Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

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Phaing
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Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Phaing » 15 Mar 2017 20:27

This is something I posited elsewhere, and didn't get a whole lot of on-point challenges for. Some, but not what I was hoping for. Maybe the experts here can give me a run for my money.

The only point of departure is this; at some point prior to the late 1930s, there was a change in the Italian Officer Corps. Think of it as a Young Turks sort of thing, one that swept out the Old farts and brought more people like Balbo in, or at least a reasonably competent crew that could also be regarded as reliably Fascist and therefore no threat to the regime.
That is ALL.
No miracle of production/economy, no avoidance of Ethiopia or Spain, none of that. I am going from October of 1939, all changes and planning start from there. "You fight with the army you have", as they say.

I have looked at the slap-dash nature of the Italian military and its operations in WW2, and then at how Japan went about it. In December of 1941, Japan didn't have any aircraft or ships sitting idle wondering what to do, and it was all about proper planning.
Like the Italians, the Japanese had poor logistics, some good (and some not very good) aircraft, lousy small-arms and artillery, horrible tanks and a navy that looked good on paper but which proved to be brittle in action.
Without question, Japanese esprit was much higher, but the main factor in that is winning victories.

The most shocking Italian deficiency was in their planning for war, they just didn't do any of that sort of thing!
Yes, the decision to enter the war was purely Political and based on short-term gains, pure greed, in other words. However, that does not excuse the Military from setting up some operational plans to cover that eventuality. After October of 1939 (let's start there) Italy knew it would be a real war and they knew what side they would be on. If they had started formulating plans at that point, and done a good job of it, they would have had a much better chance of forcing an early decision... which would have been the only way they could win.

Italy could have attacked the following places simultaneously on June 10th; France (the only one they did) and Tunisia, Malta, Cyprus, British Somalia, Aden, Kenya and the Sudan.

And I can back that up, they had the forces to do all that.

Yes, the material situation in Italy was bad,In fact, it is ever worse than you may think, in many ways. More about that later, but I still believe that Italy could have entered the war like a Bull in a China shop and perhaps have knocked Britain out of the war with either shock by September of 1940, or by making the war effort itself impossible by the end of that year.

How?
Well, the first one ain't gonna be easy. Of all the nations involved in the war, Britain was the least susceptible to psychological warfare. What Italy would have to do is set up a purely defensive front in the central Med., and a fully offensive one in the Eastern Med. This is feasible, especially in the Summer of 1940.
I have a source below that shows 125 Destroyers and Frigates ("torpedo" boats) vs. 35 for the RN down there, and 113 Submarines. A 40/60 split west/East for the DDs and 60/40 Split in the same way for Subs leaves a good reserve and makes for impressive force in itself... and we have not even gotten into the Heavy units and shore-based airpower yet.

If operations are planned correctly, using shipping instead of trucks (which they were short of) for most logistical operations it could have saved them a lot of fuel.

And fuel was a killer, they were only getting about 600 tons per month out of Albania and had no other internal sources, just Romania. However, this is weird; when the Germans occupied Italy, they found about 100,000 tons stashed away in various hoarded supplies here & there.

Here is my take on it; an all-out push to get it over with quickly seems more in character and more likely than what actually happened; Italy sticking to a grinding war of attrition for three years and only giving up in September of 1943.
How could they last so long under those conditions, and yet never gird their loins for a serious push?
here is a vid that got me thinking-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqoOk5nZEKw&t=253s

I will be referring to it a lot.

Notice how the air force went from less than 50% readiness in Sept 1939 to 75% in June of 1940?
Clearly, somebody in Italy could see the writing on the wall, and could take appropriate measures.
Why not the rest of them?

At 4 minutes, the number and state of Italian Army Divisions is shown, and I intend to have some fun with that, but since I was talking about the Navy too, here is something interesting-

http://www.icsm.it/regiamarina/redsea.htm

Now, I don't intend to boost that force at all, the only thing I would do is send more guns so the DDs don't have to give up anything. But a considerable amount of mischief could be done with that stuff, especially on the first day of the war. They mention that there are about 50 merchant ships trapped in Massawa (Eretria), and that is more than enough to transport enough men to take Aden, and to dump a bunch of mines all over the place.
THAT is the kind of thing I am talking about; Planning ahead of time to maximize the impact of what you have.

