Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

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Urmel
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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Urmel » 15 Aug 2020 13:47

You no doubt have primary documents referencing this?
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

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ljadw
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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by ljadw » 15 Aug 2020 21:29

7000 lorries were available in Libya in 1940: source :Italian soldier in North Africa 1941-1943 P 7 ( By Crociani and Battistelli ).
And we know that it took Axis trucks weeks to transport supplies from Tripoli to the front and to return .
If more trucks were used,the trip would last longer .
In 1941 854000 ton of supplies arrived in NA,162000 tons were lost .
The arrival of these 854000 tons created enormous supplies,who were never solved .If there were no losses,and thus 854000 + 162000 ton arrived, the problems would be much bigger .
Thus, if more escorts were available and could diminish the losses of the convoys, the results would not be very positive for the Axis .
There was a limit to the supplies that could be unloaded in the NA ports, that could be stored in the depots, that could be transported .
It was the same for the Battle of the Atlantic .

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 15 Aug 2020 23:11

ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2020 21:29
7000 lorries were available in Libya in 1940: source :Italian soldier in North Africa 1941-1943 P 7 ( By Crociani and Battistelli ).
And we know that it took Axis trucks weeks to transport supplies from Tripoli to the front and to return .
If more trucks were used,the trip would last longer .
In 1941 854000 ton of supplies arrived in NA,162000 tons were lost .
The arrival of these 854000 tons created enormous supplies,who were never solved .If there were no losses,and thus 854000 + 162000 ton arrived, the problems would be much bigger .
Thus, if more escorts were available and could diminish the losses of the convoys, the results would not be very positive for the Axis .
There was a limit to the supplies that could be unloaded in the NA ports, that could be stored in the depots, that could be transported .
It was the same for the Battle of the Atlantic .
Mostest strange analysis. Hahaha !

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Thumpalumpacus
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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 16 Aug 2020 04:11

ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2020 11:33
1 Less supplies is not always a bad thing,because the usefulness of supplies depends on the possibility to use them : if you have less tanks, you need less POL for your tanks and less tank ammunition .
This is a silly point. What if you need tanks to win? You need fuel and ammo, as well as replacements for both men and materiel. A smaller supply pipeline is obviously a hindrance if one side cannot supply the forces required to actually win the battle.

In that case, a smaller supply pipeline obviously hinders operational goals.

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Urmel
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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Urmel » 16 Aug 2020 05:43

ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2020 21:29
7000 lorries were available in Libya in 1940: source :Italian soldier in North Africa 1941-1943 P 7 ( By Crociani and Battistelli ).
And we know that it took Axis trucks weeks to transport supplies from Tripoli to the front and to return .
If more trucks were used,the trip would last longer .
In 1941 854000 ton of supplies arrived in NA,162000 tons were lost .
The arrival of these 854000 tons created enormous supplies,who were never solved .If there were no losses,and thus 854000 + 162000 ton arrived, the problems would be much bigger .
Thus, if more escorts were available and could diminish the losses of the convoys, the results would not be very positive for the Axis .
There was a limit to the supplies that could be unloaded in the NA ports, that could be stored in the depots, that could be transported .
It was the same for the Battle of the Atlantic .
This is surely parody. But in any case it is utterly bereft of any understanding of the campaign in North Africa. You’ve just joined Sid on my naughty list.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Aug 2020 06:43

Hi Urmel,

Italy in WWII is your area of expertise. When I posted the following, I was hoping for you to deploy that expertise, not withdraw to your tent:

"I have been having a closer look at Bir el Gobi.

It was undoubtedly an Italian success. But shouldn't it have been?

On one side we have the better part of an armoured division with a balanced, all arms force, that had had time to prepare its position. And not just any division, but arguably the best and most experienced division in the Italian Army.

