Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2020 17:49

AnchorSteam wrote:
18 Dec 2020 18:09
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 -
You do notice that the prototype Re. 2000 G.A. was being tested in the spring of 1941? Which makes it difficult for it to have any influence on operations in June 1940.
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.
You do realize that "disposable drop tanks" do not get added to aircraft by a snap of the fingers? For example, Germany helped pioneer the development of drop tanks, but did not include them in the design of the Bf 109, until the conversion of the Bf 109E4 in mid 1940, with production of the Bf 109E7 beginning in August. Such modified aircraft have plumbing fitted to transfer the fuel from the tanks to the aircraft fuel system, as well as valves that shut off the lines to the tanks (otherwise when dropped all the fuel would leak out of the plane).

I cannot find much indicating interest on the Italian's part for such development and none of the infrastructure development for developing and producing such tanks.

BTW, the extended range of the Re. 2000 G.A. was a product of fitting additional internal tanks, not external drop tanks, which is the way most air forces thinking went. Development of drop tanks faced opposition from air forces because it was believed the external tanks would add too much drag and weight at take off, defeating the interceptor role of fighter aircraft, which doctrine was accepted almost universally prewar. In that period the quest was for faster and higher-flying bombers that would counter interceptors by being fast and high flying, thus not needing escorts. The minor niche then for long-range fighters was filled by multi-engine heavy fighters like the Bf 110 and P-38. It was wartime development of early warning radar and GCI that made the interceptor more practical, while increased engine power and development of lightweight "paper" drop tanks made long-range escort by single-engine fighters practical.
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.
With a lot more development and production capability, the Germans were able to get a few dozen drop-tank/bomb capable Bf 109 to the front lines a year into the war. I doubt the Italians could match such a performance.
Sound reasonable?
No.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 21 Dec 2020 05:29

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
Do you have any idea how long it takes to tactically load a vessel?
Yes, I do. As a former Marine I do have some idea, and bringing a Battalion of lightly-armed infantry aboard a ship does not take much time at all. Sorting their berthing out is not that hard, much of that could be done underway. The Eritreans are easy; they don't come with a pair of duffle bags (or even one in most cases) and will need remarkably little in the way of creature comforts for a 2-day trip.
This leaves more than enough slack for the rest of it, as shown this op. has been practiced for months ahead of time.
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.

See above
The Vincenzo Giordano Orsini and sister ship Giovanni Acerbi are
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
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?
That is why the are going to Perim.
Perim, and I described this operation, as well as it's timing.

If I wanted to be snarky....
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.
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
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.
Eritrea was just a Gunboat. A pretty good one, but still that's all it was.

In a previous post I mentioned Bari & Taranto, both of which had been modfied for Colonial Duty in 1935-37, according to the then-current issues of Janes all the world's ships. Those were the names the above ships were given when they were givne to Italy as reparations in 1920.
I want it returned to the Red Sea because Eritrea cannot do the job that this ship will be called on to do; shore bombardment and mine-laying.
Since this ship, 2 Subs and 4 MTBs are the only reinforcement for that Theater are the all that I am calling for, it does not seem to be very much to ask for.

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
You might want to read up a bit on the capabilities of the RA, the Ca.133, and the locations of the Italian airfields.
The range for the Ca.133 was over 800 miles. The SM.82 that took off from Rhodes to bomb the Persian Gulf landed at Zula, less than 400 miles from Aden. The little Ca.133 would need far less runway than the 18-ton Kangaroo.
(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")
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
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.
Good find!
So my guess was pretty much spot-on, with the firepower actually being less than I had expected. Aden was raided by the RA, in fact, both by day and night. IIRC, they lost 2-3 bombers and shot down one Gladiator.
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
Um, no torpedoes or torpedo bombers with the RA in June 1940, nor any cluster bombs.
That flat-out just is not true.
From 1939 onwards, torpedoes were carried externally, as were larger bombs, with two hardpoints fitted under the inner wing
Sgarlato 2002, p. 45.
Let's not start playing "my source is bigger than your source" .... in fact, I won't be playing at all.