That was a lot in one go, more later.

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Kingfish » 16 Mar 2017 00:37

What do you mean by won it?

Just to hit on a couple of points:

What is the gain for attacking Tunisia? The loss is obvious - war with Vichy France, and possible intervention of the very powerful French Mediterranean fleet.

As for the others, attacking is one thing, holding quite another. You can pretty much forget about Cyprus with the British eastern fleet less than a day's sailing time away, and again the question of gain arises - what is it?
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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by stg 44 » 16 Mar 2017 01:11

This has a what if plan for the Italian army in Libya in 1940:
http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRec ... =ADA367611

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Phaing » 16 Mar 2017 03:15

Maybe that post was too long...

Kingfish wrote:What do you mean by won it??
This is a plan designed for the opening dayof the war, which historically was June 10th 1940. But, instead of hindsight, let us imagine ourselves on the Italian General Staff at the end of 1939. Lets try to use foresight.

This plan could be one of a number of them, THIS one is aimed at solving the oil shortage, or getting around it by striking a psychological blow that knocks Britain out of the war in 3 months, or destroys the ability of the Empire as a whole to continue with waging the war.
The objective is to threaten, or take, the oilfields at the head of the Persian Gulf.

...and yes, we are open to a separate peace that gets Italy the best possible deal. 8-)
Hey, this is Fascist Italy, they didn't ask for Hitler's permission to get involved and they sure don't need it to leave. Not if they can do it with a winning hand.

Fantastic? Maybe, lets hash it out. For instance how many people know that Italy bombed Bahrain, in 1940 ?

stg 44 wrote:This has a what if plan for the Italian army in Libya in 1940:
http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRec ... =ADA367611
That is amazing... and very strange that they didn't make use of that. Was Graziani going senile already? Very little of what he did makes any sense, unless he was trying to sabotage his own war effort.
Yet another reason that in order to make any of this happen, younger and more motivated officers are required.


So, I said that you have to fight with the Army you have, but that does not mean it can't be re-organized in a more rational way.


The video above says that Italy had 67 Divisions in 1939 as follows;
43 x Infantry Divs, 3 x Tank, 2 Motorized, 3 x "Fast", 5 x Mountain and 11 x "Other" Divisions.... one of those must have been Airborne and the rest probably Static Defense.

(This is outside of what was in East Africa. More about that later.)

In 1940, we don't get that breakdown. Instead we have 73 Divs with the following handicaps;
19 x at full strength
34 x with shortfalls of men and transport
20 x were at half strength in manpower and trucks, and had "significant" shortages of equipment, including artillery.

One easy move is to take those last 20 and reduce them to 10 Divs, and now you have 10 + 19 to give you 29 full-strength Divisions.
This is your Expeditionary Corps. THIS is what you can go adventuring with, the rest is strictly for defending what you already have; Italy including Sardinia and Sicily, Albania, Rhodes and Libya.

Now we get to the part about 2 Regiments vs 3. This gets a little complicated,



29 at full strength

3 x Tank, 2 Motorized, 3 x "Fast", 5 x Mountain, 1 x Paratroop Div. (14)
15 x Infantry—Reduces to 10 Divisions for Trianary Organization.

1st Mech Corps; 1 x Tank, 1 x Motorized, 1 x Infantry {towards France}

2nd Mech Corps; 1 x Tank, 1 x Motorized {Africa}

3rd Mech Corps; 1 x Tank, 2 x Fast ‘Brigades’ {Africa}

4th, 5th, 6th Corps; 3x Infantry Div.s Each {North Italy towards France, 2 x Africa,}

7th Mountain Corps; 3 x Divs {towards France}

Independant-
1 x Parra Div. (or Division-sized gathering of Paratroop Regiments/Battalions), 1 x Fast ‘Brigade’, 2 x Mountain Divs that are unassigned at this point


And now for the other Divisions…. 34 at approx. 75%


10 x "Other" Divisions.
Static Defense; 10 Div. (Sicily; 1, Sardinia; 2, North Italy; 2, South Italy; 2, Albania; 1, Libya; 2)

This bbrings us down to 24-28 x Infantry Div.

