Effectiveness of Italian partisans…

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Geoffrey Cooke
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Effectiveness of Italian partisans…

Post by Geoffrey Cooke » 23 Jan 2023 21:43

From the article about the Italian Civil War (1943-45)
The forces of the Italian Social Republic struggled to keep the insurgency under wraps, resulting in a heavy toll on the German occupation forces stationed to buttress them. Field Marshall Albert Kesselring estimated that from June to August 1944 alone, Italian partisans inflicted a minimum of 20,000 casualties on the Germans (5,000 killed, 7,000 to 8,000 captured/missing, and the same number wounded), while suffering far lower casualties themselves.[115] Kesselring's intelligence officer supplied a higher figure of 30,000 - 35,000 casualties from partisan activity in those three months (which Kesselring considered too high): 5,000 killed and 25,000-30,000 missing or wounded.[116]
Cited are Charles O’Reilly’s book Italy’s War of Liberation and the published memoirs of Albert Kesselring.

I went and checked this against the German 10-day casualty reports.
I added them up for the relevant period. Total South-West Theater losses for June 1 through August 31, 1944
- Killed: 8,646
- Wounded: 29,470
- Missing: 33,482
Total casualties: 71,598

I find it puzzling that Smiling Al’ and his “key intelligence office” accredited from over 1/3 up to 1/2 of all German casualties in Theater to Italian partisan activity. Almost certainly it’s incorrect in my view. But why would they have such a favorable view of Italian partisans to begin with to ascribe not only this many casualties to their activity (not even including Italian Fascist losses), but that their losses were much lower than the German losses they inflicted? :| Was there ANY front in WWII where partisans inflicted higher losses than what they suffered? And for that matter, when looking at the Ostfront and Westfront, you don’t see partisans inflicting losses comparable to the main Allied forces at the frontline?

All very iffy.

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Texas Jäger
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Re: Effectiveness of Italian partisans…

Post by Texas Jäger » 23 Jan 2023 22:10

In order to believe Kesselring, you’d have to believe the the large allied armies in Italy were so ineffective at inflicting German casualties that they were barely making par with horribly fractious and comparatively I’ll-equipped insurgents. In fact, the larger and better organized resistance movements of Europe such as those led by Tito in Yugoslavia, the Polish Home Army, and throughout the occupied Soviet Union would be jealous of the ability to inflict such large losses in such a small space of time.

No, I’m afraid it’s more likely that Kesselring and this unnamed intelligence officer were puffing some sort of strange green plant at the time they came to these estimates, assuming Wikipedia isn’t just misquoting sources as usual.

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