On the other side we have an inexperienced British tank brigade in its first action. It had little artillery or infantry and so was an unbalanced force incapable of properly preparing the ground for an assault or occupying any ground it might take. Its only obvious advantage was slightly more tanks of a better quality and its reconnaissance element. In infantry and artillery it was totally overmatched. In terms of manpower it was also
probably heavily outnumbered. Both sides' tanks were vulnerable to the other's tank and anti-tank guns, but the Italians had a lot more of the latter.

One has to wonder what the British alternatives were, presuming they were going to engage at all? They seem to have attempted an unimaginative tank charge in order to panic the Italians out of a position they certainly couldn't effectively occupy themselves. Given previous Italian performances, was this really totally unrealistic? They seem to have had some success and inflicted at least as much damage as they suffered.

What makes it a clear Italian victory is that it entirely frustrated the British plan.

But should the outcome be regarded as in any way surprising, given the type, size and experience of the two forces engaged?

Was there an indirect approach the British could have adopted that would safely have avoided the Ariete? Or did they have to go through it to reach the German rear?"


Your comments on this would still be appreciated.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2020 08:54

Thumpalumpacus wrote:
16 Aug 2020 04:11
ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2020 11:33
1 Less supplies is not always a bad thing,because the usefulness of supplies depends on the possibility to use them : if you have less tanks, you need less POL for your tanks and less tank ammunition .
This is a silly point. What if you need tanks to win? You need fuel and ammo, as well as replacements for both men and materiel. A smaller supply pipeline is obviously a hindrance if one side cannot supply the forces required to actually win the battle.

In that case, a smaller supply pipeline obviously hinders operational goals.
I said : less supplies, not no supplies .
There are always periods where less supplies are needed : if in July 1941 100 supplies are needed,does this mean that in August also 100 supplies are needed ?
More supplies is not an aim on itself .The need for supplies is depending on the military situation .Operational goals change, thus the needed amount of supplies also changes .

In 1941 853,193 ton of supplies arrived in NA (we don't know how many of them had as destination the front troops, how many arrived at the front and when they arrived ) and...Rommel failed .
In 1942 778,985 ton of supplies arrived in NA ( we don't know how many of them had as destination the front ,how many arrived at the front and when they arrived ) and ...Rommel failed .
Would he have done better in 1942 if the same amount of 1941 supplies arrived in NA ?
AND, the most important thing is never discussed,or even mentioned= the presence of the enemy .
To use only the Axis supply situation/problems to explain ( better : excuse ) the defeat of the Axis in NA is dishonest, it is proving that one is searching for a scape-goat for the Axis defeat ( The Italians ) .
What about Britain ? Its strength in the ME ? Where are its monthly supply figures ? What is the % of its supplies that came from the region West of Suez and from the region East of Suez ?
You need two to tango and also two to fight . But, curiously (?),Britain's role is totally hidden .
The reason is simple and obvious :
after the war,NATO needed a strong German army ,and Germany and its army needed a hero : a brilliant general who was an enemy of the nazi regime .
The man was found very quickly : Rommel
He was killed by the regime ( forced suicide ) .
For the claim that he was a brilliant general,there was a problem : he was defeated .
The solution was to find a culprit ( the media and the public love stories of heroes who were defeated by traitors );as the culprit could not be Montgomery, one had to look for someone else .
And one found very fast the ideal candidates :
Hitler : incompetent and criminal
and the Italians : incompetent and cowards
The truth is that Rommel did not lose because of Hitler/the Italians ,but because of Britain .
To make a hero of Rommel is disgraceful : it is to denigrate the role and sufferings of the Commonwealth forces who defeated Rommel .

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Aug 2020 09:29

Hi ljadw,

You are now going to the other extreme.

Rommel was usually heavily outnumbered in theatre, even with the more limited Italian forces at his side.

Certainly Rommel's rehabilitation benefited somewhat from Cold War geopolitical changes.

However, he was recognised by his enemies as an unusually skillfull commander even while the North African Campaign was ongoing.