Reorganize to ; 16 Trianary Divs* + 4 “Reservist” Divisions in training/Home Garrisons (Rome, Taranto, Milano, Tripoli)

* 16 reduces to 12 for full Strength…. OR, my recommendation- Reduce to 9 at full strength and 3 x five-battalion “Divisions” for Naval Landing units. with training and naval advisors. A Marine Corps, in fact.

8th, 9th, 10th Corps; 3 Divs Each, (East, Central, West)
East= Albania & Rhodes (+ Cyprus)
Central = mid-south Italy
West = Sardinia & Sicily


ATTACK ASSIGNMENTS -

Cyprus; 1 x Marine Div., 1 x Fast Brigade, 1 x Inf Div, (East Corps)

Malta; 1 x Marine Div, 1 x Paratroop Div.

France; 1st Mech Corps, 7th Mountain Corps, 4th Corps {inf}, 1 x Marine Div. (a total of ten Divs)

Libya; towards Tunisia; 5th Corps. towards Egypt; 2nd & 3rd Mech Corps, 6th Corps.
One Fast Division detached to probe Sudan towards Khartoum.


I'll tackle the Navy and various ops next. Does a reorganization like this seem feasible? Having only ten corps is a little frightening, but they are very nice Corps and a slight surplus in equipment has been created... a very unusual thing for Italy.
And you still have 14 understrength Divisions ready to be built up, two of those being the Libyan Divisions.
Last edited by Phaing on 16 Mar 2017 03:19, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by stg 44 » 16 Mar 2017 03:17

You play Hearts of Iron, don't you?

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Phaing » 16 Mar 2017 03:21

stg 44 wrote:You play Hearts of Iron, don't you?
I gave up on Computer games about a dozen years ago.
But I might get my old non-Apple machine up and running again, Decisive Campaigns looks very tempting.

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Kingfish » 16 Mar 2017 14:53

Phaing wrote:This plan could be one of a number of them, THIS one is aimed at solving the oil shortage, or getting around it by striking a psychological blow that knocks Britain out of the war in 3 months, or destroys the ability of the Empire as a whole to continue with waging the war.
The objective is to threaten, or take, the oilfields at the head of the Persian Gulf.
I don't think you are grasping the magnitude of what it would take for Italy to get to, let alone threaten, let alone take, the Persian oilfields. Even if we were to assume a successful campaign to capture the Suez delta region, there is still 2300 kilometers of inhospitable desert to cross before you get to the shores of the Persian gulf at Kuwait city. Just to put that in perspective, that is further than Warsaw to Stalingrad.

No matter how you rearrange the chess pieces Italy simply wasn't capable of conducting that kind of campaign.

BTW, knock Britain out of the war in 3 months?
Really?
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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Dili » 16 Mar 2017 19:34

No Italy could did not do that and was dependent of coal either from Germany or English, otherwise people would starve. The energy problem is not fixable.

Btw Italian divisions are 2 regiments while everyone else had 3 regiments.

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 17 Mar 2017 03:34

Dili wrote:Btw Italian divisions are 2 regiments while everyone else had 3 regiments.
Not always. Some Italian divisions did have three regiments. Some Indian divisions in the British Army also had two. The Germans had lots of divisions with just 2 regiments, mostly used for static coast defense or occupation duties.

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Phaing » 17 Mar 2017 20:40

Kingfish wrote: I don't think you are grasping the magnitude of what it would take for Italy to get to, let alone threaten, let alone take, the Persian oilfields....
I'm just getting started, stay tuned for the full plan.
Kingfish wrote:BTW, knock Britain out of the war in 3 months?
Really?
Psychologically, yes.
Remember, I am trying to use foresight based on what the outlook may have been at that time, instead of the hindsight we use today.

Now, as I said, Britain was less liable to let that effect them than any other major combatant in that war, so if the shock & awe does not get them, then the plan is to up the ante to an intolerable level in 6 months.


