Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

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Dili
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Dili » 18 Dec 2020 10:00

The referenced article has an essential mistake. It implies that Cant Z.1007bis were available from start and had more range than other types. They were not, being only operational in August - - the part where it says that bomber was in a mission with 18 100kg bombs is also a mistake. The article does not gives much data and is inferior to a Storia Militare one where the author compared the activity of Italia AF in WW2 an in Spain reaching the conclusion that the activity was more intense in Spanish Civil War...
Both do not give any explanation but essentially it is because Mussolini did not entered in War to do any combat but to get a seat in "Peace Conference" that he judged was to happen after fall of France. So there wasn't any mission, military objective pursued with any conviction.

https://www.afhistory.org/wp-content/up ... ll2016.pdf

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 18 Dec 2020 13:25

AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 04:47
Peter89 wrote:
17 Dec 2020 08:32
What do you want to achieve? To what end? With what resources?
I am tire of "what ifs" that revolve around Germany and Japan, the former is especially over-done, and I have never seen any that were based on Italy. That was all, and the gap between Italy's potential and their accomplishments was huge. I know there are a myriad of reasons for this and I wanted to tackle just the one that I think is the biggest one and the one that could have been solved.
In what sense do you mean that?
Italy's accomplishments in 1940 were minimal OTL, so do you think they were able to do much more?

Let's take a look at the capital ships at the engagements.

It is a custom to talk about "six Italian battleships" but in fact there was never enough of them on the spot.

Battle of Calabria (3 July 1940):
Italians:
Conte di Cavour (10x320mm, 27kn)
Giulio Cesare (10x320mm, 27kn)
Full weight of broadside: 2 x 5,248kg = 10,496kg
RoF: 2 ; 2
DPS: 2 x 10,496 kg/min -> 20,992kg/min

British:
Warspite (8x381mm, 23kn)
Royal Souvereign (8x381mm, 23kn)
Malaya (8x381mm, 24kn)
Full weight of broadside: 3 x 7,030 kg = 21,090kg
RoF: 2 ; 2 ; 2
DPS: 42,180 kg/min


The other battleships:
Andrea Doria: refit until October 1940
Caio Duilio refit until 15 July 1940
Vittorio Veneto: not ready for operations until 2 August 1940
Littorio: not ready for operations until 2 August 1940

So what Italy actually had at the entry of the war was two operational battleships.

At the Battle of Cape Spartivento, 27 November 1940 the Italians again, did not have 6 battleships.
Italians:
Vittorio Veneto (9x381mm, 30kn)
Giulio Cesare (10x320mm, 27kn)
Full weight of broadside: 7,964kg + 5,248kg = 13,212kg
RoF: 1.3 ; 2
DPS: 10,353.2 kg/min + 10,496 kg/min -> 20,894.2kg/min

British:
Ramillies (8x381mm, 22kn)
Renown (8x381mm, 31kn)
Full weight of broadside: 7,030 kg + 5,274kg = 12,304kg
RoF: 2 ; 2
DPS: 24,608kg/min

Littorio and Caio Duilio were damaged and Conte di Cavour was essentially sunk at Taranto, Andrea Doria was not combat ready. Regia Marina again had 2 operational battleships.

When you said
AnchorSteam wrote:
14 Dec 2020 00:35
A massive raid by about about 200 bombers at Toulon might not be a war-winning move, but it would be more than the devastated French Air Force could deal with effectively and it would help trigger a French counter-move.
And since my Air Power distribution seems to look good to all of you, moving on to the Navy now.

Concentration of force seems to work well for the Panzers, let’s see if that is also good for the warships.

Leading off are 3 x Heavy groups with; 2 x BBs or BCs , 2 x Light Cruisers, 8 x DDs.

2 x Heavy Cruiser Divs with 3-4 x CAs, 1 x CL and 6 x DDs.

3 x DD Divisions of 8 x DDs/DEs each.

This leaves 1 x CA, 2 x CL and 19 x DDs/DEs as standby reserve or down for maintenance…. or on solitary patrol.
It is rather 1 group instead of 3. You know what I mean here.
AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 04:47
Peter89 wrote:
17 Dec 2020 08:32
In what timeframe? How do you make the other parties to accept it?
The timeframe is the in-depth planning in the first half of 1940, and it's application in the 2nd half of the year.

I have no ideas about making anyone accept anything.
This is an idea that has been percolating in my mind for a couple of years, and for reasons of my own I have felt the urge to get my old projects out there while I can.
People don't accept things very well these days, it is beyond me to 'make' them do so anyway, I just want a good discussion.
I meant your opening moves, not your ideas you share here.
How will Vichy France accept it? How will the British accept it? How will the Arabs accept it? How will the Germans accept it?
Italian warmaking had too many adversaries and too few supporters; and Italy did not have the power to force its will on others, especially not on the long term.

