Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

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

Post by AnchorSteam » 15 Dec 2020 06:25

And now to clean up a real mess..... THE ARMY.

Sources vary, but it seems that Italy had 67 Divisions in 1939 as follows;
43 x Infantry Divs, 3 x Tank, 2 Motorized, 3 x "Fast", 5 x Mountain and 11 x "Other" Divisions.... one of those must have been Airborne and some of the rest probably Static Defense.
This is outside of what was in East Africa.

In 1940, I did not get that breakdown. Instead we have 73 Divs with the following handicaps;
19 x at full strength
34 x with approximately 25% shortfalls of men and transport
20 x were at half strength in manpower and trucks, and had "significant" shortages of equipment, including artillery.

One easy move is to take those last 20 and reduce them to 10 Divs, and now you have 10 + 19 to give you 29 full-strength Divisions.
This is your Expeditionary Corps. THIS is what you can go adventuring with, the rest is strictly for defending what you already have; Italy including Sardinia and Sicily, Albania, Rhodes and Libya.

3 x Tank, 2 Motorized, 3 x "Fast", 5 x Mountain, 1 x Paratroop Div. (14 Divs total)
15 x Infantry—Reduces to 10 for Trianary Organization.

I will organize these units as follows;

1st Mech Corps; 1 x Tank, 1 x Motorized, 1 x Infantry {towards France}

2nd Mech Corps; 1 x Tank, 1 x Motorized {Africa}

3rd Mech Corps; 1 x Tank, 2 x Fast ‘Brigades’* {Africa}

4th, 5th, 6th Corps; 3x Infantry Div.s Each {North Italy (towards France) 2 x Africa,}

7th Mountain Corps; 3 x Divs {France}

Independant-
1 x Parra Div, 1 x Fast ‘Brigade’, 2 x Mountain Divs (unassigned at this point call that a Strategic Reserve)

*I am calling them "Brigades" because this is a more realistic assesment of their actual strength, regardless of what they were called then.



Now for the hard part; the …. the 34 Divisions at approx. 75%

10 x "Other" Divisions, these will be left alone and used for Home Defense; (Sicily; 2, Sardinia; 1, North Italy; 2, South Italy; 2, Albania; 1, Libya; 2)

This leaves the 24 x Infantry Divisions.

Reorganize to ; 16 Full TRIANARY Divisions and take the left-overs to create a cadre for “Reservist” Divisions in training/Home Garrisons (Rome, Taranto, Milano, Naples)
{NOTE... I would have like to do this with all the Divisions, bringing them up from 2 to 3 Regiments and making them fit for a proper European war, but there is only so much that can be done. ALSO - Italian support systems may have become used to smaller Divisions, so these Heavy Divisions will have to be used to secure, rather than lead, an offensive}

16 reduces to 12 for full Strength (75% to 100%)…. OR, Reduce to 10 at full strength and 3 x four-battalion “Brigaades” for Naval Landing units. with training and naval staff advisors. A Marine Corps, in fact.
However, since Italian Amphibious ability remains rather limited, and there is only so much that can be done in half a year, I suggest that this NOT be done.

8th, 9th, 10th, 11th Heavy Corps; 3 Divs Each,
North = Upper Italy
Central = mid-south Italy
West = Sardinia & Sicily
Africa = the last Div in this mix should be sent to reinforce East Africa.

I will call these HEAVY Divisions, and still lacking some transport. This means that they lack agility but have the best firepower.

29 + 10(other) + 12 = 41 Divisions :milsmile:
I know this will cause a lot of heartburn among the Fascists, a lot of those higher appointments (now defunct) were political favors, but this is what it will take to make this Army war-worthy in the world that was developing in 1940.

27 x Divisional. Artillery units are now surplus (actually 20, given shortages) so that Italian artillery Regiments will now to 1/3rd stronger or more modern and up to date. OR…. form Artillery Divisions? The later is a bad idea, unless we want to take a chance on re-creating the transport problems that our re-organization just solved. (partly)
I suggest that the entire inventory be combed-out and the oldest and most inefficient artillery be retired, and sold off to lesser powers for cash or just mothballed for emergency use.