Since there is no argument against that reorganization (and I did assume all regular infantry Divisions to be 2 Regiment units (see above), lets move on to Operations that form the opening blows-

ONE KEY ITEM; The military must insist on 72 hours advanced warning from Mussolini before a declaration of war. A 'war-warning' to use German terminology.
Going with a historical start date of June 10th, here is why we need that-

June 8th; Ships suitable for Army use commandeered at Massawa, Eritrea, and loading begins (there were 50 merchant ships trapped there, a dozen of those should have been suitable, at the very least) .
Other task forces are readied for departure in the Med.

June 9th;
Noon; Mine-laying operations begin in Italian waters, task forces assemble, intensive fighter patrols are launched to drive away enemy recon
aircraft.

1600; Ultimatum handed to France and Britain, war will commence on June 10th.

1900; Task forces depart from Rhodes and Italy.


June 10th, D-Day

Unrestricted Submarine warfare commences.

2405; Artillery fire and raiding parties go forward along the frontier with France and Tunisia. At the later place, the attack is noisy but mainly a demonstration/probing attack. In France proper, it is the opposite. Forces go forward with as much stealth as possible, only calling for artillery when enemy concentrations are located. There will be no bombing raids on Metropolitan France.
At the same time, the attack into Egypt begins.

0300; after an hour of bombing raids and 30 minutes of naval bombardment, Paratroopers descend on Malta. Two hours later, a Marine Division begins landing.
Obsolete older Bombers begin raids on all fronts that last until dawn, including Cyprus and Aden.

Dawn (times vary)
Aden; 3,000 Italian and 7,000 Colonial troops land under cover of naval gunfire. One hour later, two squadrons of SM 79 bombers will provide direct support.
Cyprus; 3 x Divisions begin to land at Paphos and North Cyprus.


Something quick about the Navy;

Concentration of force seems to work well for the Panzers, let’s see if that is also good for the warships.

Leading off are 3 x Heavy groups with; 2 x BBs or BCs , 3 x Light Cruisers, 8 x DDs.

2 x Heavy Cruiser Divs with 3 x CAs, 1 x CL and 6 x DDs.

10 x DD Divisions of 8 x DDs each. (Most are convoy escorts or paired with Heavy units)

This leaves 1 x CA and 19 x DDs as standby reserve or down for maintenance…. or on solitary patrol.


The western Med will be walled off by mines, MTBs, Subs and aircraft, as well as a few of the smaller DDs.


Malta- 1 x Heavy group, 1 x DD Division

Cyprus- 1 x Heavy group, 1 Cruiser Div, 2 x DD Divisions

Monaco- 1 x Heavy group, 1 x Cruiser Div, 1 x DD Division (suggested fake landing, to draw the French into an ambush)

So… which group gets the big Littorios with the 15” Guns?

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Kingfish » 18 Mar 2017 02:01

A couple of more points:

Again I ask, what is the gain, or purpose, for the attack on France and its North African possessions?
Isn't knocking the British out of the war in 3 months (improbable as that is) the intended goal of this WI?
In a theater where naval power basically dictates overall strategy why risk doubling the allied strength in one fell swoop?

Re: the attack on Aden, total strength of their Red Sea Flotilla was:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Sea_F ... _of_battle

The British could easily gain naval superiority in the region, especially if these ships were tied to escorting duties. Remember, it isn't enough to simply land troops at Aden. You have to factor in a constant supply from Massawa.

Re: Cyprus, as with Aden, the Italians need to support these landings against an overwhelming British response. The Royal navy strength in the Eastern Med was 4 battleships and 1 carrier. If the French decide to join the party they could add another battleship and 4 cruisers. Add to that complete air superiority from allied air bases in Palestine and the Levant. Bottom line: any move against Cyprus would be suicidal.

BTW, I count 135 DDs in your Italian order of battle. Where did you get that number?
This site: http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsStartMed.htm puts the number at 52 + 60 MTBs. Even if we combined the two (and the latter are not suitable for all operations) the number still comes up short.
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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Takao » 18 Mar 2017 02:39

Kingfish wrote:BTW, I count 135 DDs in your Italian order of battle. Where did you get that number?
This site: http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsStartMed.htm puts the number at 52 + 60 MTBs. Even if we combined the two (and the latter are not suitable for all operations) the number still comes up short.
The large torpedo boats mentioned are not MTBs, but more akin to destroyer escorts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariete-class_torpedo_boat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclone-c ... rpedo_boat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spica-class_torpedo_boat

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Phaing » 18 Mar 2017 04:02

Thank you for the good questions!
I feel like Sherlock Holmes finally getting to confront Professor Moriarty.... or maybe it's the other way around? :?