I still have my father's books from early WWII. The aircraft and naval recognition books treat the Italians with equal seriousness to the Germans. However, the debacle of the 1940/41 campaign seems to have changed perceptions of the Italians considerably and irrevocably. From being regarded as a real threat, they became just a paper tiger in British eyes. Their reputation never recovered, even though their performance often did.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2020 10:33

Sid Guttridge wrote:
16 Aug 2020 09:29
Hi ljadw,

You are now going to the other extreme.

Rommel was usually heavily outnumbered in theatre, even with the more limited Italian forces at his side.

Certainly Rommel's rehabilitation benefited somewhat from Cold War geopolitical changes.

However, he was recognised by his enemies as an unusually skillfull commander even while the North African Campaign was ongoing.

I still have my father's books from early WWII. The aircraft and naval recognition books treat the Italians with equal seriousness to the Germans. However, the debacle of the 1940/41 campaign seems to have changed perceptions of the Italians considerably and irrevocably. From being regarded as a real threat, they became just a paper tiger in British eyes. Their reputation never recovered, even though their performance often did.

Cheers,

Sid.
1 The Japanese forces in Malaysia were also outnumbered
2 There were always more Italians in NA than Germans
3 There was no rehabilitation of Rommel, but the creation of a Rommel myth.
4 ''somewhat '' is the euphemism of the year : without the Cold War, NO Rommel Myth .
5 Skillful commanders can win battles, but not wars : to win a battle does not mean to win a war .

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2020 10:46

About the ''more limited'' Italian forces,the following is from
Rommel's Afrika Korps (By Battistelli ) PP 82 and 83
DAK strength in 1941
March 14500
April 19000
May 30000
June 33500
July 42000
August 46000
September 48500
October 48500
November 38000
December 32000
Italian strength ( Source : Italian Soldier in North Africa )
End February : 105000 + 16000 Libyans
Mid June :total strength : 136500,of whom 61000 at the front ; almost the double of the AK
November 15 : army strenght : 132000 + 16000 Libyans : front : 65000 Italians.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2020 12:52

Sid Guttridge wrote:
15 Aug 2020 12:19
Hi ljadw,



You ask, "What would the Axis have done with a double amount of fuel, or with a double amount of trucks ?" Mounted double the amount of operations and put the British under double the amount of pressure?



You ask, "On June 1 1942,Ariete had 6600 men and 137 tanks ;would Ariete be stronger with 237 tanks ?" Hmmmm......., a tough one, but I am going to go with "Yes".

Cheers,

Sid.
1 More fuel does not mean more attacks and you do not attack with trucks .

2 Here you are wrong : an armored division is a combined arms unit and the number of tanks is not the decisive element .An armored division with too many tanks is as bad as an armored divisions with not enough tanks .
In 1941 the Soviet tank divisions had much to many tanks,while the Panzer divisions had less tanks than in 1940,but were not inferior to those .
Ariete with 1 tank on 28 men would not be operational.
5th Light division had 168 tanks in 1941 with a manpower that was bigger than that of Ariete and 15th Pz Division had 146 tanks also with a bigger manpower ( source : Jentz ).
One could ever claim that 137 tanks for 6600 men was to great .

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 16 Aug 2020 14:03

ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2020 08:54
Thumpalumpacus wrote:
16 Aug 2020 04:11
ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2020 11:33
1 Less supplies is not always a bad thing,because the usefulness of supplies depends on the possibility to use them : if you have less tanks, you need less POL for your tanks and less tank ammunition .
This is a silly point. What if you need tanks to win? You need fuel and ammo, as well as replacements for both men and materiel. A smaller supply pipeline is obviously a hindrance if one side cannot supply the forces required to actually win the battle.

In that case, a smaller supply pipeline obviously hinders operational goals.
I said : less supplies, not no supplies .
And I said a smaller pipeline, not "no pipeline". Might you address the point I made?

Of course you don't need much tank fuel if you don't have many tanks. Now, the paucity of tanks might cost you the battle ... so much for the benefits of a lean supply chain.