Hopefully, this is the last of the Long-ish posts.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 15 Dec 2020 06:28

AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 05:35
Dili wrote:
15 Dec 2020 03:23
144 x M.C. Saetta, 54 x C200 Macchi
This are the same airplane...you should study first than going on this.
The numbers are wrong and they only entered in service by September 1940 because the straight wing leading edge made they unable to recover from a spin.
Is it possible that the one is the sub-type of another?
The development of this plane dos seem a bit confusing, but it was in service in those numbers at the start of the war;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macchi_C.200
In August 1939, about 30 C.200s, by then nicknamed Saetta ("Arrow"), were delivered to 10° Gruppo of 4° Stormo, stationed in North Africa.[15] However, pilots of this elite unit of the Regia Aeronautica opposed the adoption of the C.200, preferring the more manouvrable Fiat CR.42 instead. Accordingly, the Macchis were then transferred to 6° Gruppo of 1° Stormo in Sicily, who were enthusiastic supporters of the new fighter, and Gruppo 152° of 54° Stormo in Vergiate.[15] Further units received the type during peacetime, including 153° Gruppo and 369° Squadriglia.[32]

When Italy entered the war on 10 June 1940, 144 C.200s were operational, half of which were serviceable.[9][12] The re-equipment programme, under which the type would have been widely adopted, was slower than expected and several squadrons were still in the process of reequipping with the C.200 upon the outbreak of war.[16] Although the first 240 aircraft had been fitted with fully enclosed cockpits, the subsequent variants were provided with open cockpits at the request of the Italian pilots, who were made familiar with traditional open cockpits that had been commonplace amongst biplanes.[19]

Service history[edit]
The C.200 played no role in Italy's brief action during the Battle of France.[16] The first C.200s to make their combat debut were those of the 6° Gruppo Autonomo C.T. led by Tenente Colonnello (Wing Commander) Armando Francois. This squadron was based at the Sicilian airport of Catania Fontanarossa. A Saetta from this unit was the first C.200 to be lost in combat when, on 23 June 1940, 14 C.200s (eight from 88a Squadriglia, five from 79a Squadriglia and one from 81a Squadriglia) that were escorting 10 Savoia-Marchetti SM.79s from 11° Stormo were intercepted by two Gloster Gladiators. Gladiator No.5519, piloted by Flt Lt George Burges, jumped the bombers but was in turn attacked by a C.200 flown by Sergente Maggiore Lamberto Molinelli of 71a Squadriglia over the sea off Sliema. The Macchi overshot four or five times the more agile Gladiator which eventually shot down the Saetta.[33]

C.200 in flight
In September 1940, the C.200s of 6° Gruppo conducted their first offensive operations in support of wider Axis efforts against the Mediterranean island of Malta, escorting Junkers Ju 87 dive-bombers.[16] Only on 1 November 1940 were the C.200s credited with their first kill. A British Sunderland on a reconnaissance mission was sighted and attacked just outside Augusta by a flight of Saettas on patrol.[34] With the arrival towards the end of December 1940 of X Fliegerkorps in Sicily, the C.200s were assigned escort duty for I/StG.1 and II/StG.2 Ju 87 bombers attacking Malta, as the Stukas did not have adequate fighter cover until the arrival of 7./JG26's Bf 109s.[35]
If the numbers are wrong, can you show me where to find the right ones?
Dili wrote:
15 Dec 2020 03:23
Your air power numbers are significantly wrong.
Littorios only entered service in August.
SM 84 is bomber from 1941...
Good catch, but that is a typo. I meant to say SM. 82, the magnificent Transport also known as the Kangaroo.
It is under the transport heading.
Dili wrote:
15 Dec 2020 03:23
--
Then the whole proposition. What is a Win? a Win is putting Britain out of War, That can't be accomplished in Mediterranean.
Yes, it s. As has been brought up already, Italy was broke and could not sustain a long war. Indeed, it didn't!

