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Italy occupied a swath of French territory along the Franco-Italian border. The Italian navy found other ways to attack the British. Their military contribution was so vast, that it played a decisive role in the victory of the rebel forces led by Francisco Franco. [77], On 8 December 1940, the British launched Operation Compass. Savoy! Italian tanks were of poor quality and radios few in number. After reorganising and re-grouping the Allies launched Operation Crusader in November 1941 which resulted in the Axis front line being pushed back once more to El Agheila by the end of the year. In light of the economic difficulties it was proposed, in 1933, by Marshal Italo Balbo to limit the number of divisions to 20 and ensure that each was fully mobile for ready response, equipped with the latest weaponry and trained for amphibious warfare. [120][121][122][123] During the Tunisian Campaign, where Italian units were involved in most encounters, such as Kasserine Pass, Mareth, Akarit and Enfidaville, it was observed by General Alexander, "...the Italians fought particularly well, outdoing the Germans in line with them". Ministero della Difesa – Edizioni 1986, Del Boca, Angelo, The Ethiopian war. After Mussolini had been stripped of power, he was imprisoned at Gran Sasso in the Apennine mountains. [19][20] To break British control, her bases on Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta, and in Egypt (controlling the Suez Canal) would have to be neutralized. Djibouti! As in Egypt, Italian forces (roughly 70,000 Italian soldiers and 180,000 native troops) outnumbered their British opponents. The armistice put a stop to further planning. [61] Comando Supremo (the Italian High Command) consisted of only a small complement of staff that could do little more than inform the individual service commands of Mussolini's intentions, after which it was up to the individual service commands to develop proper plans and execution. [75], Graziani and his staff lacked faith in the strength of the Italian military. Balbo had said "Our light tanks, already old and armed only with machine guns, are completely out-classed. King Victor Emmanuel III and his family, with Marshal Badoglio, General Mario Roatta, and others, abandoned Rome on 9 September. [31][32], Between 1936 and 1939, Italy had supplied the Spanish "Nationalist" forces, fighting under Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War, with large number of weapons and supplies practically free. The loyalist Italian government (sometimes referred to as the "Kingdom of the South" (it)) declared war on Germany on 13 October, aligning Italy within the Western Allies as a co-belligerent. [16], As early as September 1938, the Italian military had drawn up plans to invade Albania. These were Albania; Tunisia; Corsica, an integral part of France; the Ticino, a canton of Switzerland; and all "French territory east of the River Var", including Nice, but not Savoy. I would have done whatever I could have to surrender to the allies but not sure if that was at all possible for the Italians already in China. Unlike in Germany and Japan, no war crimes tribunals were held against Italian military and political leaders, though the Italian resistance summarily executed some of them (such as Mussolini) at the end of the war. On 28 October 1940, Italy started the Greco-Italian War by launching an invasion of the Kingdom of Greece from Albania. On 30 April, Greece too surrendered to the Germans and Italians, and was divided into German, Italian and Bulgarian sectors. [41] An account of the defeat of the Italian 10th Army noted that the incredibly poor quality of the Italian artillery shells saved many British soldiers' lives. In part, the Italians attacked Greece because of the growing influence of Germany in the Balkans. [103], Civilian losses as a result of the fighting in Italian Libya were estimated by an independent Russian journalist to be 10,000. James J. Sadkovich. After the Operation Torch landings in the Vichy French territories of Morocco and Algeria (November 1942) British, American and French forces advanced east to engage the German-Italian forces in the Tunisia Campaign. [29] In terms of strategic materials, in 1940, Italy produced 4.4 megatonnes (Mt) of coal, 0.01 Mt of crude oil, 1.2 Mt of iron ore and 2.1 Mt of steel. Seems different groups tried every one of those things and and they all ended poorly. [citation needed] One of his officers wrote: "We're trying to fight this... as though it were a colonial war... this is a European war... fought with European weapons against a European enemy. The most successful involved the use of frogmen and riding manned torpedoes to attack ships in harbour. Citing:' SME/US, Grecia, I, 943'. J, 'The Italo-Greek War in Context: Italian Priorities and Axis Diplomacy', Sadkovich, James J. At the end of May, Rommel launched the Battle of Gazala where the British armoured divisions were soundly defeated. By comparison, Great Britain produced 224.3 Mt of coal, 11.9 Mt of crude oil, 17.7 Mt of iron ore, and 13.0 Mt of steel and Germany produced 364.8 Mt of coal, 8.0 Mt of crude oil, 29.5 Mt of iron ore and 21.5 Mt of steel. Edition of 1999. [nb 1][nb 2][44][45] Almost 40% of the 1939 budget was allocated for military spending. [41] Irrespective of the attempts to modernize, the majority of Italian army personnel were lightly armed infantry lacking sufficient motor transport. [10] The aftermath of the war in Ethiopia saw a reconciliation of German-Italian relations following years of a previously strained relationship, resulting in the signing of a treaty of mutual interest in October 1936. Two more Allied landings took place on 9 September at Salerno (Operation Avalanche) and at Taranto (Operation