The first half of 1940 was kind of a gearing up for the Italians, but they've failed to save a larger portion of their merchant marine. The RA was in a middle of a transition regarding technology. Their armored forces were full of obsolete and kind of useless pieces. Major fleet ports were not covered by CAP, torpedo nets and AA capabilities. Combat readiness of troops was nowhere near the authorized levels. They also lacked a comprehensive strategy to "win the war", so if you can come up with one, it's definately worth to discuss. For example, the rather unnecessary attacks against France and Greece should have been avoided, no?
AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 04:47
Peter89 wrote:
17 Dec 2020 08:32
Is it purely your thinking or was your idea considered by someone else before?
All of the ideas and plans are my own. It is possible (maybe even likely) that someone else has had some of them before, but I have never seen them in print or online, especially the next two items.
It is also a big red flag. If you happen to out-think 80 years of military professionals, historians, armchair generals and other kind of people interested in military history, and you come up with something entirely new, it is usually a no-go zone. At the bottom of the barrel, there is usually piles of hard work, tons of reading, searching and analyzing new data. The chance that you will encounter something amazingly new based on common knowledge and Wikipedia articles is almost zero.
AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 04:47
Peter89 wrote:
17 Dec 2020 08:32
Why the decision makers did not make this decision? etc.
I don't know, it all seems perfectly logical to me.
Despite being in the more ricky situation, Axis leaders outisde of Germany and Japan seem to have taken a very casual attitude towards the war, and in Germany there were many examples of irresponsible behavior that seem inexplicable to me, until one considers what a ridiculous political system was at work there.
Big red flag, again.

Intimate knowledge of decision making is key to give your scenario a pinch of credibility. If something was never considered by a belligerent, it is very, very unlikely to happen in any alternate timeline. I decided to go down the cellar and handle my wine to clear it and sulphur it this afternoon, but the small pieces to get to this afternoon were in motion for months, since the harvest at October 24. But the foundations of my decision making were laid down 4 years ago, when I started to cultivate grapes in my vinery, and it changed course three times over, with every harvest and vintage. So the exact date, the amount of sulphur, the temperature and the procedure do not come from nowhere, and it is not without limits, what I will do this afternoon. So if someone comes with a what if scenario and says that "Peter uses barrels for winemaking", it is not a very credible scenario, even though I have money for barrels, I know how to deal with them, etc. I considered the option and said a big no for that. So it won't be a credible what if scenario. A credible what if scenario would be something like "what if Peter uses 18C for fermentation", or "what if Peter plants a different variety of grape for winemaking".
AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 04:47
I am trying to introduce a standard of planning and preperation Japan had going for it to Italy, as well as a non-nonsense bit of self-appraisal in the style of the German General Staff.
There is no point, this is ancient hisotry .... but still a fun bit of mental exercise.
Maybe I should have kept it to myself.
However, today was my last day of work for a while, so with some reservations I will resume now that I have the time this item deserves.
No, I think it's nice that you share it.

Regarding the casual attitude, I think you're not really right here.

Romania tried to balance between Germany and the Wallies, the problem was that after the fall of France, it became obvious that the Soviet threat is real and the Germans are the only ones who could do anything about it.

Hungary was in full swing of rearmament since the Bled agreement of 22 August 1938.

Bulgaria had long-held claims against all of its neighbours. I'd say the relatively young nations of the Balkans were in a constant mood of arming themselves since the Second Balkan War. Much less attention was paid to, let's say, education or welfare.

The Finnish... I think they proved themselves very much capable in the Winter War.

No; the ineptitude and unsuccessfulness of the Italian armed forces in WW2 is well-founded in compraison with other nations.
Last edited by Peter89 on 18 Dec 2020 13:44, edited 1 time in total.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Dili
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Dili » 18 Dec 2020 13:40

The first half of 1940 was kind of a gearing up for the Italians, but they've failed to save a larger portion of their merchant marine. The RA was in a middle of a transition regarding technology. Their armored forces were full of obsolete and kind of useless pieces. Major fleet ports were not covered by CAP, torpedo nets and AA capabilities. Combat readiness of troops was nowhere near the authorized levels. They also lacked a comprehensive strategy to "win the war", so if you can come up with one, it's definately worth to discuss. For example, the rather unnecessary attacks against France and Greece should have been avoided, no?
Why the attack against Taranto was at night?