I'm surprised that this needs to be pointed out.
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2020 12:52
1 More fuel does not mean more attacks and you do not attack with trucks .
That ammunition doesn't walk itself to the front-lines from the depot. If those trucks aren't bringing ammunition up to the front, you're not gonna be attacking an awful lot.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2020 14:55

Thumpalumpacus wrote:
16 Aug 2020 14:03
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2020 08:54
Thumpalumpacus wrote:
16 Aug 2020 04:11
ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2020 11:33
1 Less supplies is not always a bad thing,because the usefulness of supplies depends on the possibility to use them : if you have less tanks, you need less POL for your tanks and less tank ammunition .
This is a silly point. What if you need tanks to win? You need fuel and ammo, as well as replacements for both men and materiel. A smaller supply pipeline is obviously a hindrance if one side cannot supply the forces required to actually win the battle.

In that case, a smaller supply pipeline obviously hinders operational goals.
I said : less supplies, not no supplies .
And I said a smaller pipeline, not "no pipeline". Might you address the point I made?

Of course you don't need much tank fuel if you don't have many tanks. Now, the paucity of tanks might cost you the battle ... so much for the benefits of a lean supply chain.

I'm surprised that this needs to be pointed out.
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2020 12:52
1 More fuel does not mean more attacks and you do not attack with trucks .
That ammunition doesn't walk itself to the front-lines from the depot. If those trucks aren't bringing ammunition up to the front, you're not gonna be attacking an awful lot.
A smaller supply line does not mean that you cannot supply the forces required to ''win '' the battle .
Why ? Because the supplies needed to supply the forces required to ''win '' the battle have nothing to do with your supply line .
If you ''need '' 100 supplies to ''win '',and your supply line can deliver 150 ,150 is to big, thus is there no objection to go down to a smaller supply line of 100 .
Other points which are mostly overlooked by today's logistical lobby
1 Needs are estimations, guesses and mostly,they are inflated,for obvious reasons.There is no automatism between the ''needs'',what you receive and the chance to win .
2 The presence of the enemy : if the enemy is weaker than assumed, less supplies are needed than claimed .
Last point : the paucity of tanks : I thought that the tank myth had been destroyed, but I see that this is not so : the truth is that there is no relation (causal or not ) between the number of tanks, even the existence of tanks and the chance/probability to win a battle .There are numerous battles that were won without the use, presence of tanks .There are also battles that were lost notwithstanding the use of tanks .
In the Malayan campaign,Japan used 200 tanks, but it is impossible to prove that they won because of these tanks ,or that without them,they would have lost .
Tanks are cavalry and cavalry does not win a battle but is used for the exploitation .

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Urmel
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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by Urmel » 16 Aug 2020 15:02

Thumpalumpacus wrote:
16 Aug 2020 14:03
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2020 08:54
Thumpalumpacus wrote:
16 Aug 2020 04:11
ljadw wrote:
15 Aug 2020 11:33
1 Nonsense .
This is a silly point. What if you need tanks to win? You need fuel and ammo, as well as replacements for both men and materiel. A smaller supply pipeline is obviously a hindrance if one side cannot supply the forces required to actually win the battle.

In that case, a smaller supply pipeline obviously hinders operational goals.
More nonsense.
And I said a smaller pipeline, not "no pipeline". Might you address the point I made?

Of course you don't need much tank fuel if you don't have many tanks. Now, the paucity of tanks might cost you the battle ... so much for the benefits of a lean supply chain.

I'm surprised that this needs to be pointed out.
ljadw wrote:
16 Aug 2020 12:52
Even more nonsense.
That ammunition doesn't walk itself to the front-lines from the depot. If those trucks aren't bringing ammunition up to the front, you're not gonna be attacking an awful lot.
You're wasting your time mate.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

ljadw
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Re: Some thoughts on the Italian Army's performance

Post by ljadw » 16 Aug 2020 15:12

A battle is not won or lost by one party : there are always two sides and both have a deciding importance .
That's why it is wrong to hide /deny Britain.s role ( and we know why it is hidden,denied ) in the defeat of the Axis in NA .

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