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DrG wrote:Dear JClough1981,
I had started to write a point by poit reply to Mailoni's paper, but probably it's a waste of time and so I deleted it. In short: 80% of what he wrote up to the end of 1941 is plainly false (expecially 100% of what is told by Fischer, a liar of first class, despite his "prof." title), 50% about 1942 and 25% about 1943. I can't judge for post-8 September 1943, but the number of casualties inflicted to the Germans at the end of the war quoted by Mailoni looks either inflated in a ludicrous way, either including a systematic murder of German PoWs.
Mailoni wrote a very good paper, but based on incredibly wrong sources and with a lot of, understandable, pro-Albanian bias (less understandable is the pro-communist bias).
DrG wrote:Leaving aside the usual "Roman Empire" stories, that had nothing to do with Italian foreign policy during Fascism, I underline that the occupation of Albania had little or nothing to do with Czechoslovakian partition. The causes were mostly economic: Zog's regime had been given money for more than a decade, and yet Italian companies were not allowed to develop Albanian economy freely, mostly due to the corruption of local authorities and Zog's ambiguous relations with both UK and Germany. The need of a new export market, closed to German economic expansion, and of the development of Albanian oil fields were the main drives for Italian occupation.
Italian military advisors didn't take any active part in seizing communication posts or anything elese, given that, at best, they were indiviual officiers without the power of capturing anything by their own force.
The Italian expeditionary force was of 22,000 men, not 75,000, and only the first wave (643 officers, 12,490 NCOs and soldiers) took part to the occupation. The second and third waves arrived when Albania was already conquered. This is just the first of the series of lies provided by Fischer, an author surprisingly unreliable.
The strenghth of the Albanian Armed Forces, according to Italian sources (quite well informed, given the presence of advisors) was of 50,500 men (including 4,000 gendarmes and 1,500 frontier guards).
The Italian tankettes were 125 (including both the first and second wave), not 300. Aircrafts, including 80 transport ones, were 384. Italy never had 12 battleships, as claimed in Mailon's paper following the usual lies by Fischer. Anyway, only two battleships escorted the convoys to Albania (Cavour and Cesare).
The story of the landing in Durazzo (Dures) is fully false: no first wave was repulsed, and pratically everything told is mere fantasy. The 400 Italian casualties came directly from Fischer's imagination. Italian troops disembarked directly in Durazzo's port, starting landing operations at 5:25 am and by 9:00 the whole city had been conquered. There were only some rifle shots from the buildings near the port, promptly silenced by the Italian torpedo-boats guns.
The whole occupation was accomplished, almost without fighting (I have several photos showing masses of Albanians cheering Italian troops and Italian soldiers and politicians walking in the streets without problems), with 12 KIA and 81 wounded among Italian troops.
The development of Albanian roads and infrastructures had little or nothing to do with future military operations, also given the fact that Italy never seriously planned a true war against Greece. The Greek campaign of 1940-41 was fought only because the coup d'etat that had been planned by Italophile officers in Athens didn't take place and thus the Italian invasion force, that should have occupied Greece without fighting, got involved in a true war.
Italy never interned 5,270 Albanians in whole WW2, the source of this inflated figure is probably mere communist propaganda.
Also the representation of Albanian resistance as if it were anything more than a nuisance (at least until the end of 1942, after the defeats in North Africa and Russia the rebellion increased) comes directly from pure propaganda. Just a few hard data: between April and mid-August 1942 Albanian bandits killed 12 people (4 Italians) and wounded 8 people (one Italian). Not even distantly a large scale guerrilla, or a guerrilla at all.
No fortifications were prepared in the Vojosa (Voiussa) Valley, thus no part was played by them in stopping the Greek counteroffensive.
Vasil Laçi's attempt to King Victor Emanuel III's life has been inflated by post-WW2 Albanian propaganda. Mussolini's govern didn't bother about such a small fact (De Felice's biography of Mussolini doesn't even mention the fact). Ciano, in his diary, even mistakes the name and ethnicity of the terrorist (he calls him Mihailoff, "a Greek-Macedonian"), tells that he was a lunatic driven by futile reasons and that "The King hasn't cared of the accident and has kept very quiet. It even seems that he has said to Verlaci [Albanian prime minister], who was seating on his side: "That guy shoots really poorly"."
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