"The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
weiwensg
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"The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat

Post by weiwensg » 17 Feb 2003 15:06

"The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat in what was technically the Italian theatre of war shows that Italy's position as one of the key Axis states ought to be brought down one notch to one of the minor Axis powers."

What do you think of this statement?

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 17 Feb 2003 22:24

mmmm, three things...

1) this phrase needs a context to be understandable. Where does it come from and who has written it?

2) what does "a german defeat" mean? IIRC at Alamein Rommel's army had about a 70% of italian personnel and a 50% of italian tanks...and don't speak about logistics

3) the strategical situation in 1942 was no more the 1939 one and there's a lot to be told about italo-german relation in WWII over this single episode...without any indication about which is author's theory or aim, is difficult making comments

JLEES
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Italy and Germany

Post by JLEES » 18 Feb 2003 04:18

Although Mussolini had lost strategic control of the war to Hitler’s desires and directives, in the fall of 1942, Italy was still one the main Axis players in terms of manpower and economic commitment to the conflict. It’s difficult to call Italy an Axis minor at that stage of the war. She had ten armies in the field a sizable Navy and air force in the Med. Theater of Operations. It could be inferred that Italy was placed in a minor position after the fall of Africa in May 1943 and especially during the RSI period (September 1943-45), but up until the Battle of El Alamein even most Italians believed there was a good possibility of victory or at least stalemate. While Romania for example lost control of their armed forces very quickly to German control as soon as the attack on the USSR began, Italy maintained complete independence until the end of the Balkan Campaign in April 1941 and her population generally believed in the possibility of victory for another year and a half.
James

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Napoli
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Re: "The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German de

Post by Napoli » 18 Feb 2003 05:38

="weiwensgItaly's position as one of the key Axis states ought to be brought down one notch to one of the minor Axis powers."

What do you think of this statement?
Heres what I think of your statement!!

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hisrtylover
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Post by hisrtylover » 18 Feb 2003 22:14

Well, I think that Italy should be downsized to a minor position because what did it do? It lost all of its major battles (Except Ethiopia). I mean, come on, the Italians threw down their guns and RAN when they were engaged in combat with the British. It was Rommel and the Afrika Corps that lost, not Rommel and the Italians.

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Napoli
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Post by Napoli » 19 Feb 2003 01:44

All depends on how high you placed them in the first place now dosnt it?
Nobody of Italian origin said they were the equal of Germany's army at the time, I would put them in the class of the other axis countries such as Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria etc or possibly inbetween.

Pretty dumb comment, maybe try searching for later infomation on this theatre as they wernt as bad as you think although everyone seems to remember earlier losses. To say only Rommel and co lost only, not Rommel and Italians is a farce, did you not see earlier comment pertaining to approx 70% Italian troops who at times later on left the Africa Corps in their wake? Or is it you are infatuated with the Africa Corps or something only?

But then, at the same time you could say with most men being recruited by conscription and given very basic training, hell, I'd do the same instead of trying to invade a piece of desert for the glory of Mussolini!!
You've got to ask with the sorryful logistics given to them in the begining, where on earth the fighting spirit went? :|
Last edited by Napoli on 19 Feb 2003 09:10, edited 1 time in total.

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 19 Feb 2003 06:13

El-Alamein was an Italian-German defeat , not purely Italian because the Italian war against England ended early in 41 with the defeats suffered in Lybia amd from there onwards we can talk of an Italian-German war. Not purely German because most of the troops involved were Italians fighitng under Italian flag .
Italian soldiers under Rommel overall command were not that bad and this was recognized by Rommel himself , and he was not a man who loved italians too much , their main shortcomings were their equipment that was already inadequate at the beginning of the war and become more obsolete by end of 42 .

If italian soldiers would have been armed with eficent and modern weapons and led by competent leaders , unfortunately only very few of Italian generals can be referred as such , they would have given a much better account of themselves .

For the people who says with spite that the Italians simply RAN , would like to ask if they have ever experience combat and been subject to aerial bombardment and if they have fought an enemy with superior weaponry .
Today for us sitting at a computer is very easy to brand as cwards soldiers who ran away but all must be taken in its real context of weks and months of fighting and bombing and probably you will understand that is not so strange to reach a break point and run away .

I had an experience of being under aerial bombardment of fighter-bombers Iraqi planes at the beginning of Iran-Iraq war and believe me , you do not feel very brave in such circumstances , yr most concern is to run away from where the bombs are going to hit .

Yours

GLADIVM

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Cantankerous
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Re: "The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat

Post by Cantankerous » 29 Jan 2021 22:54

Why did Hitler not give Mussolini's forces the opportunity to fight the Allies at El Alamein by themselves, given that Mussolini was bent on recreating the Roman Empire? The fact that the Italian military fought at El Alamein shows me that Hitler may have been willing to give Mussolini a chance to proceed with conquering North Africa as part of his project to recreate the Roman Empire because the Fuhrer was becoming increasingly burdened with carrying out the Holocaust and fending off the Soviets on the Eastern Front.

Berto
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Re:

Post by Berto » 30 Jan 2021 10:18

hisrtylover wrote:
18 Feb 2003 22:14
Well, I think that Italy should be downsized to a minor position because what did it do? It lost all of its major battles (Except Ethiopia). I mean, come on, the Italians threw down their guns and RAN when they were engaged in combat with the British.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I know this was 18 years ago, but it is never too late to laugh at an idiot.