Right about the Cluster Bombs. Clusters of bombs just doesn't sound right, but the 2kg. AP bombs were dropped from chutes, or cannisters, or whatever they called them.
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
Where do the 120mm guns all come from? And the "5.9"?
From the half-dozen DDs already mentioned as escorting the little convoy, and the Cruiser.
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
Given that no one has "demanded" any such thing, you might better call this +++ A straw man on landings +++
No, that is in response to what you have been posting about amphibious operations in the Med, so heading that off at the pass was a good idea.
Honestly, how many landings of 8,000 men or more were made using only purpose-made amphibious assault craft prior to 1940?
Last edited by AnchorSteam on 21 Dec 2020 05:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 21 Dec 2020 05:44

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 17:49
You do notice that the prototype Re. 2000 G.A. was being tested in the spring of 1941? Which makes it difficult for it to have any influence on operations in June 1940.
Since the rest of your post indicates that you know I was talking about the Mc.200, what was the point of that?
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 17:49
With a lot more development and production capability, the Germans were able to get a few dozen drop-tank/bomb capable Bf 109 to the front lines a year into the war. I doubt the Italians could match such a performance.
Based on what?
Since in this scenario the point is not give the aircraft a permanent extension of it's range, but a one-use intended to allow it to ferry itself to the theater and then be discarded on arrival, I don't think it is much of a stretch.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Dec 2020 07:41

AnchorSteam wrote:
21 Dec 2020 05:29
Yes, I do. As a former Marine I do have some idea, and bringing a Battalion of lightly-armed infantry aboard a ship does not take much time at all. Sorting their berthing out is not that hard, much of that could be done underway. The Eritreans are easy; they don't come with a pair of duffle bags (or even one in most cases) and will need remarkably little in the way of creature comforts for a 2-day trip.
Oh, so you plan on just embarking riflemen with their personnel weapons and equipment? No rations? No POL? No ammunition other than what they can carry on them? No vehicles?
This leaves more than enough slack for the rest of it, as shown this op. has been practiced for months ahead of time.
Why has it been practiced for months ahead of time? Has Hitler made Il Duce privy to his war plan in this ATL?
See above
You know, changing text color doesn't actually answer anything. The railroad ran from Addis to Djibouti - in UNOCCUPIED FRENCH SOMALILAND. Maybe shouting might get you to pay attention to the problems? There was also NO METALED ROAD FROM DJIBOUTI TO ASSAB. Does that help? The current modern road from Djibouti to Assab that takes five hours to cover 342 kilometers was a track in 1940.
That is why the are going to Perim.
Perim, and I described this operation, as well as it's timing.

If I wanted to be snarky....
Oh, sorry, that's right, the seven aging DD go to Aden while the two aging TB go to Perim for no good reason.
Eritrea was just a Gunboat. A pretty good one, but still that's all it was.
Yes that is all it was and all there was.
In a previous post I mentioned Bari & Taranto, both of which had been modfied for Colonial Duty in 1935-37, according to the then-current issues of Janes all the world's ships. Those were the names the above ships were given when they were givne to Italy as reparations in 1920.
I want it returned to the Red Sea because Eritrea cannot do the job that this ship will be called on to do; shore bombardment and mine-laying.
Jane's 1937 is all well and good...but Taranto's last cruise with the AOI ended in September 1936, when she underwent major modifications that ended in reducing her speed to 18 knots, which left her not much good as a cruiser, colonial or otherwise. On 10 June 1940 she was the headquarters vessel for Minesweeper Division 1 at Taranto. At least unlike Bari she wasn't laid up. Jane's assumed she was a "colonial cruiser" because of where she served.
Since this ship, 2 Subs and 4 MTBs are the only reinforcement for that Theater are the all that I am calling for, it does not seem to be very much to ask for.
Um, you need to talk to Benito, who until he ordered the stab in the back gave no indication to his armed forces he had any intention of entering the war. Meanwhile, if for no good reason the RM suddenly orders its two creaky old "colonial cruisers" to Massawa, the RN might twig to it and take a countermeasure? Like, not allowing them to transit the Suez Canal?
The range for the Ca.133 was over 800 miles. The SM.82 that took off from Rhodes to bomb the Persian Gulf landed at Zula, less than 400 miles from Aden. The little Ca.133 would need far less runway than the 18-ton Kangaroo.
Along with the course of the wartime railroads, roads, and international boundaries in World War II, you may want to review where the Italian air bases were.
Good find!
So my guess was pretty much spot-on, with the firepower actually being less than I had expected. Aden was raided by the RA, in fact, both by day and night. IIRC, they lost 2-3 bombers and shot down one Gladiator.
And did zero damage to the port, airfield, or defenses.
That flat-out just is not true.
I'm not playing that game either; your source - what is a "Sgarlato"? - is quite simply wrong. The Reparto Speciale Aerosiluranti, the specialized torpedo bomber unit of the RA was formed on 25 July 1940. It's first combat sortie was 15 August 1940.
From the half-dozen DDs already mentioned as escorting the little convoy, and the Cruiser.
The four Nazario Sauro-class DD each had four 12cm guns in two twin mounts, the three Leone eight each. I get 40 not 48. Eritrea had another four 12cm guns. Assuming Bari and Taranto can be helicoptered is stretching reality.
No, that is in response to what you have been posting about amphibious operations in the Med, so heading that off at the pass was a good idea.
I posted? Where?
"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 Richard Anderson » 21 Dec 2020 07:53

