Italian Offensive in France

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
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Bronsky
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Post by Bronsky » 11 Dec 2006 17:45

Lupo Solitario wrote:The Italian strategy plans excluded offensive against France, in case of war Italy had to defend on alps and solve the war elsewhere. I ignore which were french plans.
The French were no keener on an offensive across the Alps than the Italians. Offensive plans in case of war with Italy involved the capture of Libya, naval bombardment of Italian industry, followed some time in the future by a landing against Italian coasts. A frontal assault across the Alps was not a part of them, as far as I remember (and I did read them :-) maybe I just forgot that bit, but I don't think so)

In 1945, the French launched a limited attack with insufficient numbers of relatively raw troops (including Italians hastily recruited into the French army, though many were still wearing Italian uniforms), against relatively weak defenses - one German kampfgruppe and Italian RSI units - and got nowhere. Truth be told, their plan was about as imaginative as the 1940 Italian one had been.
Lupo Solitario wrote:In those conditions italians could only try to launch some frontal attack against a well fortified enemy with scarce artillery support and without air force (bad weather).
Actually, the Regia Aeronautica made a serious attempt to attack the French fortifications. Due to bad weather, it ended up plastering nearby valleys and damaging cities but leaving the forts intact. Those few bombs that did hit were found to be too light to do real damage, even the 250kg ones.

This was probably the strongest portion of the Maginot Line, it was simply immune to level bombing with 1940 technology. Had the Wehrmacht been ordered to attack across the Alps it, too, would have been stopped cold.

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Bronsky
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Post by Bronsky » 11 Dec 2006 17:49

Xª Mas wrote:The germans are considered the victors and the Italians were considered useless at this point, but in actuality, I gather that the Italians were used as bait to occupy the French in the Maginot Line. The Italians kept the French busy while the Germans went around the Maginot through Belgium and took the French from behind. the Italians took the actual fighting. The French woke up one morning with Italians in front of them and Germans behind them.
Hardly. The French had deployed the bulk of their army away from the Alps, being well aware that the threat was far greater over the Rhine.

As the campaign unfolded, the French kept taking troops away from the Alps and even the Armée des Alpes was fighting on two fronts in late June 1940, stopping the Germans just short of Grenoble and Chambéry.

The Italians were facing what was left, mostly fortress troops that the French couldn't really have redeployed for lack of transport. The battle of Menton as told by Lupo is a good illustration: the Italians managed to infiltrate because the French had absolutely no infantry left, they relied on very few fortress troops and a lot of (fixed) artillery.

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Post by IrregularMedic » 24 Apr 2007 12:58

Bronsky wrote:
Lupo Solitario wrote:The Italian strategy plans excluded offensive against France, in case of war Italy had to defend on alps and solve the war elsewhere. I ignore which were french plans.
The French were no keener on an offensive across the Alps than the Italians. Offensive plans in case of war with Italy involved the capture of Libya, naval bombardment of Italian industry, followed some time in the future by a landing against Italian coasts. A frontal assault across the Alps was not a part of them, as far as I remember (and I did read them :-) maybe I just forgot that bit, but I don't think so)
Did these plans have a name? Like Plan Orange, or Case Yellow or something like that?

many thanks!

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 24 Apr 2007 13:18

IrregularMedic wrote:
Bronsky wrote:
Lupo Solitario wrote:The Italian strategy plans excluded offensive against France, in case of war Italy had to defend on alps and solve the war elsewhere. I ignore which were french plans.
The French were no keener on an offensive across the Alps than the Italians. Offensive plans in case of war with Italy involved the capture of Libya, naval bombardment of Italian industry, followed some time in the future by a landing against Italian coasts. A frontal assault across the Alps was not a part of them, as far as I remember (and I did read them :-) maybe I just forgot that bit, but I don't think so)
Did these plans have a name? Like Plan Orange, or Case Yellow or something like that?

many thanks!
Italians indicated plans only with alphanumerical acronyms: for example, the plan adopted for 1940 mobilization was simply the "PR12 plan". Going on war, the projects for amphibious landings in Tunisia, Malta and Corsica were rispectively "C2", "C3" and "C4" and so on...

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Post by IrregularMedic » 24 Apr 2007 13:41

I'm sorry! I should have been clearer, I was curious about the mentioned French plans! :)

Thanks for the info though!

(Although I think eventually I would have wanted to know that too! :lol: )

:)

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Bronsky
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Post by Bronsky » 24 Apr 2007 16:12

IrregularMedic wrote:
Bronsky wrote:The French were no keener on an offensive across the Alps than the Italians. Offensive plans in case of war with Italy involved the capture of Libya, naval bombardment of Italian industry, followed some time in the future by a landing against Italian coasts. A frontal assault across the Alps was not a part of them, as far as I remember (and I did read them :-) maybe I just forgot that bit, but I don't think so)
Did these plans have a name? Like Plan Orange, or Case Yellow or something like that?
There were no detailed plans that I know of for war against Italy. There were Allied staff talks that made broad planning assumptions, and general plans along the lines referred above.

French plans for war against Germany did not have fancy names, just a letter.

For example, the first post-WWI war plan (1920) was called Plan T for "transitoire" (transitory), followed by Plan P for "provisoire" (temporary), then Plan P Modifié in 1923.

After that, the French started following the alphabet with Plan A in 1924, which was refined to a Plan A bis in mid-1926, then Plans B, C, D, D bis and E which was the one in force when the war started. I think there was a Plan F shortly after the war started, but by that point war plans were modified in an incremental process.

A plan like Plan E involved a series of hypotheses, e.g. "hypothesis I" for an invasion of France, another for an offensive against Italy etc. So a French plan corresponded to a whole set of rainbow plans for the USN.

Not sure about the navy. For instance, the bombing of Genoa - carried out June 14 - was Opération Vado but I don't know if plans with specific names existed.
Lupo Solitario wrote:Italians indicated plans only with alphanumerical acronyms: for example, the plan adopted for 1940 mobilization was simply the "PR12 plan". Going on war, the projects for amphibious landings in Tunisia, Malta and Corsica were rispectively "C2", "C3" and "C4" and so on...
Nice.

Is there a list of Italian war plans?

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Post by IrregularMedic » 25 Apr 2007 07:39

Thanks!



Lupo Solitario wrote:
Italians indicated plans only with alphanumerical acronyms: for example, the plan adopted for 1940 mobilization was simply the "PR12 plan". Going on war, the projects for amphibious landings in Tunisia, Malta and Corsica were rispectively "C2", "C3" and "C4" and so on...
Interesting. I take it the plan for Malta (C3) was prior to the 'Hercules', and so was Italian only (no German forces)?

Did the plans include orders of battle?
What were they going to use for landing craft for these amphibious landings?

Also, I read somewhere (Commando Supremo I think) that Italy was planning on using a unit equipped with captured Soviet tanks during the planned Malta invasion (Hercules). Anyone know what type of tanks they were, how many, and what happened to them?

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 29 Apr 2007 23:49

What were they going to use for landing craft for these amphibious landings?
I am under assumption that the Regia Marina had some sort of amphibious landing vessels. Didn't they use such in Albania in 1939?

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JeffreyF
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Post by JeffreyF » 30 Apr 2007 00:43

I believe at this time all that was available were some water tankers.

I found an old post by DrG.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... ing#604552

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