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Sheldrake
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Re: "The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Jan 2021 10:54

weiwensg wrote:
17 Feb 2003 15:06
"The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat in what was technically the Italian theatre of war shows that Italy's position as one of the key Axis states ought to be brought down one notch to one of the minor Axis powers."

What do you think of this statement?
Italy was in a class of its own as an Axis minor power. It was the decisive the axis power.Mussolini's decision to join the Axis in June 1940 probably cost Germany the war.

Mussolini was following the almost century old Italian foreign policy of strengthening Italy by joining wars on the winning side. It had worked for the Kingdom of Sardinia in the Crimean War. The wars between Austria and France and Austria and Prussia led to the unification of the Italian state. WW1 brought more of Austria and a set of territories in the eastern med.

Germany had nothing to gain and everything to lose by opening up a southern front. Avoiding a war on two fronts was a fundamental element of German strategy. Opening up a third was nonsense. The scale of operations over the med placed a premium on naval and air power that Germany and Italy lacked. Hitler's Mein Kampf vision looked east not south. By contrast it was where the British were strong. It was a convenient place to bring to bear the forces from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa. North Africa was a geographically limited theatrte where the relatively small British forces, and later US Forces could hone their skills with a limited risk. El Alamein, the high point of Axis advance in Africa illustrates the bankruptcy of Axis strategy.

A neutral Italy offered some big advantages for Hitler in his war with Britain and the USSR.

It saved the Germans all those troops that were lost in North Africa and Italy or wasted in counter insurgency and garrisons in the Balkans.

No Balkans campaign brings Op Barbarossa forward.

It denied the allies a base from which to bomb Germany.

Its a route to world trade that would force a wide British blockade.

Nowhere for the British and US to find out the shortcomings of their armies before Op Roundup/Overlord

Berto
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Re: "The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat

Post by Berto » 30 Jan 2021 11:08

Sheldrake wrote:
30 Jan 2021 10:54
Mussolini's decision to join the Axis in June 1940 probably cost Germany the war.
Not really. Germany would have lost regardlessly.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Jan 2021 10:54
Mussolini was following the almost century old Italian foreign policy of strengthening Italy by joining wars on the winning side. It had worked for the Kingdom of Sardinia in the Crimean War. The wars between Austria and France and Austria and Prussia led to the unification of the Italian state.
The wars of 1859 and 1866 were started by Sardinia (the former) and Italy (the latter) in alliance with France and Prussia, respectively. It did not "join the war on the winning side". The same is true for World War I, since nobody was on the verge of winning in May 1915 - Italy joined the side with the best offer.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Jan 2021 10:54
WW1 brought more of Austria and a set of territories in the eastern med.
? The only set of territories in the Eastern Mediterranean, Italy got it by itself in the Italo-Turkish War.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Jan 2021 10:54
Germany had nothing to gain and everything to lose by opening up a southern front. Avoiding a war on two fronts was a fundamental element of German strategy. Opening up a third was nonsense. The scale of operations over the med placed a premium on naval and air power that Germany and Italy lacked. Hitler's Mein Kampf vision looked east not south. By contrast it was where the British were strong. It was a convenient place to bring to bear the forces from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa. North Africa was a geographically limited theatrte where the relatively small British forces, and later US Forces could hone their skills with a limited risk. El Alamein, the high point of Axis advance in Africa illustrates the bankruptcy of Axis strategy.

A neutral Italy offered some big advantages for Hitler in his war with Britain and the USSR.

It saved the Germans all those troops that were lost in North Africa and Italy or wasted in counter insurgency and garrisons in the Balkans.

No Balkans campaign brings Op Barbarossa forward.
All this lies on the rather bold assumption that the Commonwealth would just lay idle while Germany crushed the Soviet Union (provived it would be capable of doing so, which I doubt) and patiently wait for its turn to be defeated. North Africa was the only major land theatre in which the Western Allies were busy from the fall of France till Japan entered the war.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Jan 2021 10:54
It denied the allies a base from which to bomb Germany.
Allied bombers that attacked Germany flew from the UK, not from Italy or the Mediterranean...
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Jan 2021 10:54
Its a route to world trade that would force a wide British blockade.
? By the way, the Brits would have far more naval assets to enforce said blockade, and more broadly to counter Kriegsmarine operations, since there would be no naval war in the Med.
Sheldrake wrote:
30 Jan 2021 10:54
Nowhere for the British and US to find out the shortcomings of their armies before Op Roundup/Overlord
Again, provided that the rest of the timeline remains as in real life. Without any need to fight in Africa, the Allies might have opened fronts earlier, elsewhere. Who knows...

EwenS
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Re: "The fact that El Alamein was primarily a German defeat

Post by EwenS » 01 Feb 2021 11:54

Berto
You need to check out the heavy bomber operations of 205 Group RAF and the US 15th Air Force flying from bases around Bari in 1944/45. These units were flying operations not only over northern Italy, the Balkans and Southern France but northwards into Austria, Southern Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The 15th AF even made a visit to Berlin in March 1945 while the RAF supported the Warsaw Uprising from southern Italy.

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