Kingfish wrote:A couple of more points:

Again I ask, what is the gain, or purpose, for the attack on France and its North African possessions?

Simple answer; Greed.
Long answer; Think of this as one branch of several possible plans. The problem is, units as large as Divisions have to be pre-positioned, and so does the fleet. No matter what version you go for there will be certain units that really only have one place to attack. And since declaring war on one or the other must automatically trigger war with the other, both France and Britain have to be kept busy, somehow.
And then there is the whole issue of selling this to Mussolini. If he is going to jump into this to take advantage of France's imminent collapse, you have to at least try to give him some French acreage.


Isn't knocking the British out of the war in 3 months (improbable as that is) the intended goal of this WI?
In a theater where naval power basically dictates overall strategy why risk doubling the allied strength in one fell swoop?

For that reason all the MTBs, +60% of the subs and most torpedo planes are in the west end to cover the mines that have just been laid.

The British could easily gain naval superiority in the region, especially if these ships were tied to escorting duties. Remember, it isn't enough to simply land troops at Aden. You have to factor in a constant supply from Massawa.

Yes, I have something on that down below, all about the Italian Red Sea Fleet.... but what about an exact run-down on everything the RN had there at that time? I have never seen one on what was there on June 10th, or a little later.

Re: Cyprus, as with Aden, the Italians need to support these landings against an overwhelming British response. The Royal navy strength in the Eastern Med was 4 battleships and 1 carrier. If the French decide to join the party they could add another battleship and 4 cruisers. Add to that complete air superiority from allied air bases in Palestine and the Levant. Bottom line: any move against Cyprus would be suicidal.
No, it is keeping with a deliberate plan. I think that I have seen the weakness in the British Empire's posture in the world; poorly guarded bases.
There were only 2 Battalions worth of fighting men on Cyprus at the time, and I think you know that Malta was in a similar predicament. That won't last long, you have to go after the key posts quickly, and accept some risks.
And Italian bombers did strike the Levant, several times, as well as Egypt.

And that Carrier had 1 Fighter and 20 Swordfish on it at this time (thank you, Mr. Gardener!)
BTW- yes, the Italians called small DDs and what we would call Frigates "Torpedo Boats", something they had in common with the Germans and IDK how many other European navies at that time.


Some details about the Red Sea fleet-

The Navy was sometimes said to be the best of the three Italian services. They certainly got the best of the budget, but what about a theater that Commando Supremo can’t seem to have made their mind up about?
Honestly, what the whole theater expendable, or something else? They don't seem to have made up their minds.

There were eight big, powerful submarines there, and I will get those out of the way first because they are hunter-killers instead of an integral part of a fleet on the offensive, and I don’t think that Staff Planning will have any chance to help them.
The Italian Subs had a problem with their air re-conditioning systems. Given a rough shock, they would flood the sub with poison gas, and this was not known until they entered combat! In June they went out expecting easy pickings and instead they ran into the RN head-on. Half the Subs were gone by the end of the month, 2 were sunk, one ran aground and had to be scuttled, and another was captured. However, one of them showed some serious back-bone and fought it out on the surface with a RN gunboat and three Destroyers. They managed to sunk the gunboat and damage a Destroyer badly before anyone said ‘abalone ship!’. This isn’t the most incredible thing Italian Subs ever did, some of those things had TWO deck guns, and they were 100mm guns, not the 88mm ones that the Germans liked so much.
The most amazing thing they did was after cowering in harbor until February, they took the remaining four Subs and set out for Bordeaux, France, and ALL of them made it. The Germans said it couldn’t be done, but apparently if there was one thing Italian submariners could do, it was escape and evade.


