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Panzers made in Italy

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  • Panzers made in Italy

    A what if this is, but it's about Panzers. so what the heck here it is. 1st off, what was the tank producing capacity of Italy 39,40 41?

    & the what if is..... Germany convinces Italy, ( yes I know pride & nationalism might kill this on the front end), that German tanks are superior, & therefore to serve both their interests, convinces el Duce to build panzers instead of whatever they did make.

    will the numbers be significant? will it tilt things in the Axis favor in north Africa?

  • #2
    My understanding is that the Italians lacked the industrial capacity to build anything larger than the "M" series that they built during the war years. They were also limited in manufacturing techniques as well, hence the lack of welding and predominantly riveted construction of their battle tanks and SPs.

    I have no doubt that the Italians knew that the Germans had better armoured fighting vehicles - in fact, they did end up purchasing and/or building a lot of German military hardware of their own, such as SdKfz 7s and 88mm guns.


    • #3
      OK then, perhaps the timeframe could be backed up a tad to late 30's, say 37-38 for tooling up. I suppose it's a technically complicated sort of endeavor.


      • #4
        IIRC, spot welding was a state of the art thing back in the 30s, and I doubt a second rate power like Italy could revamp it's entire war industry.

        On the other hand, I'm from around Lima OH and I understand the US government quickly after Pearl Harbor built a big tank factory that still operates today. I doubt in anycase Italy could produce panzers instead of whatever they did for all units, but their best units, yes, they could have supplied with home made panzers, under the two conditions: they realized WWII was going to be long, and they had the foresight to do it.
        How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
        275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird


        • #5
          There's also hard to make components like high-quality ball bearings, radios and other electric components and few other items that required high purity of materials and highly developed manufacturing. The German constructions required these, you can't just replace them with low-tech alternatives. So if you can't make these, or don't get them from Germany, you can't build the whole thing.


          • #6
            I am not sure that if Italy would have had the capability to produce "German panzers" early on and use them in North Africa, if it would have made all that much of a difference. I believe it would have taken much more than better tanks, like: the ability to get supplies to the troops, which means over coming Ultra that the Brits used to sink all, or most of the ships transporting supplies; getting and keeping air superiority, including the taking of Malta; providing adequate number of troops to match the eventual British build up; over coming the dumb oversight of the Italian hierarchy (...a stumbling block to Rommel); being able to control or limit the effect of the Royal Navy; etc. I believe there is much more to winning the Battle of North Africa that just the Italians being able to produce and field "German panzers."


            • #7
              I agree with all above, just thought I'd add that Il Duce would have to have been convinced that the war would be a long drawn out affair first before any movement toward revamping Italy's Industry were to occur. Plus this would entail convincing Hitler of this as well. Both were convinced the wars they started would be short lived. This is why (Partly) with Germany there was no hurry to produce next generation panzers, until the shock of the T34 hit them. IIRC both economies in '41 were not even geared to Total War. I'm pretty sure too much would have had to happened differently before a Tech Miracle happened for Italy.
              Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

              History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
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              Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
              David Bowie


              • #8
                Well alrightie then.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
                  & the what if is..... Germany convinces Italy, ( yes I know pride & nationalism might kill this on the front end), that German tanks are superior, & therefore to serve both their interests, convinces el Duce to build panzers instead of whatever they did make.
                  IL DUCE. He was Italian not Spanish

                  Were the Italian tanks really that inferior? I don't know anything about this so I am speculating here, but the Italians have a strong Engineering tradition. In fact I recently read here how an Italian company got the contract to build the HMX 1 Helicopters. The gun nuts tell me that their small arms were really good. The name Berreta means something.

                  The Italians didn't have the industrial capacity as the Germans did, but I don't think that meant that what they managed to produce wasn't any good? They just didn't produce anything in quantity and since the majority of the Italian population favored entering the war on the Allied side, their hearts were not into improving what they had nor fighting better.

                  Also, I don't think any of the German tanks had espresso machines in the crew compartment


                  • #10
                    Yes, we & I know El Duce was not Spanish.


                    • #11
                      In short, all Italian tanks built during the second World War were obsolete before they entered service. If I recall correctly, all Italian AFVs were built using rivetted construction - Italian manufacturing techniques at the time were limited in sophistication, and just like Wolery mentioned, welding was state-of-the-art back then.

                      Italian tanks were small, thinly armoured and were mechanically unreliable. Italian armour plate was of low quality compared to that of Germany. Rates of production were low and there were never enough to go around. Armament was adequate for the time - I've read that Italian 47mm gun was effective during the North African campaign. I'd have to say that Italian tankers were very brave to fight in the AFVs that they operated. The only saving grace of their whole "M" series was the Semovente.

                      There's no way in hades that the Italians would have been able to build any of the German cats. They didn't have the industrial capacity, the resources or even the time to do so.


                      • #12
                        Weren't the Italians about to begin license production of Mark IIIs when they dropped out of the war? The Hermann Goering Division was able to seize and use the German equipment of an Italian Armor Division when the Germans seized Rome. I assume the Italians would have needed German support to continue manufacture of expensive armor vehicles.

                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"


                        • #13
                          From the quick additional research I've done, I've discovered that the Italian firm Fiat-Ansaldo - which had a relative monopoly over tank production - acquired a license to produce Panther Ausf D tanks in early 1943. Apart from the fact that Daimler-Benz was to make a tidy profit off of an AFV that wasn't even fully developed at that point, the war ended soon thereafter. Seems pointless. The Italians never sought or received a license to build earlier panzer models as far as I know.

                          The only German tank that the Italians managed to successfully license-produce is the Leopard 1 Specifically, the OF-40.


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