Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 17 Dec 2020 04:04

The East Africa Theater.

Italian East Africa (IEA) was no joke, there was something like 370,00 armed men there, but this is a deceptive indication of strength and only about 1/3rd were Italian. The rest were Colonial Troops, and 4 years of Italian rule had not made much progress with many of the Ethiopians…. yet. Carrying them along on successful offensives and then sending some of them home with tales of military glory should keep them adequately motivated. (( Historically, the Italians did venture out and seize bits of Kenya, small parts of the Sudan, and all of British Somaliland.))

British Somaliland was no great trick. The Italians had to be re-directed from the planned attack on Djibouti (French Somalia) and didn’t attack until Early August. This allowed the British to boost the garrison from 2 to 5 Battalions…. still too few to hold the Italians off for more than a few days once the fighting began.

The Sudan was going well, air superiority (in one battle the Italians lost five Cr. 42 to shoot down seven Gladiators) and were coming close to Port Sudan and the Nile. They were stopped by a shortage of fuel.

Fuel, again…. still sounds like a lie to me. 400,000 gallons were captured in Mogadishu.

Where to get more? For this I take my cue from Machiavelli and turn to Russia, via our pals, the Germans.
Germany is putting out Commerce Raiders right from day one and, those raiders can come a-calling on us at Mogadishu. However, if they want fuel, they can be the ones to pre-position it. THEY can pay the Soviets for it, charter a Soviet tanker to bring it to us prior to the entry of Italy into the war.
The deal is, we get a 50/50 split. So if 10,000 tons arrive, Italy gets 5,000… and we didn’t pay one red cent for it. That ought to turn the trick, yes?

But the really bold part will be taking the one British base in the area that seems out of reach; Aden. 8-)
(IRL, the Bombers hit it early, in day and night raids!)



Historically on hand, June 1940;

Duke Aosta had two metropolitan divisions, the 40th Infantry Division Cacciatori d'Africa and the 65th Infantry Division Granatieri di Savoia, a battalion of Alpini (elite mountain troops), a Bersaglieri battalion of motorised infantry, several Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (MSVN Camicie Nere [Blackshirt]) battalions and smaller units. About 70 percent of Italian troops were locally recruited Askari. The regular Eritrean battalions and the Corps of Somali Colonial Troops were among the best Italian units in the AOI and included Eritrean cavalry Penne di Falco (Falcon Feathers)

Italian forces in East Africa were equipped with about 3,313 heavy machine-guns, 5,313 machine-guns, 24 x M11/39 medium tanks, 39 x L33/35 tankettes, a few armored cars and 824 x cannon, 24 × 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, 71 × 81 mm mortars and 672,800 rifles
(too few 81mm mortars, and far too many rifles … that must include what was available to the Italian civilians)

I was a little surprised to see 1/4th of the whole production run of the M11/39 posted to this area, this was the best tank they had at the time. Someone in Rome clearly had some interest in giving this Army some offensive power....

CHANGES; Double the number of 20mm guns. Conduct a thorough inspection of Arms and Ammunition to ensure that shortages are rectified and that nothing is going to be siphoned off once the ballon goes up. Due to its isolation, a higher standard of accountability is to be expected in this Theater of War.
One full-strength Division with good equipment is to be transferred in March, and posted to Addis Ababa by the end of April. This will free the 65th Division to move to the Northwest in preparation for it's combat assignment.



At war start
Riserva Generale Addis Abeba and Dessiè with:
-321.a and 322.a Compagnia carri M11/39 (4 platoons with 6 x M11/39 each) {one to 65th Div, one to 40th Div}
-1.a and 2.a compagnia carri L35 each) {one to 65th Div, one to 40th Div}

Comando Truppe Scioa with:
-Squadrone carri veloci “Cavalieri di Neghelli” (15xL3) {to Groupo Sudani… minus 3 to Aden group}
-Reparto Autocarri armati PAI (some armored trucks armed with MG) {Local Garrisons}

Comando Truppe HARAR with:
-Sezione Autonoma autoblindo Fiat 611 – (5x37mm Fiat611) {one to Aden, 4 to Kenya}
-Seziona Autonoma autoblindo Lancia IZ – (4xLanciaIZ) {to Somalia}