AnchorSteam wrote:
21 Dec 2020 05:44
Since the rest of your post indicates that you know I was talking about the Mc.200, what was the point of that?
Since the rest of my post and all of your post was talking about the Re. 2000 G.A., I can honestly say I have zero idea what you are talking about? To refresh your memory, you stated:
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 -
And then quoted:
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..
Why should I imagine you were actually talking about the Mc.200?
Based on what?
An understanding of how drop tanks work.
Since in this scenario the point is not give the aircraft a permanent extension of it's range, but a one-use intended to allow it to ferry itself to the theater and then be discarded on arrival, I don't think it is much of a stretch.
Whether permanent or temporary, the gasoline still has to get transferred from the drop tank to the aircraft fuel system.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 21 Dec 2020 08:51

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 07:41
AnchorSteam wrote:
21 Dec 2020 05:29
Good find!
So my guess was pretty much spot-on, with the firepower actually being less than I had expected. Aden was raided by the RA, in fact, both by day and night. IIRC, they lost 2-3 bombers and shot down one Gladiator.
And did zero damage to the port, airfield, or defenses.
One has to be careful with Italian aerial exploits. They've bombed Bahrein, too, and flew from the SU to China with an SM75.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Orwell1984 » 21 Dec 2020 15:53

AnchorSteam wrote:
21 Dec 2020 05:29
Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Dec 2020 08:07
Um, no torpedoes or torpedo bombers with the RA in June 1940, nor any cluster bombs.
That flat-out just is not true.
From 1939 onwards, torpedoes were carried externally, as were larger bombs, with two hardpoints fitted under the inner wing
Sgarlato 2002, p. 45.
Let's not start playing "my source is bigger than your source" .... in fact, I won't be playing at all.

Right about the Cluster Bombs. Clusters of bombs just doesn't sound right, but the 2kg. AP bombs were dropped from chutes, or cannisters, or whatever they called them.
If the book you're referencing is Italian Aircraft of WW2 by Nicolo Sgarlato it was originally published in 1979 by Signal Publications. It's a little dated just like Green's book on the Luftwaffe and has been superseded by later works.
You might try Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units by Marco Mattioli published in 2014. Best study in English on the subject.

Looking at your favourite source Wikipedia there is the following:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savoia-Ma ... edo_bomber
On 25 July 1940, the Sparviero formally commenced service as a torpedo bomber (Aerosilurante in Italian) as a new operational unit, the "Special Aerotorpedoes Unit" (headed by Colonel Moioli), was established following several years of experiments involving the type. After having ordered the first 50 torpedoes from Whitehead Torpedo Works, on 10 August 1940, the first aircraft landed at T5 airfield, near Tobruk. Despite the lack of an aiming system and a specific doctrine for tactics, an attack on shipping in Alexandria was quickly organized. There had been experiments for many years but still, no service, no gear (except hardpoints) and no tactics were developed for the new role. This was despite previous Italian experiments into the practice of aerial torpedoing in 1914, 26 years earlier.[41]

