Italians in World War II

Please look at the excellent article Italy WWII myth and reality by Justin

I found the two comments below while browsing news groups - They have quite an interesting point of view and I share their opinion. Mussolini at his peak still did not reach the support of half the population and he knew that entering world war 2 could threaten his grip on power. He entered the conflict after a year, only when he thought Hitler had already won it. I think all the Italians wanted to do at the time was to sit at the winners table .... hopefully without doing any fighting :-)

Note 1: The Italian Army during the Second World War had a reputation for being cowardly fighters. One of the reasons why the Italians put up such a half-hearted effort during the Socond World War was because the Fascists were never really that popular in Italy. In Italy's last relatively free and fair election held in 1922 before Mussolini came to power, the Fascists only gained about 5% of the popular vote, compared to some 44% for the Nazis in the federal election held in Germany on March the 5th, 1933. Another factor which partly explains why the Italian war effort during The Second World War was so half-hearted is the traditional hostility between Italians and Germans, especially the Austrian Germans, which had existed since the Middle Ages. At the height of the Italian Empire in early to mid-1941, Libya, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, British Somalia or Somaliland, Corsica, a part of southeastern France, the Dalmatia, Albania, and a large part of Greece were under Italian control. The reason why the Italians were defeated by the Ethiopians at the Battle of Adowa in 1896 was because the Ethiopians outnumbered the Italians 10 to 1, and because the Ethiopians had purchased rifles, mahine guns, and cannons from the British, French, and Germans. During the Italian wars for reunification fought from 1859-1870 and The First World War, the Italian army on occasions showed remarkable and unexpected bravery, and the same applied with the Italian Partisans during the Second World War in their resistance against Nazi Germany and the Italian Fascist regime.

Note 2: The toughest Italian units died fighting the Russians alongside the Germans on the Eastern Front and the West never engaged them. Italian artillery was regarded as the best in the world, while Italian naval special forces units (frogmen etc) were the best. Besides, America and Britain used the South African army to engage the Italians in Africa rather than run the risk that a large number of Catholic American GIs would switch sides...

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Comments

Friday, September 16TH, 2011 by Guest

This is retarded.

Wednesday, March 28TH, 2012 by Guest


this article is silly but there is some truth in it. In Russia the Alpini  units were one of the few  to fight their way out after being surrounded on the flank of Stalingrad. The frogmen and small boat units did have much success. Some of the units in North Africa fought very well despite substandard weaponry. Of special note was the Folgore paratroop division, which was used as straight infantry without real transport, and the Ariete tank division, which had dangerously underarmored vehicles but still compiled an impressive record. The Battle of Keren in Ethiopia between British, and Indian units and Italian and Italian led African troops was as fiercely fought as any in the Western Europe. Most countries had embarassing incidents. The British lost Singapore to an exhausted outnumbered  Japanese army. The Russians lost massive armies in the early  days of Barbarossa. The Yugoslav Army was overwhelmed in a few days in 1941, and the French debacle is well known. Actually on a tactical level the Italians were even outnumbered in the stupid invasion of Greece. Only the Italians seem to remain mocked for their participation in World War II. Maybe because they were on the losing side and then switched sides. Both the British and the Germans had an interest in portraying the Italians in a foolish light. The British to augment morale when they were outclassed by the Germans, and the Germans would blame their defeats on the Italians. That being said Mussolini grew more and more inept , the country had no infrastructure to support a modern army, and the people's heart wasn't in the fight.