Was the italien soldiers more worse soldiers then others?

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TRose
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Post by TRose » 25 Apr 2007 00:40

Couple of things to keep in mind about Wavell offensive.One was the quality of the British soldiers themselves. a majority of the British and Indian troops , at least their officers and NCO's where professonals serving in prewar units. Only one combat unit in the 7 armored division was not a regular army unit(106 Royal artillery was a first line yeomory unit.) Same with the 4 Indian ,again most of the combat units where prewar in origins. So on the British side you had officers and NCO and even privates that had spent years training and serving together.And also learning what their job was .And expeeriance counts ,even if its only peace time training.
On Italy side I might add most of the units, except for the Libyans, where recently raised divisions filled with conscripts and reservist.
Also the Egyptian army and civilian workforce has to be added in to the British side. Although the Egyptian army never left Egypt and could not be trusted in combat, it did man Anti Aircraft guns at important ports and did guard rear area supply lines.And Egyptian and other civilian laborers from other British colonies performed many jobs that in Libya had to be performed by Italian Soldiers. An Egyptian Barber giving hair cuts to British officers may not seem like much of a contribution to the British war effort, but he is freeing up a British private to serve in the infantry.
Might add later on when manpower became short for the 8th army, African laborers where added to many AA batteries in Egypt and the replaced AA gunners where then sent to frontline combat units

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BKG
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Post by BKG » 10 May 2007 19:12

it seems most of you guys got the picture of the italian soldier from a pre-1943 perspective.
In my humble opinion, you should take into consideration italian volunteer units from 1943 and on. The difference is MOTIVATION. Take the acts of heroism in Anzio and Nettuno, the operations behind enemy lines of our NP, the fight in Garfagnana between San Marco and 10 Mountain Division, just to name a few. That is a another story.

pitman
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Post by pitman » 12 May 2007 18:56

Hmm, I'd rather take into consideration the Italian partisans who fought so valiantly AGAINST the Axis.

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BKG
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Post by BKG » 12 May 2007 18:59

your cup of tea :)

we were talking about regular units though, not rebels or banditen

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JeffreyF
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Post by JeffreyF » 13 May 2007 02:14

pitman wrote:Hmm, I'd rather take into consideration the Italian partisans who fought so valiantly AGAINST the Axis.
I'd have to call into question what you term valiant.

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Oasis
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Post by Oasis » 13 May 2007 18:02

iterumruditleo wrote:your cup of tea :)

we were talking about regular units though, not rebels or banditen
how amazing hearing the terms used by ss and brigate nere during their mopping-up operations behind (!) the combat line: their atrocities were against women and children too, not only to rebels/banditen.
They were also regularly incorporated into allied troops.
San Marco was also an italian unit who fought fiercely during the italian east coast campaign (towards the gothic line) with polish and english units, against nazifascists.
Please, read something more about the IIWW in Italy and will find also something more about Garfagnana. :|
Oasis

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Oasis
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Post by Oasis » 13 May 2007 18:05

Oasis wrote:
iterumruditleo wrote:your cup of tea :)


They were also regularly incorporated into allied troops.

Oasis
Naturally I mean partisans

luigi
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Post by luigi » 14 May 2007 12:48

iterumruditleo wrote:your cup of tea :)

we were talking about regular units though, not rebels or banditen
Well... there were a few fighting in the regular Army of the south as well, and they seemed to show some "motivation" at Monte Lungo and elsewhere, both in Italy and in the Balkans alongside the Allies, but I guess you would dismiss them as the "Badoglio Truppen" or "traitors" :roll:
And as far as "regular" goes, how would you consider Prince Borghese's own private army? I wouldn't deny their proveness and "motivation" in the defence of Trieste. Howewer (going out of memory I might proved wrong, but I'm sufficiently confident) I don't think other towns in central Italy bear an equal positive memory of Mr. Borghese's soldiers...

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pitman
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Post by pitman » 14 May 2007 20:04

JeffreyF wrote:I'd have to call into question what you term valiant.
Really? What books have you read about Italian partisans? I'd say many of their feats were quite impressive. It's hard to call the resistance at places like Montefiorino and Florence and Porta Lame and Genoa anything but valiant. I'd say setting up Free Republics at places like Ossola and elsewhere in the middle of Axis occupied Italy is pretty darn valiant. I'd say the 63,000 Italian partisans killed and 30,000 wounded suggest a great deal of valor.

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BKG
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Post by BKG » 20 May 2007 07:36

X Oasis :
1) I did not make any political statement, i used military terms, the only one using propaganda terms is you here : "nazifascist" is not a military term, whilst rebels and banditen was widely used by regular troops to ID partisans not wearing any uniform or insignia nor identified in any regular Army. Since the thread war related to "soldiers",I think partisans cannot be counted. If we want to talk about partisan bravery, well, there are some examples,indeed.

We are not discussing about atrocities here, so pls cut it out with the propaganda or open another thread with facts.It would be interesting then to compare also the atrocities committed by partisans against surrendered troops,their families,etc.
Moreover, i would remind you that whenever US troops captured Axis troops in civilian clothes (as the partisans used to do), they immediately executed them. I think you have seen the infamous trailer of the NP caught while operating behind enemy lines shot at Capua Vetere.

Image
Italo Palesse 18 years old

2) I was referring to Divisione San Marco and III Gruppo Esplorante operating in Garfagnana, not the other San Marco. :wink:

x Luigi - I just brought some example, because in this long thread there was still the common place of the italian traitors and cowards. I am aware that italian fighting with the Allies did that bravely and fiercely. I 'd rather not comment on Badoglio anyway ;)
Decima Mas was a regular unit and recognised also by the Allies. No question about it.
You are right, they fought against Tito's partisans and stand there also against german troops, in a territory which was incorporated in the TR from 1943.
Prince Borghese was saved and protected by the US after the war and most of his men were later members of the US organization Stay Behind. One of them, (Capriotti) helped to form the Israeli Naval Commandos. I wouldn't cut it short like someone did, that they were a bunch of criminals. It is simply not true.

