Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
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Urmel
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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by Urmel » 28 Apr 2021 23:20

I see. Without the captured Italian liners and ships TORCH would never have happened. Okay...
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

daveshoup2MD
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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by daveshoup2MD » 28 Apr 2021 23:27

Urmel wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:20
I see. Without the captured Italian liners and ships TORCH would never have happened. Okay...
They helped make it happen, actually. Both USS Monticello and USS Hermitage were in the fleet from the autumn of 1942 onwards, moving a brigade-sized unit every time they sailed. Both remained in commission until the end of the war, and contributed significantly to the Allied war effort.

What exactly, did the Italians get out of those last voyages to South America in 1940 that ended in Panama and Brazil, again?

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 29 Apr 2021 16:53

daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:19
Are you saying the Italians were surprised by their own declaration of war against Britain and France in the summer of 1940?
Of course I am. Was anyone not surprised by the rapid fall of France? Did Mussolini even know when Germany was planning to attack France?
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:19
War had broken out;
Not for formally for the US though.

Comparing the probable extent to which the merchant vessels of the USA and Italy were importing essential resources prior to the Italian declaration of war and the US having war declared on it, I would suggest that the Italians were always more likely to have difficulty calling home their ships before declaring war even if that had been a long-term plan. For the US, the withdrawal of most of their merchant marine from war zones was another benefit of both US self reliance and also the benefits of being much further away from their enemies than the European nations.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by daveshoup2MD » 30 Apr 2021 05:51

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
29 Apr 2021 16:53
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:19
Are you saying the Italians were surprised by their own declaration of war against Britain and France in the summer of 1940?
Of course I am. Was anyone not surprised by the rapid fall of France? Did Mussolini even know when Germany was planning to attack France?
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:19
War had broken out;
Not for formally for the US though.

Comparing the probable extent to which the merchant vessels of the USA and Italy were importing essential resources prior to the Italian declaration of war and the US having war declared on it, I would suggest that the Italians were always more likely to have difficulty calling home their ships before declaring war even if that had been a long-term plan. For the US, the withdrawal of most of their merchant marine from war zones was another benefit of both US self reliance and also the benefits of being much further away from their enemies than the European nations.

Regards

Tom
The Italians, of course, CHOSE to go to war against two maritime powers in maritime theater in June, 1940, despite having something like a quarter of their merchant fleet outside the Med; which suggests their high command's grasp of the necessities of maritime strategy was somewhat lacking...

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 30 Apr 2021 13:05

daveshoup2MD wrote:
30 Apr 2021 05:51
The Italians, of course, CHOSE to go to war against two maritime powers in maritime theater in June, 1940, despite having something like a quarter of their merchant fleet outside the Med; which suggests their high command's grasp of the necessities of maritime strategy was somewhat lacking...
That's not a statement that I would disagree with, although mitigated by the widespread assumption that France was within days of surrender and the British would not be far behind. With the benefit of hindsight we can see that the latter assumption was somewhat wide of the mark. :D

Regards

Tom

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 May 2021 03:06

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
30 Apr 2021 13:05
daveshoup2MD wrote:
30 Apr 2021 05:51
The Italians, of course, CHOSE to go to war against two maritime powers in maritime theater in June, 1940, despite having something like a quarter of their merchant fleet outside the Med; which suggests their high command's grasp of the necessities of maritime strategy was somewhat lacking...
That's not a statement that I would disagree with, although mitigated by the widespread assumption that France was within days of surrender and the British would not be far behind. With the benefit of hindsight we can see that the latter assumption was somewhat wide of the mark. :D

Regards

Tom
"Some what," indeed. ;)

For a regime whose war aim was dominance of the Mediterranean, they seem to have missed the fact that ships and sailors are useful resources...

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by reedwh52 » 04 May 2021 02:19

The topic of the original post was naval strategy/doctrine from 1920 on. The problem described above concerning the loss of merchant shipping was a political decision.

The Italian Navy planned (i.e. doctrine) to use the period of tension leading up to a war declaration to move shipping back to the Mediterranean. This was due to the Italian dependence on imports for industrial use. In May, 1940 the planned date for war with France and Britain was September/October 1940 at the earliest. This would have allowed time for ships to be recalled and to also increase the battle line of the navy from two battleships to six.

However, on May 25, 1940 the navy was informed of the projected war date of June 5-6 for the declaration .(This was extended at the Navy's request to allow the liner Roma to return.) This decision was weeks too late to save most of the ships outside the Med.

Communications of the time meant that cables would be sent to most ships in foreign ports, not nearly as fast as modern communications.
Ships would then have to clear the port where they were located and sail.