Comando Truppe Galla-Sidamo with:
-Sezione Autoblindo Lancia del Galla Sidamo (Gimma)(3xLanciaIZ) {to So. Sudan}
-Sezione Autoblindo Fiat 611 del Galla Sidamo (Javello)(3xFiat611mg) {1 to Aden, 2 to Kenya}
-Compagnia autocarri armati del Galla Sidamo (Gimma)(some armoured trucks with MG) {stays there for internal security duty}
-Sezione autocarri armati (Uolisciò) (4xarmoured trucks) {to Kenya}

Comando Truppe Amhara with:
-Reparto provvisorio autoblindo (Debrivar)(some LanciaIZ) {Home Patrol}
-Sezione autoblindo Lancia (6xLanciaIZ)(Debra Marcos-Goggiam) {with Groupo Sudani}


Armor deployment, by location/destination;

Kenya; 4 x Fiat611 w/37mm, 2 x Fiat611 MG, 4 x Armored trucks, 4 x 20mm on armored trucks.

65th Div ; 12 x M11/39 tanks, 12 x CV33 tankettes,

40th Div ; 10 x M11/39 tanks, 12 x CV33 tankettes, 4 x Lancia a/c

Aden ; 3 x CV33, 2 x Fiat611, 2 x M11/39 tanks*

Groupo Sudani (along with the Motorized Battalion & Cavalry attachments) ; 12 x CV33, 6 x Lancia a/c, 4 x 20mm on armored trucks.

So. Sudan ; 3 x Lancia a/c, some armored trucks later on.


*The small and eclectic team sent to Aden is to allow for the expansion of the perimeter as needed, and the propaganda impact of having Axis tanks on the Arabian Peninsula.



I have more, but once again the post becomes loooong, and I don't want eyes to start glazing over, so I will break this up a little.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Dec 2020 04:29

AnchorSteam wrote:
17 Dec 2020 04:04
The Sudan was going well, air superiority (in one battle the Italians lost five Cr. 42 to shoot down seven Gladiators) and were coming close to Port Sudan and the Nile. They were stopped by a shortage of fuel.

Fuel, again…. still sounds like a lie to me. 400,000 gallons were captured in Mogadishu.
Fuel? Check. Munitions? Check. Airfield positions? Check. Airfield length? Check.

Not only fuel was a problem, but the RA in the AOI was also desperately short of bombs larger than 100 lbs. Virtually all the airfields were around the periphery of the Italian-held territory, where they were prone to be overrun and relatively easy to attack from British-held territory. Few of the airfields were long enough to support the two "modern" aircraft in the Italian inventory, the
AM.79 and CR.42.

Aside from that they had effectively zero modern industry, few natural resources, and zero means of acquiring any resupply from Metropolitan Italy.

The reality is well-summarized by Daniel J. Kostecka in "Making Do: The Air War in East Africa, 1940-1941", Air Power History, vol. 59, no. 2, 2012, pp. 4–13.
"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 » 17 Dec 2020 04:30

Army Operations;
It would be crazy to try to put 370,000 men on the march all at once, and I never intend to. All I want from the non-Italian troops for the first wave will be 80,000 Colonials who are sent out to over-run their British Empire equivalents. And they can do it with numerical superiority at the points chosen for the attacks and support from the air, which Italy had in the first months of the war.

Where the Colonials will be sent --
10,000 are going into British Somaliland.
40,000 are invading Kenya, split between Somalis and Ethiopians.
20,000 of the best and most mobile troops, most notably the Eritreans, are going into Sudan along two main axis.
4,000 Ethiopians go into South Sudan
6,000 picked men are going on a special mission; Aden

Now for the Italians non-armored troops;

There are only two Italian Divisions there.... okay, yeah, the Blackshirts also assembled a Division, and it even had 6 x Infantry Battalions. The problem is, they are mostly WW1 veterans well, not all, more on that later). There is even a Battalion of Amputees, so as a Division this is a write-off for our offensive planning. Let them strut around the rear areas and keep the fuzzy-wuzzies in line, Garrison is what they were doing when they were judged to be preforming "credibly".

40th Infantry Division only has 4 Infantry battalions and is newly formed. I would detail it to the invasion of British Somaliland. With a few Colnilas from Harrar and a Somali Cavalry Division coming in from the other end, Berbera should fall quickly.
After that half will remain there and the other half will go to Kenya. There has to be something left standing by to face possible enemy landings/offensives.