Slapstick). Welcome to the WWII Forums! WW2 Italy vs WW2 Japan Thread starter RandomGuy96; Start date Jul 8, 2015; 1; 2; 3; Next. [106], The genocide of Roma people was 1,000 persons. [46] Recognizing the Navy's need for close air support, the decision was made to build carriers. Journal of Contemporary History, Volume 24, 1989. Badoglio and Roatta were appalled given that, acting on his orders, they had demobilised 600,000 men three weeks prior. Some Italian troops that evaded German capture in the Balkans joined the Yugoslav (about 40,000 soldiers) and Greek Resistance (about 20,000). The proposal was rejected by Mussolini (and senior figures) who wanted large numbers of divisions to intimidate opponents. Look out for your own interests and maintain relative neutrality? Many of the Italian POWs captured in the Soviet Union died in captivity due to harsh conditions in Soviet prison camps. The Germans re-located him to northern Italy where he set up a new Fascist state, the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana or RSI). Malta! In addition, the Greeks were naturally adept at operating in mountainous terrain, while only six of the Italian Army's divisions, the Alpini, were trained and equipped for mountain warfare. [86], After British troops arrived in Greece in March 1941, British bombers operating from Greek bases could reach the Romanian oil fields, vital to the German war effort. Crucially, the bulk of the Greek Army (fifteen divisions out of twenty-one) was left facing the Italians in Albania and Epirus when the Germans intervened. Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by Class of '42, Jun 28, 2020. Italian citizens residing in Japan and in Manchukuo were swiftly rounded up and summarily asked whether they were loyal to the King of Savoy, who dishonoured their country by surrendering to the enemy, or with the Duce and the newly created Repubblica Sociale Italiana, which vowed to continue fighting alongside the Germans. The aftermath of the treaty saw the increasing ties between Italy and Germany, and Mussolini falling under Adolf Hitler's influence from which "he never escaped". On 12 September he was rescued by the Germans in Operation Eiche ("Oak"). The Kriegsmarine assigned new officers to the three units, who were renamed as U-boat U.IT.23, U.IT.24 and U.IT.25, taking part in German war operations in the Pacific until the Giuliani was sunk by the British submarine HMS Tally-ho in February 1944 and the other two vessels were taken over by the Japanese Imperial Navy upon Germany's surrender in 1945. The Axis seemed on the verge of sweeping the British out of Egypt, but at the First Battle of El Alamein (July 1942) General Claude Auchinleck halted Rommel's advance only 90 mi (140 km) from Alexandria. [56], On paper Italy had one of the world's largest armies,[57] but the reality was the opposite. The oil and supplies brought to Malta, despite heavy losses, by Operation Pedestal in August and the Allied landings in North Africa, Operation Torch, in November 1942, turned the fortunes of war against Italy. "Understanding Defeat." Italy joined the war as one of the Axis Powers in 1940, as the French Third Republic surrendered, with a plan to concentrate Italian forces on a major offensive against the British Empire in Africa and the Middle East, known as the "parallel war", while expecting the collapse of British forces in the European theatre. After Italy entered the war, pressure from Nazi Germany led to the internment in the Campagna concentration camp of some of Italy's Jewish refugees. Continue fighting with your previous allies? Guest. [16], Beginning in 1939 Mussolini often voiced his contention that Italy required uncontested access to the world's oceans and shipping lanes to ensure its national sovereignty. In November 1942, the Italian Royal Army occupied south-eastern Vichy France and Corsica as part of Case Anton. [citation needed], Historians have long debated why Italy's military and its Fascist regime were so remarkably ineffective at an activity - war - that was central to their identity. Fought from February to March, the outcome of the Battle of Keren determined the fate of Italian East Africa. Most of Greece had been occupied by Italy following the Greco-Italian War and Battle of Greece, as had the French territories of Corsica and Tunisia following Vichy France's collapse and occupation by German forces. Italo-German forces had also achieved victories against insurgents in Yugoslavia, and had occupied parts of British-held Egypt on their push to El-Alamein after their victory at Gazala. [91], As part of the terms of the armistice, the Italian fleet was to sail to Malta for internment; as it did so it came under air attack by German bombers, and on 9 September, two German Fritz X guided bombs sank the Italian battleship Roma off the coast of Sardinia. Relations date from the 16th century to the present day. With Allied assistance some Italian troops in the south were organized into what were known as "co-belligerent" or "royalist" forces. Despite the Axis success at Kasserine, the Allies were able to reorganise (with all forces under the unified direction of 18th Army Group commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander) and regain the initiative in April. However, Italian attempts to attack British convoys resulted in the loss of four submarines and one destroyer. By then they had been able to penetrate deep into Albania. Jul 8, 2015 #1 Italian troops captured by the Germans were given a choice to keep fighting with the Germans. [nb 3] Three series of modern fighters[nb 4], capable of meeting the best allied planes on equal terms,[48][nb 5] were in development, with a few hundred of each eventually being produced.

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