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Italy...

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Killertankkiller, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Killertankkiller

    Killertankkiller New Member

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    How did Italy fair in the beginning of World War II? Did they have Blitzkriegs? Or did Germany have to help them through out the war? I just want to know what Italy did at the beginning of war.
     
  2. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Well they did thump the Abyssinians without any German aid in 1935; but it was no contest. Essentially the Italians succeeded in bombing and defeating a nation of African tribespeople with spears and arrows. They also conquered Albania in 1939, again by bombing and shelling a much smaller, less capable nation and then moving troops in, although unlike the Ethiopians the Albanians did put up some successful resistance.

    During the war they took and occupied Greece and Yugoslavia, though this was done with alot of help from the Germans. They also fought against the British in Libya 1940, but were continuously defeated until ordered under the command of Rommel in 1941. The Italians were often a liability to the Germans, both in the desert and on the Russian front; in the Desert, Rommel was ordered to re-enforce the incompetent Libyan Italian divisions with his own Afrika Korps, detracting from his own strength when attacking Tobruk. In Russia the Italian 8th Army was annihilated during Operation Little Saturn in 1943. During the retreat across eastern europe German leadership was accused of sacrificing Italian divisions to better withdraw their own.

    Basically the Italians demonstrated that they were capable of subjugating smaller less equipped nations, but could not, even with German help, stand up to powerful militaries like the British or the Soviets. Their failures in ww2 have been attributed to poor leadership (the Italians didnt even use radios) and a lack of production and equipment quality. Italy only produced 3500 tanks throughout the entire war, all notoriously armored piles of junk. The only thing I would say for the Italians is that they demonstrated very good use of artillery (probably the best in the war), particularily given that they were equipped mainly with old WW1 artillery pieces. The British learnt that the hard way in the desert...
     
  3. Gunter_Viezenz

    Gunter_Viezenz New Member

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    Smeg I beleive you forgot to mention failure in the invasion of France which was done after Germany had alreayd invaded.

    But you are right the Italians were a liability to the Germany and their tanks, and planes were not of the highest quality. Thats why the Italaian tanks were refered to steel coffins or was that jsut the M13/40?

    It is also a myth that the Italians fought poorly during the war which is not true. They fought a brave fight but they were ill equiped, undertrained, ussualy poor leadership and the fact they didnt want to really fight a war.
     
  4. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    they had however a nice fleet. too bad that their cruisers were to lightly armored and that they lacked a radar. if they had, they would be capable to deliver a good punch to the british fleet at the start of the war.
     
  5. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    Actualy some of their fighters were world class, but too little to few. Mc-202, Mc-205, G-55, Re-2005
     
  6. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    The Italians suffered some stunning defeats throughout the war, one of the worst being during the Italian's initial advance into British-controlled Egypt in late 1940. Although outnumbered by the Italians some 200,000 to 35,000, the British managed to launch a counterattack, Operation Compass, and within several months managed to capture over 120,000 Italian soldiers and destroy around 500 of their tanks and 1,200 artilliery pieces. The British lost less than 500 dead.

    The battle was a rout for the Italians, but it did not kick them off the African continent unfortunately.

    There are a number of good jokes concerning Italian forces in WWII, including such classics as: Q: How many gears does an Italian tank have? A: Six; one forward and five in reverse.

    And of course (although this may have actually been said):
    Before Italy had declared war on the Allies, Hitler personally had some doubts about Italian alligence. Thus, he gathered some of his generals and asked them what the army should do in case Italy invaded. One general replied "We will need a single division in the Alps to hold them back." Satisfied with that answer, Hitler asked what Germany should do if the Italians joined with him. The same general said "Well, we will need 20 divisions just to prop them up."
     
  7. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    I have to apologise any Italians on the forum.
    When Churchill was told that Italy invaded France and thus become involved in war on German side, he reportedly said:
    "It's only fair. We had to put up with them in the last war."
     
  8. Killertankkiller

    Killertankkiller New Member

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    ha ha ha. Yeah, the Italians didn't seem so big in all of the Documentries I saw.
     
  9. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    In WW1 the Italians gave the Austro-Hungarians a run for their money...

    then the Germans arrived
     
  10. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    It is worth mentioning that exactly 2500 years ago the people living in central Italy kicked out the last of the Etruscans, eventually becoming one of the mightiest empires in history (that being Rome of course).
     
  11. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Didnt the italians defeat the brits in east africa ? , albeit , they outnumbered them , and the british commander decided to cut his losses and retreat.

    Regarding the tankers; They may have had terrible tanks(for gods sake, they were bolted together), but I hear they were extremely brave, attacking far superior allied tanks with their soapboxes of death.
     
  12. TISO

    TISO New Member

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  13. sonofecthelion

    sonofecthelion New Member

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    The Italian invasion of Egypt was quite a failure too, and it wasn't too long before it resulted in THEM retreating all the way back past Benghasi in Libya, so in that the respect the Commonwealth indeed won.
    Of course, things changed once Rommel and the Germans arrived, and the war became a see-saw, East to West, then West to East etc. finally resulting in an Allied victory, which allowed them to push very far West.
     
  14. bosworth gannaway

    bosworth gannaway New Member

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    Expand the Italian empire.

    In addition to his expanding the Italian empire in North Africa, Mussolini was eager to enter the war on the German's side since he had eyes on large parts of the South of France and hoped to negototiate with Hitler for this territory once France had been soundly defeated.
    BG
     
  15. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    Really ! How many spears & arrows can you get in the average Italian bomber then ?!

    :p
     
  16. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    :eek: :-? :) :D :lol: AUCH. This is cruel :grin: :grin:
    (now i have to clean the monitor and keyboard - lesson learned never drink tea and read this topic at the same time)
     
  17. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Im referring to the somailiand region of africa. I believe the commander said to churchill "a bloody butchers knife isnt the mark of a good tactician"
     
  18. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    I was reading a book on the italian militarey during ww2 and it said it had some success on the eastern front, albeit on the cotails of the germans, but they made a good name for themselves. In fact they lead the last big cavalry charge of the war.
     
  19. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    Not realy.
     
  20. merlin phpbb3

    merlin phpbb3 New Member

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    itie cavalry charge

    True, I think I posted it somewhere.
     

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