65th Infantry Division Granatieri di Savoia is a totally different animal, and that is without any of our Alt. Staff work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/65th_I...ieri_di_Savoia
It has 2 regiments with 2 battalions of Infantry each, plus a Blackshirt Battalion, plus a Cavalry Battalion, plus a motorized Infantry Company... and five artillery Battalions. One of those even has the French 105mm guns.
The only sour note is the MG Battalion, but that is the only item that might need reorganization that I see here.

This Division is NOT to be broken up, it is to be the core of the drive towards Khartoum, and possibly beyond to Egypt. More on that later.


Other than that, there isn't very much in the way of organized Divisions fit for offensive work, the rest of the Italians are either smaller units or rear-echelon support and the Natives are mostly in Bande formations.
There were exceptions, the Somali Corps was one, and one of those Divisions can be included in the invasion of Somaliland, along with some of these guys-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubats
-who are exactly the sort that I would also send into every border region to wreck havoc. Their zone would be Kenya, and I would have a few Italians along with them that know how to call for an airstrike.

That Blackshirt Devotion won’t be enough to Garrison Ethiopia AND react to any unexpected enemy moves. This is why another Division needs to be sent on from Italy in March-April 1940. At first, they are to acclimate themselves and get to know the area. They will be sent as a follow-up for the move south into Kenya.
A sidewhow at first, I see it as a terribly important front later on.
The reason is simple; Djibouti is the best-armed enemy camp on the IEA border. It is also the logical place for the first wave of Italian attacks to strike since it is at the seaward end of the only railroad in Ethiopia. So, the plan is to isolate it first, by taking Berbera and Aden.
But if we can do all that, then we can block the Red Sea, and isolating the 100,000-men of the Middle-East command.

If Malta looks impossible, then Aden must seem like a flight of fantasy, but it is perfectly do-able. You just have to be tricky, and move quickly while both Aden and Berbera are still garrisoned by just 2 Battalions each.
(yes, that's where i went wrong on Malta, so many places with garrisons of 2 Battalions, or maybe I am just the last victim of Italian pre-war propaganda? :o )

More tomorrow, fingers hurting....

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 17 Dec 2020 04:34

Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Dec 2020 04:29
Fuel? Check. Munitions? Check. Airfield positions? Check. Airfield length? Check.
On the outbreak of war, the CAAOI had 10,700 t (10,500 long tons) of aviation fuel, 5,300 t (5,200 long tons) of bombs and 8,620,000 rounds of ammunition. Aircraft and engine maintenance was conducted at the main air bases and at the Caproni and Piaggio workshops, which could repair about fifteen seriously-damaged aircraft and engines each month, along with some moderately and lightly damaged aircraft, and could also recycle scarce materials.[8] The Italians had reserves for 75% of their front-line strength, but lacked spare parts and many aircraft were cannibalised to keep others operational.[10] The quality of the units varied.
Yup, Wiki. How else can I keep up here? I am a bit outnumbered..... :milwink:

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 17 Dec 2020 07:12

AnchorSteam wrote:
17 Dec 2020 03:19

and so Peter said this-
C.200 was suspended from service in June 1940.
That must have been an incredibly brief suspension.

In fact, Dili said that not me.
Dili wrote:
15 Dec 2020 09:00
C.200 was suspended from service in June 1940.

“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 » 17 Dec 2020 07:16

AnchorSteam wrote:
17 Dec 2020 04:30
(snip)