On 15 August 1940, the type's first combat sortie saw five SM.79s that had been modified and prepared for the task dispatched to El Adem airfield. Among their pilots were Buscaglia, Dequal and other pilots destined to become "aces." The journey was made at an altitude of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and after two hours, at 21:30, they arrived over Alexandria and began attacking ships, but unsuccessfully. The departure airport had only 1,000 m (3,300 ft) of runway for takeoff, so two of the fuel tanks were left empty to reduce weight, giving an endurance of five hours for a 4.33-hour journey. Only Buscaglia and Dequal returned, both aircraft damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Buscaglia landed on only one wheel, with some other damage. The other three SM.79s, attacking after the first two, were hindered by a fierce anti-aircraft defence and low clouds and returned to their base without releasing their torpedoes. However, all three ran out of fuel and were forced to jettison the torpedoes which exploded in the desert, and then force-landed three hours after the attack. Two crews were rescued later, but the third (Fusco's) was still in Egypt when they force-landed. The crew set light to their aircraft the next morning, which alerted the British who then captured them. These failures were experienced within a combat radius of only about 650 km (400 mi), in clear contrast with the glamorous performances of the racer Sparvieros just a few years before.[41]
So no, no torpedo bombers in your scenario.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Dec 2020 16:10

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 07:41
No, that is in response to what you have been posting about amphibious operations in the Med, so heading that off at the pass was a good idea.
I posted? Where?
Well, a good nights sleep and I figured out what you were talking about. Apparently my remarks regarding the Italian capability for and amphibious invasion of Malta were taken by you as something more than what it was. The problem is I was speaking specifically about vessels designed for amphibious invasion that could transport formed units and especially heavy weapons. Of course, Italy could have used ships boats and transported rifle-armed troops from ship to shore...some boats might even have engines. Of course, what the result would be of flinging boatloads of rifle-armed troops against prepared and field fortifications, can be imagined.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 21 Dec 2020 22:01

Orwell1984 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 15:53
You might try Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units by Marco Mattioli published in 2014. Best study in English on the subject.
Thanks! Wow.... 69 reviews and 4.5 stars, I'll be ordering that today.
Orwell1984 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 15:53
Looking at your favourite source Wikipedia there is the following:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savoia-Ma ... edo_bomber
On 25 July 1940, the Sparviero formally commenced service as a torpedo bomber (Aerosilurante in Italian) as a new operational unit, the "Special Aerotorpedoes Unit" (headed by Colonel Moioli), was established following several years of experiments involving the type. After having ordered the first 50 torpedoes from Whitehead Torpedo Works, on 10 August 1940, the first aircraft landed at T5 airfield, near Tobruk. Despite the lack of an aiming system and a specific doctrine for tactics, an attack on shipping in Alexandria was quickly organized. There had been experiments for many years but still, no service, no gear (except hardpoints) and no tactics were developed for the new role. This was despite previous Italian experiments into the practice of aerial torpedoing in 1914, 26 years earlier.[41]

On 15 August 1940, the type's first combat sortie saw five SM.79s that had been modified and prepared for the task dispatched to El Adem airfield. Among their pilots were Buscaglia, Dequal and other pilots destined to become "aces." The journey was made at an altitude of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and after two hours, at 21:30, they arrived over Alexandria and began attacking ships, but unsuccessfully. The departure airport had only 1,000 m (3,300 ft) of runway for takeoff, so two of the fuel tanks were left empty to reduce weight, giving an endurance of five hours for a 4.33-hour journey. Only Buscaglia and Dequal returned, both aircraft damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Buscaglia landed on only one wheel, with some other damage. The other three SM.79s, attacking after the first two, were hindered by a fierce anti-aircraft defence and low clouds and returned to their base without releasing their torpedoes. However, all three ran out of fuel and were forced to jettison the torpedoes which exploded in the desert, and then force-landed three hours after the attack. Two crews were rescued later, but the third (Fusco's) was still in Egypt when they force-landed. The crew set light to their aircraft the next morning, which alerted the British who then captured them. These failures were experienced within a combat radius of only about 650 km (400 mi), in clear contrast with the glamorous performances of the racer Sparvieros just a few years before.[41]
So no, no torpedo bombers in your scenario.
And I had been trying to avoid Wiki for this.... but it does have some very in-depth articles compared to other online sources, doesn't it?
That's what I get for responding to peer pressure.