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Oasis
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Post by Oasis » 21 May 2007 21:14

iterumruditleo wrote:X Oasis :
1) I did not make any political statement, i used military terms...
....
We are not discussing about atrocities here...
...
Moreover, i would remind you that whenever US troops captured Axis troops in civilian clothes (as the partisans used to do), they immediately executed them. I think you have seen the infamous trailer of the NP caught while operating behind enemy lines shot at Capua Vetere....
Iterumruditleo,
Rebels/banditen are terms used only by repressive forces who really feared them. If that means for you "partisans", then I can accept "rebels".
"Nazifascist" was the common term used here in Italy against the repressive forces, as many italians served the invading germans under their SS uniform.
Uniform is initially unnecessary when you arm yourself against the invaders of your Country: I suppose you should do the same too.
Partisans fought with uniforms together with allied troops from the Adriatic coast campaign to the Gothic Line, onward to Bologna, Ravenna, Po river and more, always respected by the allied troops (except polish troops with respect of communist partisans). I can exchange notices with you if you wish.
About atrocities I agree with you it could be open a specific thread: at the moment I am not interested in, as the 34 civilians (including women and children) massacred here in my small village are still remembered.
War is an atrocity itself.

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Oasis
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Post by Oasis » 21 May 2007 21:41

iterumruditleo wrote:Moreover, i would remind you that whenever US troops captured Axis troops in civilian clothes (as the partisans used to do), they immediately executed them. I think you have seen the infamous trailer of the NP caught while operating behind enemy lines shot at Capua Vetere.
Italo Palesse 18 years old

2) I was referring to Divisione San Marco and III Gruppo Esplorante operating in Garfagnana, not the other San Marco. :wink:
.
Sorry I forgot a piece... :D
Poor young boy Palesse, he was recognized as an infiltrate into a partisan formation who indicated to the SS two of his comrades then killed into the Fosse Ardeatine massacre... He was kept behind the allied lines without uniform and died shot fiercely.

Garfagnana Christmas offensive wasn't only of San Marco: three italo-german columns attacked as follows
1 - Monterosa div. with btg. Brescia, Intra, Gruppo Esplorante of Monterosa, btg. II/6 of San Marco, and some parts of I/285 of 148. german division;
2 - elements of Brescia btg and regt. 285 and 286 of 148. german div.;
3 - german btg. Mittenwald and MG special btg. Kesselring.
Americans were overwhelmed: only partisans withstood in Coreglia and, later, in Vergemoli. Until 19 bde of 8th indian div. with XXII TAC airforce will restore the front line on the 30th of december.

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BKG
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Post by BKG » 21 May 2007 21:43

Oasis wrote:
Iterumruditleo,
Rebels/banditen are terms used only by repressive forces who really feared them. If that means for you "partisans", then I can accept "rebels".
"Nazifascist" was the common term used here in Italy against the repressive forces, as many italians served the invading germans under their SS uniform.
Uniform is initially unnecessary when you arm yourself against the invaders of your Country: I suppose you should do the same too.
Partisans fought with uniforms together with allied troops from the Adriatic coast campaign to the Gothic Line, onward to Bologna, Ravenna, Po river and more, always respected by the allied troops (except polish troops with respect of communist partisans). I can exchange notices with you if you wish.
About atrocities I agree with you it could be open a specific thread: at the moment I am not interested in, as the 34 civilians (including women and children) massacred here in my small village are still remembered.
War is an atrocity itself.
Yes, I was referring to partisans not regularly organised and wearing distinctive uniforms or insignias. If you refer to Geneva Convention of 1907, italian partisans did not meet the status of fighters, but due to the peculiar tactics employed, could be more likely defined today as guerrillas or terrorists (I am not much of an expert on partisans, but i recall there were some groups with uniforms and insignias- maybe val d'ossola?)
I do understand your point regarding uniforms, but then again, it will make them guerrillas, and in the thread title only soldiers were mentioned.Hence my objection.
The US troops call iraqi resistance "insurgents" now :)

I think that Nazifascist was a term used mainly after the war. I can tell you that very few of the vets i interviewed were true believers of Mussolini's politics. They simply raised arms again to defend their country from a foreign enemy and from the germans as well and to prove the world that the italian soldier is not a traitor. I am not using my words, but the words you can most frequently read or hear from vets.
There were anyway fanatics for sure,and people who committed crimes. From both sides.

I respect dead people, without prejudices, we cannot judge from the sofa decisions taken in those terrible years.Sometimes you did not have much of a choice, as we sometimes like to believe today.
Finally I must agree with you: there is no clean war: it's always an atrocity.

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BKG
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Post by BKG » 21 May 2007 21:53

Oasis wrote:
Sorry I forgot a piece... :D
Poor young boy Palesse, he was recognized as an infiltrate into a partisan formation who indicated to the SS two of his comrades then killed into the Fosse Ardeatine massacre... He was kept behind the allied lines without uniform and died shot fiercely.
I think our nice little conversation ends here. I have no interest in discussing with people showing no respect at all for dead people and making lousy irony on it.
Rgds

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3ball44
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Post by 3ball44 » 23 May 2007 03:09

MOTIVATION is right, the Italians did not have much will to fight. They were stomped in Africa, did little to hold Siciliy, their only decent performance was on the Italian boot itself, and I suppose they had their moments under Rommel in Cyrianca. Without help from the Germans, the British would have completely routed the Italians from Africa. One of the most famous Italian campaigns, Monte Cassino, was fought almost entirely by Germans.

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