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 18 Dec 2020 13:59

Dili wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:40
The first half of 1940 was kind of a gearing up for the Italians, but they've failed to save a larger portion of their merchant marine. The RA was in a middle of a transition regarding technology. Their armored forces were full of obsolete and kind of useless pieces. Major fleet ports were not covered by CAP, torpedo nets and AA capabilities. Combat readiness of troops was nowhere near the authorized levels. They also lacked a comprehensive strategy to "win the war", so if you can come up with one, it's definately worth to discuss. For example, the rather unnecessary attacks against France and Greece should have been avoided, no?
Why the attack against Taranto was at night?
Because a few biplanes cannot compete with all the RA.

Btw Taranto was one of the best defended Italian ports.

Image
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Dec 2020 17:34

Dili wrote:
18 Dec 2020 09:27
. Few of the airfields were long enough to support the two "modern" aircraft in the Italian inventory, the
AM.79 and CR.42.
CR42 was a biplane it did not need any long runway.
You are correct; I'm just not paying much attention to my responses. I should have said few runways long enough for the SM.79 or enough improved airfields supporting modern aircraft. I count 26 airbases in Ethiopia, 10 in Eritrea, and 12 in Somalia, the later two groups very vulnerable to British attack.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 18 Dec 2020 18:09

Dili wrote:
18 Dec 2020 09:27
Yes like i said it was a SUSPENSION June to September, but you seem to be incapable of reading.
I am having the same problem here.

Counting that aircraft type in the inventory of June 10th isnot a mistake, the mistake would be leaving it out in light of the fact that is was seeing combat in June 23rd.
And that is all I did, there are no operations that would have to be suspended because it was not present.
Dili wrote:
18 Dec 2020 09:27
. Few of the airfields were long enough to support the two "modern" aircraft in the Italian inventory, the
AM.79 and CR.42.
CR42 was a biplane it did not need any long runway.
I didn't say that it did, and I don't know where that line came from, but this does bring up an item that could be interesting for you, and is related to where I am now in this;

The Re 2000 does not appear to have been well-liked by the RA establishment for a variety of reasons, but there was one interesting thing about it that caught my eye -
The flow of supplies to the Italian colony of Ethiopia with much needed modern weapons and equipment was constantly harassed by the British navy and aviation. One of the problems for the Italians was the lack of proper fighter cover. They attempted to send S.M.82 transport planes carrying parts for CR.42 biplanes. While these attempts did see some success, a proper solution was needed. The best Italian fighter at that time was the Macchi C.200, but it lacked the needed operational range to reach this front. Someone in the Italian Air Force proposed to modify some already produced models with increased fuel load. The Italian Navy (Regia Marina) also showed interest in this project, as they were desperate to replace the aging Ro.43 and Ro.44 aircraft (carried by larger shipps for various missions). For this proposal, the Re.2000 was chosen, despite not being adopted for service.

The prototype of the Re.2000 design for longer operational range was named “G.A” (Grande Autonomia, long range). The Re.2000 G.A had an increased fuel load to 1490 l, which increased the operational range from 840 km (520 miles) to 1.300 km (807 miles). This aircraft was tested by the famous Italian Ace Col. Adriano Mantelli. The flight proved to be successful and without any problems. Despite these results, the loss of Ethiopia to the Allies in May 1941 stopped the long range fighter project.
https://plane-encyclopedia.com/ww2/regg ... 000-falco/

Now, flying 50 disassembled Cr.42 to the IEA via Kufra was an impressive feat, but I think I can save all those Kangaroo sorties by expediting the transfer of those planes (28, 38? ...numbers vary by source) by the addition of a disposable drop-tank intended for the trip down there ONLY, instead of whatever complicated re-design was undertaken IRL.

As is the basis of all this is a start date of January, I don't think it would be a major problem to get them heading down to the IEA over the Summer. A long as they make it there and are operational by the Fall they will be on hand to counter the first of the Hawker Hurricanes that start showing up in that Theater of operations.
Sound reasonable?

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 18 Dec 2020 18:41

Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
I meant your opening moves, not your ideas you share here.
How will Vichy France accept it? How will the British accept it? How will the Arabs accept it? How will the Germans accept it?
Why are the Vichy an concern before they existed?
The Italian Army DID attack metropolitan France in WW2 IRL, they just didn't make very much progress.
Why is this now a controversial move that I have to justify?

As for the rest, I have something for the Germans and the Arabs in the Aden operation.
Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
It is also a big red flag. If you happen to out-think 80 years of military professionals, historians, armchair generals and other kind of people interested in military history, and you come up with something entirely new, it is usually a no-go zone. At the bottom of the barrel, there is usually piles of hard work, tons of reading, searching and analyzing new data. The chance that you will encounter something amazingly new based on common knowledge and Wikipedia articles is almost zero.
I understand that. I have been saying that the deeper you dig into this sort of thing, the more you find out why people did as they did at the time and how frequently this was the only good course to take at the time, and I have said it before TIK came on the scene with his excellent vids on the Eastern front (highly recommended).
However, Italy entering WW2 when and how it did was not one of those, as I am tryng to show here.