There are only two Italian Divisions there.... okay, yeah, the Blackshirts also assembled a Division, and it even had 6 x Infantry Battalions.
No, they did not. There were eight CCNN d' Africa legions in the Comando Truppe dello Amhara in the northern sector, a Groupo of four legions and a separate regiment in the Comando Truppe dello Scioa, two legions in the Comando Truppe dello Harar, two legions in the Scacchiere Meridionale, and one legion attached to each of the metropolitan divisions. There were also a half dozen of so CCNN AA battalions scattered about, but they never formed a division.
40th Infantry Division only has 4 Infantry battalions and is newly formed. I would detail it to the invasion of British Somaliland.
Um, the Cacciatori d’Africa wasn't "newly formed", it was not formed until 27 July 1940, from various separate elements. It had limited offensive capability.
With a few Colnilas from Harrar and a Somali Cavalry Division coming in from the other end, Berbera should fall quickly.
The four colonial brigades of the Comando Truppe dello Harar had a dozen infantry battalions and a few batteries of artillery. There was no "Somaili Cavalry Division", but rather 10 "squadrons" and 4 "troops" of irregular cavalry of dubious utility.
65th Infantry Division Granatieri di Savoia is a totally different animal, and that is without any of our Alt. Staff work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/65th_I...ieri_di_Savoia
It has 2 regiments with 2 battalions of Infantry each, plus a Blackshirt Battalion, plus a Cavalry Battalion, plus a motorized Infantry Company... and five artillery Battalions. One of those even has the French 105mm guns.
The only sour note is the MG Battalion, but that is the only item that might need reorganization that I see here.
The two Granatieri regiments each had three battalions, on of two infantry and one Alpini d'Africa, and one of two infantry and one Bersaglieri d'Africa (bicycle troops). The cavalry squadron consisted of two troops of horse cavalry and one company of CV L3/33. There was no motorized infantry company. The Artillery consisted of just two battalions of Cannone da 65/17 modello 13; there were no "French 105mm guns" in the division. Those were actually the Cannone da 105/28 Modello 1913, which was a standard Italian field piece built to a French design, the Canon de 105 mle 1913 Schneider. All such in the AOI were in the five battalions of the artillery reserve.
This Division is NOT to be broken up, it is to be the core of the drive towards Khartoum, and possibly beyond to Egypt. More on that later.
Oh, yes, please more later. I cannot wait to find out how a division with limited logistical resources is going to "drive" 1,404 kilometers to Khartoum.
Other than that, there isn't very much in the way of organized Divisions fit for offensive work, the rest of the Italians are either smaller units or rear-echelon support and the Natives are mostly in Bande formations.
There were exceptions, the Somali Corps was one, and one of those Divisions can be included in the invasion of Somaliland, along with some of these guys-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubats
-who are exactly the sort that I would also send into every border region to wreck havoc. Their zone would be Kenya, and I would have a few Italians along with them that know how to call for an airstrike.
What "Somali Corps" is that? Which "divisions" did it have? If you are talking about the Dubats, they were part of the irregular forces of the Scacchiere Meridionale...six colonial brigades, plus two in the process of forming, two CCNN MG legions, a CCNN AA battalion, and five squadrons of Dubat irregular border guards with an additional three troops of more irregular cavalry.

I can hardly wait to find out how the Italians win the war...are you getting anywhere close to revealing their secret weapon? My money is on ASB.
"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 » 17 Dec 2020 07:22

AnchorSteam wrote:
17 Dec 2020 07:05
Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Dec 2020 04:05
And BTW- for everyone that is always trying to make the Italians look like the world's biggest losers;
That is what is commonly referred to as a "straw man" or "straw man argument" and it gets short shrift here as a rule. No one, let alone "everyone" is trying to do anything of the sort. Please argue what the facts and evidence actually are, rather than what you imagine them to be.
Didn't say everyone, just those that consistently post that way at every turn so far on this thread.
I could mention a few tactics too, but I would rather talk about the tactical and strategic theories that this thread is about.
Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Dec 2020 04:05
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=210001&hilit=Itali ... ies+in+WW2

Like I said, its on this very site.
It might help if you actually read through the 15 pages of that thread.
Yes SIR, right away SIR!

Or maybe you could lighten up a little. Its not like I am defending a Doctiral thesis here. :wink:
Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Dec 2020 07:52

Because Singapore is an island and Malta is an island, so of course they are exactly the same?
No, because they are both places where even the highest echelon of the staff and support were exposed to the danger of direct assault. About the only other example for the UK Army was the Admin Box of 1943 in the Arakan... and that seems WAY too different.

Honest to God, what is it with you? I'm not interested in this level of hostility and I have no idea where it is coming from. Either you are reading things into my posts that I never intended or you have misteken me for someone else, but its really a hell of a thing to run straight into in my first thread here.

I can handle a good argument, but 100% negativiity is wearing thin already. Not once have you acknowledge anythng I got right. Not once have you commented on a new idea or even "Yeah, I hand't thought of that" or a "that might work" anywhere in 5 pages now.
Not
a
single
time.