And yes, knocking Britain out of the war isn't possible, even by fearsome and sudden reversal of fortune and dire threat to Colonial Empire, in the Mediterranean alone.
More on that later. :milwink:

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Dec 2020 07:21

AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 05:35
If the numbers are wrong, can you show me where to find the right ones?
On 10 May 1940 6° Gruppo Autonomo C.T. had 26 C.200. 54° Stormo had 38, but it was still converting and was not operational. Roberto Gentilli and Paolo Varriale, I Reparti dell'aviazione italiana nella Grande Guerra, (Rome, Ufficio Storico dello Stato maggiore Aeronautica, 1999).

You can also find a pretty comprehensive list of the RA at http://www.niehorster.org/019_italy/__italy.htm
Good catch, but that is a typo. I meant to say SM. 82, the magnificent Transport also known as the Kangaroo.
It is under the transport heading.
The S.79 and S.81 were the standard Italian medium bombers. The S.82 was a transport. I find 12 of them, with 149° Gruppo of Comando Servizi Aerei Speciali, on 10 May 1940.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Dec 2020 07:38

AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 06:25
Sources vary, but it seems that Italy had 67 Divisions in 1939 as follows;
43 x Infantry Divs, 3 x Tank, 2 Motorized, 3 x "Fast", 5 x Mountain and 11 x "Other" Divisions.... one of those must have been Airborne and some of the rest probably Static Defense.
As of 10 June 1940:

45 Divisione Fanteria
3 Divisione Corazatta
2 Divisione Motorizzata
3 Divisione Celere
3 Divisione Autatrasportabile
5 Divisione Alpina

In Africa Settentrionale Italiana there were also:

3 Divisione Autatrasportabile (AS-type)
2 Divisione libica
3 Divisione della Milizia (Legioni di Camicie Nere)
This is outside of what was in East Africa.
There were 24 Brigata Coloniale, plus another 10 organizing.
One easy move is to take those last 20 and reduce them to 10 Divs, and now you have 10 + 19 to give you 29 full-strength Divisions.
This is your Expeditionary Corps. THIS is what you can go adventuring with, the rest is strictly for defending what you already have; Italy including Sardinia and Sicily, Albania, Rhodes and Libya.
The "adventuring" units they had were in Albania, where they deployed about 26 divisions, including all the Celere, two of the Corraxatta and a couple of the Autitrasportabile.
"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 Carl Schwamberger » 15 Dec 2020 08:12

AnchorSteam wrote:
14 Dec 2020 06:20
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Dec 2020 03:45
AnchorSteam wrote:
14 Dec 2020 00:35
... The western Med is to be walled off by deep belts of mines, MTBs, Subs and aircraft, as well as a few of the smaller DDs. This will eliminate the ability of the Italians to operate in the Western Med for the time being, and I know that's an issue, but it will divide the allie Fleets and I think this is best for Italy in the short term. ...
Where do thes minefields go, & how many mines are required? The Sicilian straits were mined in several stages as the mines became available & the need became apparent. Have to do some data analysis to see how successful was.
That's very true. By 1942 the barriers were stout enough to discourage any major warships from getting too close to Malta, the merchant ships and Destroyers had to go it alone after a certain point.
But that did not mean it was that way quickly, would laying mines in ways that was quick & dirty (no thought given to safe lanes or future recovery) help with setting up a good barrier quickly? The idea being to funnel enemy ships into zones where Subs and torpedo craft could be concentrated.

The gap between Sardinia and Corsica is small and easy, ut the gap between Corsican and the naimalnd could not be closed at all, so the French would not be fooled.... but there is shallow water north of Corsica where mines could be laid.... in French territorail waters. That would be sure to rile them up if the bombardment of Nice does not do the trick, perhaps?
Did a quick check and as I remembered could not find any examples of losses to mines from he PEDESTAL operation or the previous Gibraltar to Malta convoy operation. Both operations took considerable losses from torpedoes & then aircraft bombs. That was July-August 1942. From earlier reading last year about the Sicilian Strain minefields and the sea mines in the Bai du Seine off Normany there was preference to the high loss rate of sea mines from broken anchor cables and loss of buoyancy compartments.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 15 Dec 2020 08:55

AnchorSteam wrote:
14 Dec 2020 18:07
Peter89 wrote:
14 Dec 2020 09:34
Hmm, what do you exactly plan here?
Did or did not France fall in your scenario?
I am trying to restrain myself to reality as much as possible, and that means spending the first half of 1940 preparing for a number of contingencies.... and then accepting Mussolini's Declaration of War on June 10th and applying the best option to it.