Okay, if the bombs and the Subs don't do the trick, it will be up to the surface fleet.
I wonder what the odds would be for a dozen SM.79 with bombs being able to land a good hit on a Light Cruiser? Since the Colony's Air force had a larger than normal percentage of Spansh Civil War veterans it won't be a totally green & inexperianced set of crews.
Maybe.... 15-18% per plane?

(the 2nd group can't be part of that, they are the ones that have to support the troops going ashore)

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 21 Dec 2020 22:43

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 16:10
Well, a good nights sleep and I figured out what you were talking about. Apparently my remarks regarding the Italian capability for and amphibious invasion of Malta were taken by you as something more than what it was. The problem is I was speaking specifically about vessels designed for amphibious invasion that could transport formed units and especially heavy weapons. Of course, Italy could have used ships boats and transported rifle-armed troops from ship to shore...some boats might even have engines. Of course, what the result would be of flinging boatloads of rifle-armed troops against prepared and field fortifications, can be imagined.
Right! Looks like we are finally on the right page.
And yes, Malta would be a very different thing, needing more than a handful of jury-rigged LSTs. Aden is a very different thing, with landings on a board front spaced out over the course of an hour. A couple of the Battalions could be badly mauled, in fact the one just below Steamer Point probbly will be; It's job is to keep the main garrison busy while the landings from the east are taking place.... but I don't see all of them being stopped or even seriously impeded.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 21 Dec 2020 23:54

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 07:41
Why has it been practiced for months ahead of time? Has Hitler made Il Duce privy to his war plan in this ATL?

Nope, and this was already covered.

The heaviest items being taken are 3 x Fiat 611 armored cars, they are only 7 tons and, again .....
SS Lichtenfels was one of the world's first modern heavy lift ship, built for DDG Hansa in 1929. She was equipped with a 120 t (118 long tons; 132 short tons) boom crane capable of lifting fully assembled locomotives, which were shipped to India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Lichtenfels
I am using more ships than I would need, not only to lessen the problem should any one not make it, but also to ensure quick & easy loading since none of them will be loaded at anything like full capacity. The only complicated part of this will be 500 horses and 1,000 tons of fodder for them. Once it is known what has been captured intact at Aden, a ship with what is actually going to be needed can be sent.
This is war on a shoestring, why send more of what could be sitting right there?

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 07:41
You know, changing text color doesn't actually answer anything. The railroad ran from Addis to Djibouti - in UNOCCUPIED FRENCH SOMALILAND. Maybe shouting might get you to pay attention to the problems? There was also NO METALED ROAD FROM DJIBOUTI TO ASSAB. Does that help? The current modern road from Djibouti to Assab that takes five hours to cover 342 kilometers was a track in 1940.
Here you go;
TrueRoute.png
I had t shrink that down an awful lot, but it does show the route intended.
And this is the only shot I can find of the road itself. Not paved, and this is in the middle of a town-
Screen Shot 2020-12-21 at 1.34.33 PM.png
So, let's double that to 18 hours. They have a day and a half to make the trip. I think that even by Italian standards allowing 12 hours for the Rail trip from Adis Ababa to the charmingly named town of Awash is more than enough, and that still leaves 6 hours of slack time.
And, the only reason for this is to bring Blackshirt Arditi veterans and some University men in, assuming there are not enough at the far longer-established situation at Asmara.

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 07:41
Oh, sorry, that's right, the seven aging DD go to Aden while the two aging TB go to Perim for no good reason.

See the little map above. Perim is where the red arrow is pointing.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 22 Dec 2020 00:29

Proof that these posts are getting way too long- half of my reply was yeeted.... so anyway-
Since this ship, 2 Subs and 4 MTBs are the only reinforcement for that Theater are the all that I am calling for, it does not seem to be very much to ask for.
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 07:41
Um, you need to talk to Benito, who until he ordered the stab in the back gave no indication to his armed forces he had any intention of entering the war. Meanwhile, if for no good reason the RM suddenly orders its two creaky old "colonial cruisers" to Massawa, the RN might twig to it and take a countermeasure? Like, not allowing them to transit the Suez Canal?
Refusing transit would have been an incredibly provocative move at a time when the Allies were trying not to do that.

