Italian invasion of British Somalia

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GLADIVM
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Italian invasion of British Somalia

Post by GLADIVM » 12 Aug 2002 05:20

I AM INTERESTED TO KNOW SOME DETAILS OF THE LITTLE KNOWN CAMPAIGN IN SOMALILAND (BRITISH SOMALIA) WHICH WAS OCCUPIED BY ITALIAN TROOPS EARLY IN THE WAR .

AFTER ALL THIS WAS THE ONLY VICTORY OF ITALY AGAINST BRITAIN , OBTAINED BY THE ITALIAN ARMY ALONE .
I AM AWARE THAT BRITISH FORCES HAD NO PLANS TO MAKE A FIERCE
RESISTANCE AND WERE LOOKING ONLY TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY WITH MINIMUM LOSSES . BUT IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN .

THANKS FOR ANY HELP .

GLADIVM

Fredrik
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Post by Fredrik » 12 Aug 2002 07:43

http://www.comandosupremo.com/

This page provide some information regarding OOB.

Regards,
Fredrik

Octavianus
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Post by Octavianus » 12 Aug 2002 13:52

Ave Gladivm,

Quae legio? :D :D

Here are two another websites that will provide you with more or less a detailed insight about the Italian invasion of British Somaliland in 1940:

http://www.geocities.com/kumbayaaa/itro ... i1940.html

and

http://www.sonic.net/~bstone/history/somaliland.shtml

The lattest URL is a very detailed article about this invasion, so I heartily recommended to take a look.

Hope this helps,

Gratia,

Octavianus

JLEES
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Italian invasion of British Somaliland

Post by JLEES » 13 Aug 2002 02:29

I understand this was Italy's only real operational victory against the British in the war and Fascist-Italy's military high point in the entire conflict too, but it can also be viewed as a tactical success having terrible strategic negative consequences later. The offensive into Somaliland eat-up valuable supplies that could not be replaced later in Ethiopia, when the British began their offensive and overran the area in 1940/41. Although the Italians would have lost Ethiopia anyways they might have done better if there had never been a Somaliland offensive. In essence the Italians later paid for the quick victory in Somaliland when the British counterattacked and won a possibly easier victory.
James

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 13 Aug 2002 07:24

AVE OCTAVIANUS ,

OVVIAMENTE ALLA INVICTA DECIMA LEGIO :lol:

GRAZIE PER GLI UTILI INDIRIZZI

MORIETVR TE SALVTANT

GLADIVM

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 13 Aug 2002 07:47

Dear JLEES ,

you are right , italian resources were very limited and wasting them in a campaign of little strategical importance was not a smart move but if italy wanted to keep A.O.I. could not let part of somalia in british hands and a sure victory in a short and not too demanding campaign , was for too much for Mussolini to resist .

I heard that Churchill was not happy at all that italian forces gained a victory over british and as I said it was the only real italian victory , without german support (or better say german dominance) of the all war .

In the thirties italy had a choice betwwen forming a relatively small army but well equipped and motorised (within the the limitations of italian possibilities) or a large army mostly on foot and badly equipped ,
The fascist slogan of 6,000,000 baynotes shows was choice was made and why the italian army performed poorly in the war .

In the long term italy had no chance of keeping A.O.I. but a better show of arms could have been made .
The only purpose of Somaliland campaign I believe was for propaganda and to rally italian people to a war that was not felt by common people .

JLEES
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Italy's 1940 Offensive

Post by JLEES » 13 Aug 2002 11:55

GLADIVM,
I agree with 100% on your analysis of the campaign. If I were Mussolini I probably would have ordered the attack too. In the long run the A.O.I. was doomed when Italy declared war on GB and the conflict didn't end as fast as Il Duce believed it would. The entire Ethiopian Campaign 1940/41 is also an interesting and often overlooked WWII Theater of Operations.
James

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Kenshiro
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Post by Kenshiro » 19 Oct 2003 13:55

sorry i dont agree here, on my opinion it would have been totally impossible to defend the Italian east africa whit out conquering the dangerous British somaliland.
If not conquerred, the british would surely try to invade the italian colony from behind.

So it was a wise action, but it could have been done better! :)

JLEES
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Post by JLEES » 19 Oct 2003 15:13

Kenshiro,
If you look at the attack from the short term point of view the Italian assault into British Somaliland does make sence, if the Suez is also captured from libya and there is a link with the A.O. forces. But, after Graziani's offensive failed, the British pushed him backwards out of Egypt and were able to cut the A.O. off from the rest of Italy, then the offensive was a long term waiste of time and expended a lot of resources that could have been used to defend the colony in 1941. It just depends on how someone views the campaign and from what point of time it is done.
James

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Kenshiro
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Post by Kenshiro » 19 Oct 2003 22:59

no i dont think so, BS if not conquered could have been a good base to attack the AOI. It would been wery difficoult to defend if the brits start to attack from there!
Just look at the position of BS, it have borders between Ethiopia, Italian somaliland and Djibuti. Tell me now, if the british attack AOI from Sudan, how could the italians defend themselve from a multiple attack from BS and Sudan?...it would be virtually impossible.
Capturing the british colony, allowed AOI to exist a little bit more!

JLEES
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AOI Defense

Post by JLEES » 20 Oct 2003 00:21

As I understand the situation it was a matter of supplies. The Italian commander had a very limitted amount of supplies to defend the AOI from British attack. After Mussolini's declaration of war against GB the Suez was cut and with it the only line-of-communication between the AOI and Italy. Going on the offense in June 1940, with limitted amounts of supplies, was a good move for a short term tactical victory and for propaganda, but bad for the long term strategic success of the colony, after large amounts of the supplies were used up in this offensive. When the British began assaulting the AOI later in 1940 the Italian command had few supplies and little mobility for a good defense, which resulted in a possibly faster collapse in 1941. Meanwhile, no matter how one looks at the situation in the AOI it was just a matter of time before the British would be able to overrun the area.
James

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Kenshiro
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Post by Kenshiro » 20 Oct 2003 09:16

If not conquered, the italian commander was forced to use ressources deploying he's men around the BS border, patrolling and digging trenches in view of a possible British offensive.
So no matter what the ressources would alway be used.
BUUUT conquerring the colony allowed the commander to free some forces to be used in other scenarios....like Kenya or Sudan.

JLEES
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Abyssinia Defense

Post by JLEES » 20 Oct 2003 11:17

Kenshiro,
Having a spring board to launch their offensive was never a proplem for the British any way. With their control of the skys and ocean around they area, so it did not mater whether they had British Somaliland or not. Look at the results of the campaign any way: The Italians had limited amounts of supplies which was greatly used up on a pointless offensive and the British launched their offensive against the AOI from several different staging areas any way. The Italians would have been far better off establishing a good interior defense, holding their supplies back and inflicting as many casualties on the Commonwealth forces as possible; not going on the offensive an overrunning British Somaliland and exausting their supplies. The AOI was like a house with several doors that could be opened. They successfully closed the British Somaliland door, but left open several others and had no strength left to deal with the invaders coming through them.
James

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Peter H
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Re: Italian invasion of British Somalia

Post by Peter H » 31 Dec 2010 21:50

From ebay.de,seller shop-ak.

Photo from 1940.

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UMachine
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Re: Italian invasion of British Somalia

Post by UMachine » 01 Jan 2011 17:40

Surely that would have to be 1941.Apparently there were a few when the commonwealth stormed back.

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