Given the average speed of 10 kts of the Italian merchant ships, the May 25/26 receipt of orders to return would be useless. As an example, the ships in Argentina would had to sail on May 18 to reach as far as Gibraltar by the actual war date of June 10, 1940.

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by daveshoup2MD » 04 May 2021 05:32

reedwh52 wrote:
04 May 2021 02:19
The topic of the original post was naval strategy/doctrine from 1920 on. The problem described above concerning the loss of merchant shipping was a political decision.

The Italian Navy planned (i.e. doctrine) to use the period of tension leading up to a war declaration to move shipping back to the Mediterranean. This was due to the Italian dependence on imports for industrial use. In May, 1940 the planned date for war with France and Britain was September/October 1940 at the earliest. This would have allowed time for ships to be recalled and to also increase the battle line of the navy from two battleships to six.

However, on May 25, 1940 the navy was informed of the projected war date of June 5-6 for the declaration .(This was extended at the Navy's request to allow the liner Roma to return.) This decision was weeks too late to save most of the ships outside the Med.

Communications of the time meant that cables would be sent to most ships in foreign ports, not nearly as fast as modern communications.
Ships would then have to clear the port where they were located and sail.

Given the average speed of 10 kts of the Italian merchant ships, the May 25/26 receipt of orders to return would be useless. As an example, the ships in Argentina would had to sail on May 18 to reach as far as Gibraltar by the actual war date of June 10, 1940.
But what is strategy but politics by other means? ;)

Yeah, Mussolini was an idiot and the Italian high command were not exactly paragons of patriotic service to their nation when they followed him over the cliff.

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by Dili » 05 May 2021 01:00

daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:14
Dili wrote:
28 Apr 2021 14:42
They were not vital.
Fast transatlantic liners and "any" ocean-going cargo shipping were, indeed, vital; just ask the survivors of Messe's Italian 1st Army in May, 1943...
Haha! they would be at bottom of sea.

A- Can you explain why by that time several of liners were in red cross service.

B- Can you explain why they did not employed their 2 major liners to take Messe 1st army?
Last edited by Dili on 05 May 2021 01:06, edited 1 time in total.

Dili
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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by Dili » 05 May 2021 01:04

The Italians, of course, CHOSE to go to war against two maritime powers in maritime theater in June, 1940, despite having something like a quarter of their merchant fleet outside the Med; which suggests their high command's grasp of the necessities of maritime strategy was somewhat lacking...
Maybe you should educate yourelf first about what were the maritime transport needs of Italy.

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 May 2021 04:21

Dili wrote:
05 May 2021 01:00
daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Apr 2021 23:14
Dili wrote:
28 Apr 2021 14:42
They were not vital.
Fast transatlantic liners and "any" ocean-going cargo shipping were, indeed, vital; just ask the survivors of Messe's Italian 1st Army in May, 1943...
Haha! they would be at bottom of sea.

A- Can you explain why by that time several of liners were in red cross service.

B- Can you explain why they did not employed their 2 major liners to take Messe 1st army?
The US employed both ex-Italian liners to transport the North African expeditionary forces, including some of the same troops that helped force the surrender of roughly 230,000 Axis troops in May, including - of course - Gen Messe and what was left of the Italian 1st Army.

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 May 2021 04:23

Dili wrote:
05 May 2021 01:04
The Italians, of course, CHOSE to go to war against two maritime powers in maritime theater in June, 1940, despite having something like a quarter of their merchant fleet outside the Med; which suggests their high command's grasp of the necessities of maritime strategy was somewhat lacking...
Maybe you should educate yourelf first about what were the maritime transport needs of Italy.
Given the Italians were defeated in East Africa in 1941 and in North Africa in 1943 by enemies who deployed into each theater by sea, perhaps the Italians should have done the same.

Dili
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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by Dili » 05 May 2021 20:03

So Italian Navy was equal in size to RN+USN? Wow!

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 May 2021 03:12

Dili wrote:
05 May 2021 20:03
So Italian Navy was equal in size to RN+USN? Wow!
No; who said it was?

Realization of that reality in June, 1940 (or December, 1941), undoubtedly would have saved Italy a lot of grief.

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Re: Naval Doctrine/Stratgey Development 1920>

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 May 2021 05:40

reedwh52 wrote:
04 May 2021 02:19
The topic of the original post was naval strategy/doctrine from 1920 on. The problem described above concerning the loss of merchant shipping was a political decision.
Yes, not much enlightenment from that direction.
The Italian Navy planned (i.e. doctrine) to use the period of tension leading up to a war declaration to move shipping back to the Mediterranean. ... Given the average speed of 10 kts of the Italian merchant ships, the May 25/26 receipt of orders to return would be useless. As an example, the ships in Argentina would had to sail on May 18 to reach as far as Gibraltar by the actual war date of June 10, 1940.
Thanks

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