Speaking of Red Flags- wouldn't we need a separate thread (and a very large one) to go over all the finer points of the concept of the "what if"?
Of all the threads in this board, why is this one the one being called on to justify everything related to Alternate History?
Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
Regarding the casual attitude, I think you're not really right here.
....
The Finnish... I think they proved themselves very much capable in the Winter War.
Re-armament is not the same as putting the plans in place and having an aggressive enough stance to win the war, and I think that Romania was far more impressive than Finland in this regard. Rather than stop at the limit of the territory previously seized by the USSR, as Finalnd did, Romania pressed on towards the east with all the vigor they were capable of. This allowed the Germans to go much farther than would have been the case otherwise, which at the time seemed to be the best way to win the war.

Naval; I did not expect 4 of the 6 to be unavailable, but direct confrontation with the RN was never called for in the first place.
So, firstly we have a confrontation with the Monitor Terror, basically a barge with one twin 15" turret at Malta. A pair of battlecruisers shoud not have too much difficulty with this if they have a good spotter plane up there to call the fall of their shot (in the likely event that Terror stays inside the haorbor).
The interesting part is what comes next at the Riviera, and a possible confrontation with Dunkirk (spelling?) and Strasbourg. That would be a beautiful fight and perhaps worthy of a thread in itself.


And.... since there are no comments on the Khartoum operation, I guess I should move on to Aden.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 18 Dec 2020 23:15

AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 18:41
Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
I meant your opening moves, not your ideas you share here.
How will Vichy France accept it? How will the British accept it? How will the Arabs accept it? How will the Germans accept it?
Why are the Vichy an concern before they existed?
The Italian Army DID attack metropolitan France in WW2 IRL, they just didn't make very much progress.
Why is this now a controversial move that I have to justify?

As for the rest, I have something for the Germans and the Arabs in the Aden operation.
You don't need to justify it. Just explain it, and give a broader understanding. WHY is it good to attack a collapsing France as your war-entry move?

Why is it worthwhile to make them enemies? Without French collaboration, the war was lost anyway. The less the bitterness in them, the closer the final victory is

You have to admit, Italy didn't have much resources to spare for the morale boosting you've mentioned before.
AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 18:41
Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
It is also a big red flag. If you happen to out-think 80 years of military professionals, historians, armchair generals and other kind of people interested in military history, and you come up with something entirely new, it is usually a no-go zone. At the bottom of the barrel, there is usually piles of hard work, tons of reading, searching and analyzing new data. The chance that you will encounter something amazingly new based on common knowledge and Wikipedia articles is almost zero.
I understand that. I have been saying that the deeper you dig into this sort of thing, the more you find out why people did as they did at the time and how frequently this was the only good course to take at the time, and I have said it before TIK came on the scene with his excellent vids on the Eastern front (highly recommended).
However, Italy entering WW2 when and how it did was not one of those, as I am tryng to show here.

Speaking of Red Flags- wouldn't we need a separate thread (and a very large one) to go over all the finer points of the concept of the "what if"?
Of all the threads in this board, why is this one the one being called on to justify everything related to Alternate History?
There are multiple ones of those, and I'd recommend you to read them.

You don't need to present certainity or inevitability - those are impossible anyway - just stay within the boundaries of the game. And most importantly, ask, if you are not sure.
AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 18:41
Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
Regarding the casual attitude, I think you're not really right here.
....
The Finnish... I think they proved themselves very much capable in the Winter War.
Re-armament is not the same as putting the plans in place and having an aggressive enough stance to win the war, and I think that Romania was far more impressive than Finland in this regard. Rather than stop at the limit of the territory previously seized by the USSR, as Finalnd did, Romania pressed on towards the east with all the vigor they were capable of. This allowed the Germans to go much farther than would have been the case otherwise, which at the time seemed to be the best way to win the war.
Romania's entry into the war - and the XX. century, for that matter - was both brilliant and opportunist military-wise. But it was nothing like the Finnish move, which was indeed self-defense. When the Romanians would face odds like the Finnish, they would change sides.

AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 18:41
Naval; I did not expect 4 of the 6 to be unavailable, but direct confrontation with the RN was never called for in the first place.
So, firstly we have a confrontation with the Monitor Terror, basically a barge with one twin 15" turret at Malta. A pair of battlecruisers shoud not have too much difficulty with this if they have a good spotter plane up there to call the fall of their shot (in the likely event that Terror stays inside the haorbor).
The interesting part is what comes next at the Riviera, and a possible confrontation with Dunkirk (spelling?) and Strasbourg. That would be a beautiful fight and perhaps worthy of a thread in itself.
What battlecruisers the RM possessed, exactly?