That means that France has not yet fallen at the outset, but the writing is one the wall and Political opportunism has plunged the military into a war that this thread is trying to make them better prepared for.
One of the key items is the military's demand for 48-72 hours of advanced notice, so Italy will actually be opning hostilities on June 12th or 13th.
The Italian armed forces and the merchant marine were nowhere near ready, especially not in 48-72 hours.

AnchorSteam wrote:
14 Dec 2020 18:07
Peter89 wrote:
14 Dec 2020 09:34
If they did, the attack on their ships is highly unlikely.
If they didn't, the Italians might not join the war at all.

And what exactly would you try to hit with the air raid?

Béarn was on a US-bound mission (terminating in the French West Indies) since May 1940.
Richelieu was completed in Brest and fled to Dakar.
Jean Bart was not fully equipped, but fled from Saint-Nazaire to Casablanca.
Strasbourg and Dunquerque were stationed in Mers-el-Kébir since September 1939 (Force de Raid).
Provence and Bretagne were stationed in Mers El Kébir since 18 May 1940 (from 27 April: Alexandria).
Lorraine was in Alexandria since 27 April 1940.
Courbet sailed for Portsmouth on 20 June, Paris sailed for Plymouth on 18 June from the Atlantic coast. Both were seized by the British on 3 July 1940.

The only capital ship in Toulon was the school hulk of the Jean Bart (Courbet class).
Damaging the base facilities at Toloun would hobble the ability of the French fleet to hit back at Italy in the area of the Riviera.

However, there are other promising targets in the area that would merit such a strike; such as Marseille and Aix en Provence since both appear to be the main transportation hubs in the coastal area, and that is the very place on the French-Italian border with the fewest natural obstacles.

All those other ports you mentioned are out of effective range of most Italian bombers and will have to be left alone. The bombers must be concentrated where they are effective.
That was my point exactly; there nothing worthy to hit in the range of Italian bombers.

The French fleet was occupied to save her existence from the Germans and the British. A theoretical Italian raid would mean nothing. It would just make it harder for the Axis to cooperate with the Vichy French.

As for Aix en Provance and other targets in metropolitan France: ??? why? France was collapsing, it was soon to be a German fiefdom, damaging its infrastructure would have been a stupid idea.

AnchorSteam wrote:
14 Dec 2020 18:07
With active fronts vs metropolitan France, Tunisa, Egypt and Malta they have enough to do.
Tunisia? Again, why?

The Italians did attack Egypt OTL, but failed miserably. With a mere glance at the numbers, I guess no military historian would have predicted the outcome of that battle.

Malta was, again, a target worth taking, and serious preparations were made to take it. But the Italians hesitated, and lost the opportunity. The Brits thought rather correctly that in the Med, nobody really has the spine, technology and doctrine to stand up against them without German support. They've just crushed an Arab rebellion. Their only, but most important mistake was the Vichy forces.
“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 Dili » 15 Dec 2020 09:00

There is nothing confusing about C.200, but you need time to understand what you reading since it is new to you, being in a different different language English authors often call different names to same aircraft. Even Italians. C.200 was suspended from service in June 1940.

Where you found that creative number of 54 C200? where you found that number of RE 2000?

http://xoomer.virgilio.it/ramius/Milita ... _1940.html

There were only a very small number of SM82 operational.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 15 Dec 2020 18:20

Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Dec 2020 07:38
AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 06:25
Sources vary, but it seems that Italy had 67 Divisions in 1939 as follows;
43 x Infantry Divs, 3 x Tank, 2 Motorized, 3 x "Fast", 5 x Mountain and 11 x "Other" Divisions.... one of those must have been Airborne and some of the rest probably Static Defense.
As of 10 June 1940:

45 Divisione Fanteria
3 Divisione Corazatta
2 Divisione Motorizzata
3 Divisione Celere
3 Divisione Autatrasportabile
5 Divisione Alpina
Yes, and that's a good match for what I am showing, right?
Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Dec 2020 07:38
This is outside of what was in East Africa.
There were 24 Brigata Coloniale, plus another 10 organizing.
One easy move is to take those last 20 and reduce them to 10 Divs, and now you have 10 + 19 to give you 29 full-strength Divisions.
This is your Expeditionary Corps. THIS is what you can go adventuring with, the rest is strictly for defending what you already have; Italy including Sardinia and Sicily, Albania, Rhodes and Libya.
The "adventuring" units they had were in Albania, where they deployed about 26 divisions, including all the Celere, two of the Corraxatta and a couple of the Autitrasportabile.
26 Divisions, in Albania?
How did they fit them all in there?
And why did Italy then invade Greece with just 2 Corps? (25th & 26th)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Italian_War#Italy_2

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 15 Dec 2020 18:34

Dili wrote:
15 Dec 2020 09:00
There is nothing confusing about C.200, but you need time to understand what you reading since it is new to you, being in a different different language English authors often call different names to same aircraft. Even Italians.
So there is something confusing about that aircraft, eh? :milwink:
Dili wrote:
15 Dec 2020 09:00
C.200 was suspended from service in June 1940.
Okay, here is the thing; I have already tried to modify the post heading this thread, and I can't. Too much time passed and it is locked, so I will re-post a more accurate lising soon.

And since that type was suspended then I would remove it entirely.... but you did see all those listings of combat activity I posted earlier, right?
Dili wrote:
15 Dec 2020 09:00
Where you found that creative number of 54 C200? where you found that number of RE 2000?

http://xoomer.virgilio.it/ramius/Milita ... _1940.html

There were only a very small number of SM82 operational.
54 might have been the number for operational aircraft that day. It was from an old source, I have been putting this together for a couple of years now.

Ah, good link! Thanks, I now have several to look over. However, every single source of any kind seems to list different numbers. This could take some time.

I think there were more than just a few operational at that time, they were conducting transport missions to Libya and bombing raids on Gibraltar that June.
.... we aren't going to get into an endless search for the exact condition of all 5,200 aircraft, are we?

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 15 Dec 2020 18:40

Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
The Italian armed forces and the merchant marine were nowhere near ready, especially not in 48-72 hours.
Yes, and that is somehting to be corrected by good Staff work and planning from January - June.... and that is in fact the entire basis of this THread.

Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
That was my point exactly; there nothing worthy to hit in the range of Italian bombers.
As for Aix en Provance and other targets in metropolitan France: ??? why? France was collapsing, it was soon to be a German fiefdom, damaging its infrastructure would have been a stupid idea.
Because we are not using a crystal ball to aid Italian planning, and trying to give them a good victory to start off with in France.... not the miserable failure it was IRL.
Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
Tunisia? Again, why?

The Italians did attack Egypt OTL, but failed miserably. With a mere glance at the numbers, I guess no military historian would have predicted the outcome of that battle.
Yes, and I am getting to that.... next post.
Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
Malta was, again, a target worth taking, and serious preparations were made to take it. But the Italians hesitated, and lost the opportunity. The Brits thought rather correctly that in the Med, nobody really has the spine, technology and doctrine to stand up against them without German support. They've just crushed an Arab rebellion. Their only, but most important mistake was the Vichy forces.
I am not sure what this means.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Dec 2020 18:57

AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 18:20
26 Divisions, in Albania?
How did they fit them all in there?
And why did Italy then invade Greece with just 2 Corps? (25th & 26th)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Italian_War#Italy_2
Initial Italian attack on Greece was by the XXV and XXVI Corpo with nine divisions, reinforced by December with six more divisions, and by March 1941 to 28 divisions. As of April 1941, the Italians had committed 2d Army with five corps and fourteen divisions and 9th Army with five corps and fourteen divisions to the Balkans.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 15 Dec 2020 19:01

AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 18:40
Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
The Italian armed forces and the merchant marine were nowhere near ready, especially not in 48-72 hours.
Yes, and that is somehting to be corrected by good Staff work and planning from January - June.... and that is in fact the entire basis of this THread.
It was not really possible. Although tensions rose, Italy never expected such a swift and desicisive German victory in France.