Look, the basic premise here is
1) a different sort of planning for Italy, starting on the first day of January 1940,
2) the military demanding 72 hours advanced notice of a Declaration of War ... and probably getting 48 instead.

The Brits already have several cruisers in the area, if we include the Indian Ocean. If the RN sends extra cruisers then that helps the balance in the Med for Italy, but that's no good for the IEA. I already posted about not sending any modern cruisers to the IEA for that very reason. Bari will be enough and if the RN reacts that is up to them, not us.

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Dec 2020 07:41
Along with the course of the wartime railroads, roads, and international boundaries in World War II, you may want to review where the Italian air bases were.
Got any good sources for that?

Or... is this a strictly adversarial thing here?

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2020 01:17

AnchorSteam wrote:
22 Dec 2020 00:29
Refusing transit would have been an incredibly provocative move at a time when the Allies were trying not to do that.
Potential adversaries transiting warships to distant stations, building up colonial forces, and so on, during wartime, is also incredibly provocative. You may recall that shortly after this, the RN attacked the French fleet at anchor, just because they might sometime in thee future be a potential threat.
Look, the basic premise here is
1) a different sort of planning for Italy, starting on the first day of January 1940,
I understand, but in turn do you understand that requires a major change in Italian political leadership and its attitude to the war? The Italians stumbled into war with a leadership operating from poorly thought out tactical, operational, and strategic assumptions, but now, snap of the fingers and everything is hunky-dory? The best analogy to how Italy entered into World War II is the modern "War on Terror". No thinking on way and means. No analysis of the opponent. No planning for an endgame.
2) the military demanding 72 hours advanced notice of a Declaration of War ... and probably getting 48 instead.
Um, in totalitarian regimes, be it Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist USSR, or Trumpist wannabe USA, the military does not "demand" anything from the political leadership.
The Brits already have several cruisers in the area, if we include the Indian Ocean. If the RN sends extra cruisers then that helps the balance in the Med for Italy, but that's no good for the IEA. I already posted about not sending any modern cruisers to the IEA for that very reason. Bari will be enough and if the RN reacts that is up to them, not us.
Yet again, Bari returned to Italy from its foreign station in May 1938 and was laid up and was not reactivated until September-October for the Greek campaign. Activating and deploying multiple vessels to a distant station is a huge red flag.
Got any good sources for that?

Or... is this a strictly adversarial thing here?
No, you were given the source in my first response to this thread. If you chose not to follow up on it then that is on you, not me. Not adversarial unless the old saw about horses and water is adversarial?
"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 » 22 Dec 2020 06:07

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 01:17
Potential adversaries transiting warships to distant stations, building up colonial forces, and so on, during wartime, is also incredibly provocative. You may recall that shortly after this, the RN attacked the French fleet at anchor, just because they might sometime in thee future be a potential threat.
"after this"? You mean after June 10th?
This is a PRE-WAR move.
For a guy that complains about other people's straw-men.... jeez!
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 01:17
I understand, but in turn do you understand that requires a major change in Italian political leadership and its attitude to the war? The Italians stumbled into war with a leadership operating from poorly thought out tactical, operational, and strategic assumptions, but now, snap of the fingers and everything is hunky-dory? The best analogy to how Italy entered into World War II is the modern "War on Terror". No thinking on way and means. No analysis of the opponent. No planning for an endgame.
Was it decreed by God that it must be so?
Every "what if" is predicated on something being changed. This is that ONE thing, and I have not mentioned any tactical operations, that's small-unit stuff.
Straw man #2.
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 01:17
Um, in totalitarian regimes, be it Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist USSR, or Trumpist wannabe USA, the military does not "demand" anything from the political leadership.

"Trumpist USA".... seriously?
Well, that explains a lot.

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 01:17
Yet again, Bari returned to Italy from its foreign station in May 1938 and was laid up and was not reactivated until September-October for the Greek campaign. Activating and deploying multiple vessels to a distant station is a huge red flag.

I'm not sure if this is a Straw man or willful ignorance.