Destroyers-

3 x Leone Class. 2600 tons, Janes says their speed was “less than 33 knots” by this time, and how much less does not matter. Once you are under 33 knots, you are going to be slower than any RN DDs out there, but look at the armament;
8 x 4.7” (120mm), 2 x 3” AA, 2 x 40mm, 3 x HMG, 6 x TT, 60-100 mines.
Now THAT is one hell of a lot of firepower, and these things date back to 1923. Nobody else in the world had a broadside like that on a DD until the later 1930s, and the only British ones were the Tribal Class… you won’t be seeing any of those in this theater. All of those Torpedoes can be fired to either side, another thing that wasn’t so common back then, and those 3” guns kick out a 14 pound shell. The mines are a great thing to have if we are playing to our strengths (and we shall) and you can have up to 100 if you want to live dangerously and have 40 of them sitting out in the open where the Depth charge would normally be.
But, yes, there are problems.
Notice I said Broadside, these are not super-firing turrets. The twin 4.7” mounts are spaced out evenly along the length of the ship. I guess the justification was that no one hit would take out more than one turret, but that means you ca only fire 2 guns dead ahead or directly aft.
And the 4.7” guns only have an elevation of 30 degrees. They can’t do AA fire, which is why the 3” guns are there.
Now, I am sure that RN fans can tell us lots of stories about plucky little RN ships taking on Italian ships with twice their firepower and winning, but these big boys weren’t alone.


4 x Sauro Class.
A decade younger, faster and with the same Torpedoes, they had half as many guns of the same size (minus the 3” AA). These could also carry 30 mines, and that’s going to be important later on.

There were also 2 x "Torpedo Boats" of 670 tons and 2 x Gunboats, and I think it would be a mistake to overlook them. Historically, when Massawa fell in April of 1941, the Captain of one of those Gunboats vented his frustration over months of inactivity and went out to pick a fight with the British tank columns coming to seize his home port. He made a mess out of them, and how could he not with a 100mm gun and a couple of rapid-fire 40mm, but eventually had to scuttle his ship.
He ran out of ammunition.

The “Colonial Ship” Eritrea also had 4.7” guns, but other than that it’s only interesting feature was it’s long range; it made it to Japan when it came time to run. Maybe we could sent it out as a Raider, and hope that it brings some good cargo back?

And there are the Colonial Cruisers. It needs to be in the Colony it was refitted for… and it isn’t just one of them. How can it be too much to ask to have one of the two of them in the Theater?
Slow, obsolete, but it can carry 120 mines, and it can throw 6” shells at Aden during the landing. After that, it should be sent away, to Mogadishu I think. We know how the RN can get; they look at the biggest ship the enemy have, and they fixate on it. If there is a cruiser hunkered down in Somalia then they will feel bound to keep a cruiser of their own down there, standing by to intercept it. And since they only have three light cruisers in the area… I call that a win.
But mainly, it is all those mines that I like.

More on those when I cover Operations for this area.

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Phaing » 18 Mar 2017 04:13

Takao wrote:
Kingfish wrote:BTW, I count 135 DDs in your Italian order of battle. Where did you get that number?
This site: http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsStartMed.htm puts the number at 52 + 60 MTBs. Even if we combined the two (and the latter are not suitable for all operations) the number still comes up short.
The large torpedo boats mentioned are not MTBs, but more akin to destroyer escorts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariete-class_torpedo_boat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclone-c ... rpedo_boat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spica-class_torpedo_boat
Thanks, and my source on the exact number may prove to be dodgy, so I guess it is a good idea that I didn't allocate six 8-ship Divisions at the outset.

Bari and Taranto.... that was the names of the Colonial Cruisers that somehow were both absent from the Colonies.
I wonder if it was a botched maintenance schedule, or maybe one of them backed into the other at the parking lot...

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Re: Could the right plan have won it for Italy?

Post by Kingfish » 18 Mar 2017 04:22

Takao wrote:
Kingfish wrote:BTW, I count 135 DDs in your Italian order of battle. Where did you get that number?
This site: http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsStartMed.htm puts the number at 52 + 60 MTBs. Even if we combined the two (and the latter are not suitable for all operations) the number still comes up short.
The large torpedo boats mentioned are not MTBs, but more akin to destroyer escorts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariete-class_torpedo_boat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclone-c ... rpedo_boat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spica-class_torpedo_boat
I don't think they are referring to the same thing.
Unless I am mistaken the Royal Navy page refers to ships commissioned or building when Italy declared war, whereas of the three classes you listed only the 30 Spica class saw service with the RM during that time period.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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