Btw... if the occupation of Malta couldn't be done very fast, the RN will arrive. If we work with the standing orders of the RM, they'd reteat as soon as a BB is hit, and bye bye operazione c3.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 19 Dec 2020 01:36

Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 23:15
You don't need to justify it. Just explain it, and give a broader understanding. WHY is it good to attack a collapsing France as your war-entry move?
I have already explained that several times. at length. repeatedly.

Last time; All I am doing is presenting a set of plans that I think would bring Italy as clost to possible to victory as possible if they adhere to them.
I am not going to introduce any wonder weapons, I am not going to try to change Il Duce's war-aims. Changing the entire country's rationale for going to war in the first place is beyond me.
If I try to change the WHY of this war then the argument becomes "well they would not have gone to war then", so why go there?

The Dictator wanted French territory, and I don't think he would have taken "no" for an answer from his own Generals.
AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 18:41
Of all the threads in this board, why is this one the one being called on to justify everything related to Alternate History?

There are multiple ones of those, and I'd recommend you to read them.
I have indeed looked at other threads in this section, about a dozen of them.
None of them go into the kind of depth that I have here.
All of them are getting much more posittive feed-back
What is up with that?
Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
You don't need to present certainity or inevitability - those are impossible anyway - just stay within the boundaries of the game. And most importantly, ask, if you are not sure.
See above.
Peter89 wrote:
18 Dec 2020 13:25
What battlecruisers the RM possessed, exactly?
Oh hell no! I am not calling those things Battleships. Italy won't have proper Battleships until the new ones hit the scene.
One must hold to certain standards, after all. 8-)
Last edited by AnchorSteam on 19 Dec 2020 09:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 19 Dec 2020 09:22

AnchorSteam wrote:
19 Dec 2020 01:36

Oh hell no! I am not calling those things Battleships. Italy won't have proper Battleships until the new ones hit the scene.
One must hold to certain standards, after all. 8-)
The Conte di Cavour class was very similar to other battleships of the day, the Courbet class, the König class and the Iron Duke class. Even though they were modernized, just as the Andrea Doria class, the 26-27 kn speed do not justify the battlecruiser designation. They were modernized, WW1 era battleships.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 19 Dec 2020 09:36

ADEN


First to cover the Naval side of this;

I am not adding anything to the Red Sea Fleet other than the 4 MTBs already mentioned, two Submarines .... and something really must be done to ensure that one of the two Cruisers modified or Colonial service is actually there at the Colonies.
There is not much to choose between the Bari and Taranto aside from the fact that (according to Janes) the Bari is 6 knots faster. I do not propose to bring any modern cruisers in because the RN will only match or exceed what is brought down to the IEA. As things stand, there is already enough to deal with--
On June 10, 1940, Rear Admiral A.J.L. Murray commanded the British Red Sea Force based at Aden. Murray mustered the New Zealand light cruiser Leander and the Australian Hobart. In the weeks leading up to war, especially after Great Britain read Italy’s orders for the “immediate and secret mobilization of the army and air force in east Africa,” the British Admiralty dispatched the old cruiser Carlisle; three sloops, Auckland, Flamingo, and Grimsby; and the modern ships of the 28th Destroyer Division, Kandahar, Kingston, Kimberley, and Khartoum, to supplement Murray’s command. The Red Sea Force had multiple missions: to prevent Italian reinforcements, to engage the Massawa squadron, to blockade the coast of Italian Somaliland, to protect the vital shipping lane up to Suez, and to defend Aden from surface attack.

http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/ ... naval-war/


However, while Italy did not achieve any spectacular victories, it always maintained a credible threat. The Allies ran just one large convoy a month, passing Massawa during the period of greatest dark. Italian destroyers sortied against nearly every one, and this was enough. It was more important to sustain the threat than to destroy a merchant ship or two at the risk of irreplaceable destroyers.
At the campaign’s start, the Allies deployed two modern cruisers, four modern destroyers, and eight sloops in the Red Sea.
So, if we stand any chance with Aden, it has to be done by surprise the instant a DOW is handed to the Allies. Hopefully there will only be one cruiser and a couple of Sloops in Aden when the invasion fleet arrives. This seems more than reasonable since they also have to cover Somaliland, Oman and the Red Sea.



The landing force will need 5,000 native troops, and 500 of those will have to be Cavalry of some kind. Those Cav. will be about the only troops that will be able to push very far into the interior from Aden.