It isn't multiple ships, it is one old cruiser. A couple of Subs can be sent later, and the MTBs would be packed aboard a larger ship for transit, as usual. Plans are made in January, the Bari is up and ready by the start of April, and if it has to go 'round Africa to get there it can do that too. (a ship loafing along at 12 knots can easily make the trip in less than 2 months, stops included (such as refueling at Spanish and Portuguese ports, and even Liberia)).

i really don't see the point of all this, exact measurements of all airfields 80 years ago, when I already showed that the overland movement that drove you to CAPS was perfectly feasible.
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 01:17
No, you were given the source in my first response to this thread. If you chose not to follow up on it then that is on you, not me. Not adversarial unless the old saw about horses and water is adversarial?
This source?
http://www.niehorster.org/019_italy/__italy.htm

All is shows for that threater is Colonial Brigades, and their theoretical OOB. There ain't a thing in it about airfields or how long each and every single one of them was.
And what's with that, anyway? How many other Alt. History threads are you hammering away at like this? Yes, go ahead and say that all of the others are superior in every way while snickering behind your hand while you type that, but I think everyone looking at this knows what is really going on here.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2020 07:06

AnchorSteam wrote:
22 Dec 2020 06:07
"after this"? You mean after June 10th?
This is a PRE-WAR move.
For a guy that complains about other people's straw-men.... jeez!
Let me get this straight...in January 1940 the Italians begin planning for a major series of carefully coordinated operations that will coincide with the Germans overrunning France and the Low Countries, leaving Britain alone to contend against them. Is that more or less the premise?

How do they know when and what the Germans will do?
Was it decreed by God that it must be so?
Every "what if" is predicated on something being changed. This is that ONE thing, and I have not mentioned any tactical operations, that's small-unit stuff.
Straw man #2.
No, but it assumes the Italian political leadership of your scenario, including their capabilities and objectives, are very different from those in the real world. You will find a very good analysis of their thinking, from the POV of the RM, in Robert Mallett's The Italian Navy and Fascist Expansionism, 1935-1940.
"Trumpist USA".... seriously?
Well, that explains a lot.
About as much as your explanations do.
I'm not sure if this is a Straw man or willful ignorance.

It isn't multiple ships, it is one old cruiser. A couple of Subs can be sent later, and the MTBs would be packed aboard a larger ship for transit, as usual. Plans are made in January, the Bari is up and ready by the start of April, and if it has to go 'round Africa to get there it can do that too. (a ship loafing along at 12 knots can easily make the trip in less than 2 months, stops included (such as refueling at Spanish and Portuguese ports, and even Liberia)).
I thought it was Bari and Trento? Instead of poor Eritrea because she just isn't good enough to subdue the coast defenses at Aden? Two of the three had not been on station together since the Ethiopian War. You don't think that wouldn't raise questions on the part of the British or that they would not adjust their own deployments?
i really don't see the point of all this, exact measurements of all airfields 80 years ago, when I already showed that the overland movement that drove you to CAPS was perfectly feasible.
Perfectly feasible? You sure about that? You plan on moving a non-motorized division by poorly developed roads to a pretty tight time schedule...are you impressing civilian vehicles? Or stripping away the few military motorized assets there from other units?
All is shows for that threater is Colonial Brigades, and their theoretical OOB. There ain't a thing in it about airfields or how long each and every single one of them was.
Not very curious are you? The Italian airfields locations in the AOI are there as well. Seek and ye shall find. The issue regarding airfield conditions is addressed in the Air Power article I steered you to as well.
And what's with that, anyway? How many other Alt. History threads are you hammering away at like this? Yes, go ahead and say that all of the others are superior in every way while snickering behind your hand while you type that, but I think everyone looking at this knows what is really going on here.
If I hammer at what ifs it is at the inveterate absence of grounding in any actual history they are. Most are pretty clumsy wargaming exercises of the shoving counters around a map ilk that give no thought to what really needs to change. In this case you are following the typical route of shuffling the various assets of the Italian forces about as if they are counters on a game board, then employing hindsight to calculate where, when, and how they can best be deployed against their adversaries, without understanding why they were where they were historically. That isn't "Alt. History" by any stretch of the imagination.
"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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