I think i am done responding to people who have been trying to trash the entire concept before i am even half way done with it.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Dec 2020 07:41

AnchorSteam wrote:
17 Dec 2020 07:22
No, because they are both places where even the highest echelon of the staff and support were exposed to the danger of direct assault. About the only other example for the UK Army was the Admin Box of 1943 in the Arakan... and that seems WAY too different.
I honestly have no idea what you are saying. The Japanese had rather better amphibious assault capability than the Italians, but their assault on Singapore was closer to a conventional river crossing operation than an amphibious assault. The Italian concept for the attack on Malta was sound, but they simply had no capability to carry it out in June 1940.
Honest to God, what is it with you? I'm not interested in this level of hostility and I have no idea where it is coming from. Either you are reading things into my posts that I never intended or you have misteken me for someone else, but its really a hell of a thing to run straight into in my first thread here.
I am not being "hostile", but I am exasperated at the inability to answer simple questions and respond to the problematic assumptions in your construct.
I can handle a good argument, but 100% negativiity is wearing thin already. Not once have you acknowledge anythng I got right. Not once have you commented on a new idea or even "Yeah, I hand't thought of that" or a "that might work" anywhere in 5 pages now.
Not
a
single
time.
Oh, sorry, you do just want validation for being clever. I wasn't aware of that, but so far I just haven't seen much that no one else "hand't thought of" or "that might work".
I think i am done responding to people who have been trying to trash the entire concept before i am even half way done with it.
So far the entire concept appears to be...what? The Italians win the war in 1940? Because you push the Italian armed forces into multiple offensives at places and times they proved incapable of doing IRL? The Italians cannot seize Malta in June 1940 given their capabilities and the balance of forces, unless they are extremely fortunate and the British are extremely inept. Ditto a massive Italian offensive in the AOI. The Italians concentrated on a Balkan strategy, because it played to their limited resources, and they still would have failed miserably without German intervention. Ditto North Africa. Yet you are going to make it work by shuffling troops and units about wholesale? The Italians had little strategic mobility to make these large-scale movements over the course of months and years, but you want them to do it in days?
"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 » 17 Dec 2020 08:02

First of all, the 65th Division -

Order of battle (1940)[edit]
10. Granatieri di Savoia Grenadier Regiment
1. Grenadier battalion
2. Grenadier battalion
Alpine battalion "Uork Amba"
11. Granatieri di Savoia Grenadier Regiment
1. Grenadier battalion
2. Grenadier battalion
Bersaglieri battalion
60. Field Artillery Regiment
1. Close support battalion (Cannone da 65/17 modello 13) - 12 guns
2. Close support battalion (Cannone da 65/17 modello 13) - 12 guns
3. Close support battalion (Cannone da 65/17 modello 13) - 12 guns
4. Artillery battalion (Skoda 100 mm Model 1916)
5. Artillery battalion (Canon de 105 mle 1913 Schneider)
11. Monteferato Blackshirt CCNN Battalion
Negelli Cavalry Battalion
1. Cavalry squadron
2. Cavalry squadron
1. Motorized infantry company
65. Heavy Machine Gun Battalion (36 machine guns in 4 companies)
65. Combat Engineer Company [nb 1][5]

Source-
Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 24 April 2009

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 17 Dec 2020 08:32

AnchorSteam wrote:
17 Dec 2020 07:22
Honest to God, what is it with you? I'm not interested in this level of hostility and I have no idea where it is coming from. Either you are reading things into my posts that I never intended or you have misteken me for someone else, but its really a hell of a thing to run straight into in my first thread here.

I can handle a good argument, but 100% negativiity is wearing thin already. Not once have you acknowledge anythng I got right. Not once have you commented on a new idea or even "Yeah, I hand't thought of that" or a "that might work" anywhere in 5 pages now.
Not
a
single
time.

I think i am done responding to people who have been trying to trash the entire concept before i am even half way done with it.
Look, it's not hostility (at least from my part) that I try to point out some serious flaws in your basic concept.

It is indeed your first post, but because of that exactly, it might be nice to ask the community to tell their opinion about "the possible opening moves of the Italians". If you chose to start to rewrite major twists on your own in your first post, you will face some criticism naturally.

In my case, I've read this forum for a few years before I registered and started to comment. There are still plenty of sections which I've almost never visited, and I wouldn't dare to start there with a thread in which I'd rewrite things entirely (ie.: making the Italian entry super-successful). Mostly what I do is asking; perhaps you should try it out once.

It is true that some of us are less open to new ideas, mostly because there are years or decades of debate behind one subject or another.

But if you chose this path, it is also okay. Intelligent people are keen to criticise, and prone to look things from different angles, and less likely to believe things outright. Wikipedia is a great source for common knowledge and step one sources, so you don't have to quote a scientific paper of what caliber gun the Tiger I had. However, if you want to address issues like grand strategy, you can't work mostly from Wikipedia.