For example, if France is not defeated - or at least not as swift and decisive as OTL - the Italians had 0 chance to defeat the British AND the French. I'd like to recommend you a rather good description of the events and background for the Battle of Cape Matapan.

http://www.regiamarina.net/detail_text_ ... d=38&lid=1

The thing is, that RM had deficiency in almost every aspect of naval warfare, but the British were well ahead of them in this regard. The mere numbers of battleships and the battlegroups you mentioned were not good for much in reality, because they lacked radar, aerial recon, night fighting procedures and such. So the only chance for them was to bring the RN ships into a pitched battle, possibly near their bases, and cruch them. The British (or rather, Cunningham) gave them battle, but they've screwd it. On the other hand, when the British got into ideal position to strike, they did not miss. They disabled the RM's capitals with a dozen of planes and crippled the surface fleet at Matapan.

Therefore we can safely conclude that such a disaster was bound to happen.
AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 18:40
Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
That was my point exactly; there nothing worthy to hit in the range of Italian bombers.
As for Aix en Provance and other targets in metropolitan France: ??? why? France was collapsing, it was soon to be a German fiefdom, damaging its infrastructure would have been a stupid idea.
Because we are not using a crystal ball to aid Italian planning, and trying to give them a good victory to start off with in France.... not the miserable failure it was IRL.
What is that victory good for? The French were on full alert, and they beated Italians badly. To bomb a few cities might have been good for a few hundred civilians killed for nothing, but nothing more. Italy had no capacity to invade and hold French territory. Not without German help.
AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 18:40
Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
Tunisia? Again, why?

The Italians did attack Egypt OTL, but failed miserably. With a mere glance at the numbers, I guess no military historian would have predicted the outcome of that battle.
Yes, and I am getting to that.... next post.
Like it was said in a previous comment, more spirited and successful Italian entry into the war could only contribute to lesser German participation in the area. Given the fact that Italy couldn't even score victories under the most favourable circumstances OTL, I think it is not a realistic battle plan to send them against the French. Maybe - maybe - they could have crushed the Greeks, but that would only provoke an earlier British help to the Balkans. In that case, it could have been useful for the big Axis picture.
AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 18:40
Peter89 wrote:
15 Dec 2020 08:55
Malta was, again, a target worth taking, and serious preparations were made to take it. But the Italians hesitated, and lost the opportunity. The Brits thought rather correctly that in the Med, nobody really has the spine, technology and doctrine to stand up against them without German support. They've just crushed an Arab rebellion. Their only, but most important mistake was the Vichy forces.
I am not sure what this means.
It meant that the British held firm their possessions in the region, and the Italian rule was not welcome by most. Not until they've defeated the British, whom they simply couldn't.

The amazing German successes in 1938-1940 inspired a certain amount of appeal in the Arab nationalists; the Nazi-Arab relations were rather good. But the Italians could not expect large scale cooperation from either a defeated France or a wannabe-liberated Arab insurgency.
“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 Carl Schwamberger » 15 Dec 2020 19:11

Instead of thinking about broad minefields it would be better to look at the Italian submarines ability to place mines. 1939-1941 there was success distributing them in the roadsteads & coast traffic routes around the UK & other locations. Perhaps the Italians have the ability 1940-1941 to seed more mines on the approaches to Alexandria, Valettia, ect... Its worth a look.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Dec 2020 19:12

Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Dec 2020 18:57
AnchorSteam wrote:
15 Dec 2020 18:20
26 Divisions, in Albania?
How did they fit them all in there?
And why did Italy then invade Greece with just 2 Corps? (25th & 26th)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Italian_War#Italy_2
Initial Italian attack on Greece was by the XXV and XXVI Corpo with nine divisions, reinforced by December with six more divisions, and by March 1941 to 28 divisions. As of April 1941, the Italians had committed 2d Army with five corps and fourteen divisions and 9th Army with five corps and fourteen divisions to the Balkans.
& folks thought the Greeks might push them into the sea.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Dec 2020 19:32

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Dec 2020 19:12
& folks thought the Greeks might push them into the sea.
As of August 1940 the Greeks had fifteen divisions, most of them reservists. By April 1941 they had mobilized 22 divisions.
"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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