The remainder of that landing force will be 3,000 Italians of 3 battalions. One Battalion will be the independent Mountain Battalion, and I would plan to bring them back, but the rest of the landing force will stay there to garrison the area. The other 2,000 Italian troops will be Blackshirts.

That isn’t a typo. Yes, most of the Blackshirts in this area were WW1 Vets putting on an act, and some were even amputees, but there was a Battalion that was made up of Assault Group (Arditi) veterans. There was also a Machine Gun Battalion without their MGs and an Artillery Battalion without cannon… and both of those were made up of University Students. Take the best of those, combine them and put them under the wing of the Veterans. Those College boys should also be good at making use of whatever captured equipment is found in Aden. If we have smart Privates, might as well make the best use of them. A battery or two of 75mm AA guns will be included in any case.
The real purpose in bringing these Students along is to have as many engineers and other bright lads along that can make sense of the heavy equipment in the base at Aden, repair it and put it back into use.

The three CV-33 tankettes and three of those miserable 611 Armored Cars will be going, too. A little armor is much better than none at all, and the propaganda value will be immense. Can you imagine the panic when word gets out; “Enemy tanks are on the Arabian Peninsula!” The phlegmatic Brits, maybe not so much, but what about the Arabians themselves?


Getting there --

Let's invite a Staff officer from the German Navy down to Massawa to have a look around in January. At one of the dinners in his honor, let's also have the captains of the various German ships interned at Massawa there as well.
The ships include the SS Lichtenfels, one of the world's first modern heavy lift ship, built for DDG Hansa in 1929. She was equipped with a 120 ton boom crane capable of lifting fully assembled locomotives, which were shipped to India. She had a speed of about 13.5 knots

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Lichtenfels

There were 8 other German merchants in Italian East Africa: Bertram Rickmers, Coburg, Crefeld, Oder, Oliva, Wartenfels, Frauenfels and Gera.

The crews of those ships must be getting bored, so lets get with the Captains and this liaison officer to do a little planning, and give them a way to get back in the war.... perhaps, at some point in the future. With one of their own Navy men sitting right there, they will have to listen, at the very least. What we would like to know is what it would take for each ship to host a battaltion of men for just a day, and then launch them towards a beach. The only real requirement is that the ships can do at least 12 knots.
Lichtenfels is the real prize, and not because of the very minor weight of the Armor we are bringing. With that crane, it can lift small barges, flat-bottom tugs or whatever else we can find that will be useful in this landing.
Needless to say, the Captains are not to pass this on to the crew, just senior officers, and I think that having somehting useful to do would be a boon to them. The crews don't have to know who they are making room for, or why they are practicing off-loading gear.
There is also the RAMB I, II and IV that can do 18 knots, and the Eritrea should be able to carry a few men as well.

It is late, I need to go.... but I will leave you with a map showing landings and air-support scheduled.
(not really sure about the load-out for the Sparrows, but I'll get back to that)
Aden1940 copy 2.jpg
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AnchorSteam
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 19 Dec 2020 09:54

Peter89 wrote:
19 Dec 2020 09:22
AnchorSteam wrote:
19 Dec 2020 01:36

Oh hell no! I am not calling those things Battleships. Italy won't have proper Battleships until the new ones hit the scene.
One must hold to certain standards, after all. 8-)
The Conte di Cavour class was very similar to other battleships of the day, the Courbet class, the König class and the Iron Duke class. Even though they were modernized, just as the Andrea Doria class, the 26-27 kn speed do not justify the battlecruiser designation. They were modernized, WW1 era battleships.
I know, and I probably should, but as soon as I mentioned the Dunkirks I knew I was comparing them to ships with roughly similar armor and gun-power that were only a couple of knots faster... and the French ships were still called Battlecruisers.
Its just hard for me to see them as earning the Battleship title.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 20 Dec 2020 05:57

The approach to ADEN ;

It will require some subterfuge to make a successful landing at Aden.

June 10th;
War Warning is given, the ships in Massawa unload unnecessary things and load the bulk of the men and equipment. The bulk of what they need will be at Massawa or the local capitol, Asmara, less than 50 miles away. Eight merchant ships convoy up and head south before midnight, escorted by six Destroyers (I will assume that one of the seven in the Red Sea Flotilla will be down for maintenance) and some lesser ships.

June 11th;
A few hours before sunset two of the fastest transports will dock at Assab and begin off-loading empty boxes wiile the rest of the ships stand by, apparently waiting their turn. No attempt will be made to conceal the ships or their activity at Assab.
There are here to pick up some personnel that have been rushed down from Addis Ababa (halfway by rail, half by road) over the last 2 days, and to fool the enemy. In the last hours of peace, word will go out that the Italians are unloading an awful lot of stuff at Assab, right next to Djibouti.
However, once it is dark, all the ships will depart and head southeast at over 12 knots.