The Problematik with your approach is that if you are looking for something in particular, you're guaranteed to find it. If you see that every bit of infos fits into your narrative, you are definately on a wrong path.

In this case it is also less likely to encounter contradictory infos. That's why it might feel as a shock or hostility to confront them from other people.

Also you may believe that things were predestined to happen, but if you don't, then you must accept the idea that we are dealing with probabilities here. So even if you conceive a superb strategy for the Italians, it wouldn't be a 100% sure thing. It is especially true if you take into account that the Italians had a multifront war, a colonial empire, 3+ adversaries, an ally with their own things in mind, etc.

I think no one can deny that there was plenty of room for improvement re the Italian entry into the war.

Why don't you try to grab the subject from this perspective? What do you want to achieve? To what end? With what resources? In what timeframe? How do you make the other parties to accept it? Is it purely your thinking or was your idea considered by someone else before? Why the decision makers did not make this decision? etc.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by David Thompson » 17 Dec 2020 19:42

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 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 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.


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.

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.

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

Post by AnchorSteam » 18 Dec 2020 06:35

Port Sudan and Khartoum --

The primary goal here is to make progress towards a link-up with Italian Mediterranean forces.... a goal that is clearly beyond the power of this complex of Colonies, yest moving in that direction can't help but aid in an eventual link-up.
There is another goal here and on other fronts; to defend the IEA by eliminating or taking over the enemy bases close enough to threaten Italian territory in the Horn of Africa.
The prospect for this later idea are especially good in this direction.

Groupo Sudani, comprising our one Motorized Battalion,one company of CV35, 6 x Lancia a/c, 4 x 20mm on armored trucks, plus artillery and most of the Eritrean Cavalry (see map) will drive due north to Port Sudan. They can expect Air and naval support in taking the port itself once the Aden operation is completed. Here, the base can be damaged or even destroyed, but the much of Group will have to remain there until Colonial infantry can arrive to relieve them and fortify Port Sudan to prevent it's recapture.
Part, and then the rest of the group, will strike out towards the Nile as soon as they can, to support the main thrust.

Logistics;

Keeping the above operation in supply will require every transport available for this front, even the primitive kinds. Air transport in this theater only amounts to 25 aircraft, barely enough for emergency operations such as medivac and such things.
So, how to supply a Divfision going 400 Kilometers into enemy territory?

The Blue Nile.
This avenue solve one of the greatest problems in this Theater; water, provided mobile water filtration/purification gear is with the division. There are also farms and plantations along the way, altho nothing should be depeneded on aside from fodder for whatever Mules and Horses are along.
However, there are no boats, and there are many sets of rapids along the way. Nothing like the Cataracts of Egypt, but still preventing full navigation, so what is to be done?
We use the methods of the people who live there, and the people themselves.

The great gift is the water is flowing the way we want to go. Rafts and Portages depending on manpower will do the trick. The catch is, you have to pay them. On the Italian side of the border, this is not an area with any real enthusiasm for this Empire, and you cannot count on the liberated Sudanese to do anything for you. And, if you don't pay them fairly, you will see much of your supplies pilfered.
Paying them with little Gold coins ougnt to do the trick.

Ah, but you ask, where is this Gold coming from? Italy is practically broke!
From Ethiopia.
People have been finding gold there for a long time now, a few years ago I checked and found that 100 kilos were minded every year. As for that time;
The Tulu Kapi gold deposit was discovered and mined on a small scale by an Italian consortium in the 1930’s.The Tulu Kapi Mining Agreement between the Ethiopian Government and KEFI was formalised in April 2015. The terms include a 20-year Mining Licence, a 5% Government free-carried interest and full permits for the development and operation of Tulu Kapi.
Following completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study, Tulu Kapi has continued to progress towards development with the appointment of contractors and subsequent work to solidify the estimates and further improve Project economics. 
Gold production is currently estimated to average 140,000 ounces per annum over the seven years of mining the open pit. Estimated All-in Sustaining Cost is in the order of US$800-900/oz, much lower than the industry average.
https://www.kefi-minerals.com/projects/ ... /tulu-kapi

At the end of the 1930s, during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, the Italian mining company SAPIE carried out small-scale surface hydro-mining on easily accessible gold‐bearing saprolite on the flanks of the Tulu Kapi deposit.


https://www.mindat.org/loc-290930.html

A small amount is all that would be needed, no more than one man can carry, and this would be a huge savings on what would be required to provide any other means of transportation.
Many Ethiopian trees will die for the cause, but there will be more required. A couple of motor-boats will be needed. Small ones, ones that could be transported over road.... such as the minuscule Italian MTBs of the inter-war period... and it just so happens that some are available.

