where I would have missed respect for the people of this forum. Sometimes I have opposed different opinions, but this doesn't mean to miss respect, but to have mutual freedom to speak.
    I have already said that I was speaking only about that propagandist article that enlarges a question making it more important than it is.

    Explain me better such rules, I am not english native and perhaps I don't understand them.
     
  7. THE_TRUTH_HURTS

    THE_TRUTH_HURTS Member

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    The hammer meant just to say that sometimes it needs long posts to explain some arguments, and long posts can be heavy and boring to read. Nothing hostile, don't worry.

    My culture says that the history and the facts are written on the serious books and filmed in the documentaries.
    The populist talks can't be considered important and nobody should have to base his culture on such folklore.

    Who has studied the history knows that ITALY WON ALL ITS MAIN WARS EXCEPT THE WW2 SINCE ITS BIRTH LIKE SOVEREIGN STATE, IT HAD AND STILL HAS THE WORLD BEST SPECIAL FORCES HIGHLY RESPECTED ALL OVER THE WORLD IN ALL THE ITALIAN MISSIONS and so such bad folklore can't have any importance.
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I agree with the first line Za but not the others :(.

    :feedtrolls-sign:
     
  10. Django

    Django Member

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    Paolo Caccia-Dominioni, Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Allen & Unwin....Thanks for mentioning it Skipper!
    A excellent book and a great source of information.
    Unfortunately I lent my copy out to a friend? and have never gotten it back:mad:
    I feel its a must read for anyone interested in the North African theatre, it should be reprinted!
     
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  11. Django

    Django Member

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    Wow, that was pretty in depth, thanks JC!
     
  12. THE_TRUTH_HURTS

    THE_TRUTH_HURTS Member

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    I see that the folklore continues to circulate instead that the culture of the history.
    It's a pity for the credibility of this site.
     
  13. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    If you don't like the place (a pity, because the other 6,024 members who made 223,166 posts till now seem to like it) why do you keep coming back then? Haven't you made your point yet?

    [​IMG]

    Don't worry Robert, that was the best I could find, but we'll make a decent thread out of this in the end ;)
     
  14. THE_TRUTH_HURTS

    THE_TRUTH_HURTS Member

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    I will do it, don't worry. It's useless to try to discuss freely if it is not possible.

    However to follow the spirit of this thread I suggest:

    YouTube - Benny Hill in the army

    Now let's discuss about what reasons pushed Benny Hill to show the british army in such way.. ;)
     
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Because Benny had a sense of humour and other personal qualities that seem to be lacking elsewhere.
     
  16. THE_TRUTH_HURTS

    THE_TRUTH_HURTS Member

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    Good to read this answer. So it means that I was right, this thread discusses a comedy written from an american in an article. I hope that everybody are aware of this.
     
  17. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    No, it appears the comedian is you but I don't hear anyone laughing.
     
  18. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Thanks. I thought it was very good also. One of my favorites. I thought it was a good read the first time I read it years ago.
     
  19. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    It was interesting to read Kesselring's views and observations on the Italian military and government. Especially this,

    "The ordinary soldier received--even in the
    field--entirely different rations from those issued to
    non-commissioned officers and officers. The size of
    the ration was multiplied according to rank, and larger
    amounts obviously also meant a better choice of good
    food. The officers ate according to their ranks,
    increasingly well and copiously. The ordinary soldier
    was issued the most frugal ration; had it been
    plentiful and good, the officer would obviously not
    have needed the double, or still higher, ration
    quantity. The officers, etc. ate separately by
    themselves, without contact with their men, often not
    knowing what and how much they received. Thus, the
    war-time comradeship, the main feature of which is the
    community of life and death, was being undermined...I
    have often pointed out to Cavallero, what a dangerous
    effect the above-mentioned conditions had on the morale
    of the men...I have personally experienced that our
    German field kitchens were being practically besieged
    by Italian soldiers, while I was eating excellently on
    the customary officers ration in the Italian officers
    mess".
    But Kesselring continued his unbiased appraisal with:
    I do not intend to expose deficiencies by making
    the above statements, but only want to clarify the
    reasons for the failure of the Italian soldier in order
    to give interested persons the possibility for taking
    corrective actions. I also do not want to deny in any
    way that the relationship ketween officers and men was
    nevertheless a good one".12
    Kesselring did not hesitate to applaude the "fundamental
    decency of the simple Italian man and of the possibility of
    progressively developing him into a good tough fighter and
    soldier". His appraisals of the Italian soldier's abilities must
    be considered very valid because he saw them first hand. He
    said,
    I have seen much too many heroic performances of
    Italian units and individuals--such as the Folgore
    Division near El Alamein, the artillery in the Tunisian
    battles, the crews of the Kleinstkampfmittel (smallest
    means of combat such as one man torpedoes) of the Navy,
    the crews of torpedo boats, the units of torpedo
    bombers, etc.--not to express this opinion with
    conviction. But the decision [outcome] in a war is not
    brought about by top performances of individuals but by
    the training condition and morale of the entire
    army. It is therefore wrong to represent the Italian
    soldiers and the Italian people all together as
    militarily inferior and unsuitable for a tough war.. In
    this context, Mussoloni and his former state
    secretaries are either guilty of gross neglect, or
    Mussolini is definitely guilty of not having desisted
    from war if he was aware of these precarious gaps.13"

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1988/HEG.htm
     
  20. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    "It is therefore wrong to represent the Italian
    soldiers and the Italian people all together as
    militarily inferior and unsuitable for a tough war.
    . In
    this context, Mussoloni and his former state
    secretaries are either guilty of gross neglect, or
    Mussolini is definitely guilty of not having desisted
    from war if he was aware of these precarious gaps."

    I agree with this totally. Regardless of what others may think.
     

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