June 12th a few minutes after midnight.... Perim island.
All hell breaks loose as Italian ships approach the island and begin to blast the bejeezus out of anything that catches their eyes.... except for the island's communication aparatus. This is one of them most barren islands in the Red Sea, it has no source of water at all and is the site of a Coaling station that folded in 1935. It is also sited like a cork in the bottom of the Red Sea, and it's ownership has awlays been a source of concern.
Therefore, it makes for a good fake-out location.

The Vincenzo Giordano Orsini and sister ship Giovanni Acerbi are as foloow; Displacement: 709 GRT, crew: 78 men, 6 X IT 10.2cm 45cal Schneider Armstrong guns (6×1), 2 x 40mm 2pdr Vickers Single AA guns (2×1), 4 x 18in 45cm W200-450 X 5.75 torpedo tubes (2×2), Max speed: 30 knots.
Their attack will not start until the Convoy is at least 50 miles away and steaming east. Putting on a good show is all they are there for, but I would also like them to put raiding partis ashore and if they can take control of the island... why not?


Meanwhile, the Itlaian Colonial Cruiser that we now have down there (Bari) will be loitering around the Horn. It will also begin a high-speed run towards Aden once darkness falls.

--See previous post for Air-Raids--
Aden will be treated to a midnight raid by half a dozen Ca.133 because Djibouti, Berbera, Kassala and Wajir will also be hit at this time the say way, and we don't want them to feel left out. At 4;30 another raid of the same strength will hit the airbase, and hopefully this will cause the Gladiator fighters to chase after them. One hour later, when the fighters will be out of fuel and back on the ground, there will be a sunrise raid in great strength, and the Bari will arrive to take on it's first target; the two Gunpits on Sira Island.
This raid will be 30-plane raid targeting Army installations such as barracks and the 7 gunpits in the area of Steamer Point.

(these concrete gun-pits can still be seen on Google Earth today if you look closely. Based on their size I estimate that they coud hold guns anywhere from 4" to 6")
Landings have already started, at Bandar Fukum. 500 infantry and the gunfire of the Eritirea clearing the way for 500 Cavalry. The later will be headed to the airfield at Shek Othman and link up with the infantry landing on the other side.

The RN will probably have been stirred to action by now, and several measures have been taken regarding that;
In addition to the three Subs serving as Pickets along the route of the Convoy, there will be three more lurking outside Aden. They will report on any warships they see, and attempt to torpedo any Destroyers or larger ships entering or leaving the area.
15 minutes after the big raid by 30 x SM. 81 bombers, a dozen SM.79 will arrive armed with a mix of torpedos and clusters of 15 & 2 Kg. bombs. The torpedos are for the RN, of course, and the little bombs are to suppress the beach defenses. At 6am, when the invasion fleet deploys, the other Squadron of SM.79 arrive with more clusters of little bombs to really smother the defensive works without totally destroying them.

The troops will go ashore as shown, covered by a total of 48 x 120mm and 8 x 5.9" guns.... provided the RN ships on the scene have been dealt with by then.
The "Fire Brigade" is too be sent in if the main force runs into difficulty. The idea is for them to land at Ras Similla and scale the hill in the center of Adeen proper, and then descend on the port after crossing the headland the hard way.
I wouild really prefer to take the port undamaged, obvously, but the real prize (IMHO) is the depot with 800 naval mines in it.

+++ A note on landings ++++

Demanding that all of the craft involved in a landing like this be the equivlent of what was used on D-Day isn't just an impossible standard, it is a standard that does not exist yet. People have been making landings on hostile shores for centuries witout Mike-Boats with the front ramps and flat bottoms.
Here are Marines going asore on Guadlacanal in Agust, 1942.
4.-Point-Cruz.jpg
a better view -
300px-Reinforcements_land_on_Guadalcanal.jpg
Those don't look particularly exotic to me.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2020 08:07

AnchorSteam wrote:
20 Dec 2020 05:57
The approach to ADEN ;