The Motor Torpedo Boats of the Red Sea fleet appear to have suffered a miserable fate;
21st MAS Squadron
• MAS 204 - Lost due to mechanical difficulty
• MAS 206 - Lost due to mechanical difficulty
• MAS 210 - Lost due to mechanical difficulty
• MAS 213 - Scuttled 8 April 1941
• MAS 216 - Lost due to mechanical difficulty
MAS 213 gave good service, but the rest appear to have been on their last legs from the outset, as a thurough inspection could have revealed. However, the hulls seem to be fine, so let's take them and give them to the Army, and have four new ones sent down to replace them.
Strip out the engines and torpedo tubes, and railhead and truck them to new destinations. Two will be going to the Blue Nile in preperation for this offensive. They will be re-engined with low-revving engines to make them more like tug-boats, tractor or truck engines, so as to serve the hoard of rafts in rough areas. They can keep their MGs and even armed with some left-over cannon in the 37-57mm range if gunboats are thought to be needed.
(the other two will be going to a lake that used to be named Rudolf for a different sort of mission)


(correction)
In Sudan about 8,500 troops and 80 aircraft guarded a 1,200 mi (1,900 km) frontier, 21 Companies of Colonial troops, 5 of them are being converted to Motororized Macnine-gun Companies, and the cavalry is being converted to a battery of 3.7" howitzers. Good guns, but only one battery....
Would they pull back to Khartoum? Would they stay, with mixed motor/cavarly groups operating to the north of them, threatening their best route back to Egypt?

Airpower is negligable here;
In Sudan, the Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Headquarters Sudan (Headquarters 203 Group from 17 August, Air Headquarters East Africa from 19 October), subordinate to the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Middle East, had 14 Squadron, 47 Squadron and 223 Squadron (Vickers Wellesley bombers).[58] A flight of Vickers Vincent biplanes from 47 Squadron performed Army Co-operation duties and were later reinforced from Egypt by 45 squadron (Bristol Blenheims). Six Gladiator biplane fighters were based in Port Sudan for trade protection and anti-submarine patrols over the Red Sea, the air defence of Port Sudan, Atbara and Khartoum and army support. In May, 1 (Fighter) Squadron South African Air Force (SAAF) arrived, was transferred to Egypt to convert to Gladiators and returned to Khartoum in August.
So, it is not advisable that the 65th begin it's advance too soon, but they should do their best to get the job done by the end of July.

What next?
It wouild be tempting to press on if the 65th can take Khartoum without damaging itself too badly. A Regimental Team could try, but they have to know that it is a total commitment. The ease of going down-River is matched by the difficulty of going back the other way. If anything goes wrong and a hurried retreat is called for, I think they would be doomed.

1) the removal of Khartoum is worth it, as the British would have a lot of horribley barren territory to cross to get within range of the place. Keeping that city out of enemy hands is the best protection for the IEA's northern flank there is.

2) on commiting the 65th;
This theater is enormous. The distance from the White Nile to the tip of the horn of Africa is about the same as the distance form Berlin to Moscow. From central Kenya to the Egyptian border is almost as great as that from the coast of Algeria to Oslo.
And the roads in Ethiopia are not very good.
What this means is, once committed to a strategic direction, any major unit cannot be shifted elsewhere with any reasonable chance of sucess, and none at all of a timely arrival. A river that runs the wrong way really does not make all that much difference.

I was going to cover Aden tonight, but I think that's enough for now.
Tomorrow, for sure.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 18 Dec 2020 06:44

the map-

Screen Shot 2020-12-16 at 8.56.15 PM.png
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Dili » 18 Dec 2020 09:27

2nd case —

So there is something confusing about that aircraft, eh? 
Dili wrote: ↑
Yesterday, 01:00
and so Peter said this-
C.200 was suspended from service in June 1940.
That must have been an incredibly brief suspension.

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]


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]

And BTW- for everyone that is always trying to make the Italians look like the world's biggest losers;

viewtopic.php?f=75&t=210001&hilit=Itali ... ies+in+WW2

Like I said, its on this very site.
[/quote]

Yes like i said it was a SUSPENSION June to September, but you seem to be incapable of reading.
. 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.
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