It will require some subterfuge to make a successful landing at Aden.
No doubt.
June 10th;
War Warning is given, the ships in Massawa unload unnecessary things and load the bulk of the men and equipment. The bulk of what they need will be at Massawa or the local capitol, Asmara, less than 50 miles away. Eight merchant ships convoy up and head south before midnight, escorted by six Destroyers (I will assume that one of the seven in the Red Sea Flotilla will be down for maintenance) and some lesser ships.
Do you have any idea how long it takes to tactically load a vessel?
June 11th;
A few hours before sunset two of the fastest transports will dock at Assab and begin off-loading empty boxes wiile the rest of the ships stand by, apparently waiting their turn. No attempt will be made to conceal the ships or their activity at Assab.
There are here to pick up some personnel that have been rushed down from Addis Ababa (halfway by rail, half by road) over the last 2 days, and to fool the enemy. In the last hours of peace, word will go out that the Italians are unloading an awful lot of stuff at Assab, right next to Djibouti.
However, once it is dark, all the ships will depart and head southeast at over 12 knots.
Um, there was no railway that I know of connecting Addis and Assab? The Addis railway ran to Djibouti and at the time it took 36 hours for the full run. There was no highway from Addis to Assab either and today's "modern" road takes about 13 and a half hours.
The Vincenzo Giordano Orsini and sister ship Giovanni Acerbi are
Aging destroyers, last modernized in 1920, with extremely short legs. The 450-odd nautical mile trip to Aden is nearly one-quarter of their endurance at an economical 14 knots...do you plan on developing an UNREP capability for the RM in the Red Sea too?
Meanwhile, the Itlaian Colonial Cruiser that we now have down there (Bari) will be loitering around the Horn. It will also begin a high-speed run towards Aden once darkness falls.
You mean the Pillau? Or the Muravyov-Amurskiy? She was refitted in 1934-1935 to be oil-fired and her top speed was reduced to 24.5 knots. After returning from Red Sea duty she was laid up until activated in June 1940. Eritrea was the "colonial cruiser" on duty in the Red Sea.
--See previous post for Air-Raids--
Aden will be treated to a midnight raid by half a dozen Ca.133 because Djibouti, Berbera, Kassala and Wajir will also be hit at this time the say way, and we don't want them to feel left out. At 4;30 another raid of the same strength will hit the airbase, and hopefully this will cause the Gladiator fighters to chase after them. One hour later, when the fighters will be out of fuel and back on the ground, there will be a sunrise raid in great strength, and the Bari will arrive to take on it's first target; the two Gunpits on Sira Island.
This raid will be 30-plane raid targeting Army installations such as barracks and the 7 gunpits in the area of Steamer Point.
You might want to read up a bit on the capabilities of the RA, the Ca.133, and the locations of the Italian airfields.
(these concrete gun-pits can still be seen on Google Earth today if you look closely. Based on their size I estimate that they coud hold guns anywhere from 4" to 6")
The four guns of 9 Heavy Battery RA were 6-inch. There were also two 4.5-inch AA of 8 Heavy AA Battery RA and four 3-inch 20 cwt guns of 15 Heavy AA Battery RA there, as well as eight 40mm Bofors.
15 minutes after the big raid by 30 x SM. 81 bombers, a dozen SM.79 will arrive armed with a mix of torpedos and clusters of 15 & 2 Kg. bombs. The torpedos are for the RN, of course, and the little bombs are to suppress the beach defenses. At 6am, when the invasion fleet deploys, the other Squadron of SM.79 arrive with more clusters of little bombs to really smother the defensive works without totally destroying them.
Um, no torpedoes or torpedo bombers with the RA in June 1940, nor any cluster bombs.
The troops will go ashore as shown, covered by a total of 48 x 120mm and 8 x 5.9" guns.... provided the RN ships on the scene have been dealt with by then.
Where do the 120mm guns all come from? And the "5.9"?
+++ A note on landings ++++

Demanding that all of the craft involved in a landing like this be the equivlent of what was used on D-Day isn't just an impossible standard, it is a standard that does not exist yet. People have been making landings on hostile shores for centuries witout Mike-Boats with the front ramps and flat bottoms.
Given that no one has "demanded" any such thing, you might better call this +++ A straw man on landings +++

BTW, the "MIKE Boats" were also used at Guadalcanal, LCM-3, but the "MIKE" was for mechanized, you are picturing PETER Boats, LCP, landing craft personnel, AKA Higgins boats.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 20 Dec 2020 12:07

AnchorSteam wrote:
19 Dec 2020 09:54
Peter89 wrote:
19 Dec 2020 09:22
AnchorSteam wrote:
19 Dec 2020 01:36

Oh hell no! I am not calling those things Battleships. Italy won't have proper Battleships until the new ones hit the scene.
One must hold to certain standards, after all. 8-)
The Conte di Cavour class was very similar to other battleships of the day, the Courbet class, the König class and the Iron Duke class. Even though they were modernized, just as the Andrea Doria class, the 26-27 kn speed do not justify the battlecruiser designation. They were modernized, WW1 era battleships.
I know, and I probably should, but as soon as I mentioned the Dunkirks I knew I was comparing them to ships with roughly similar armor and gun-power that were only a couple of knots faster... and the French ships were still called Battlecruisers.
Its just hard for me to see them as earning the Battleship title.
What can earn a "battleship title"?
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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