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Italy in World War II

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    He had not. Look the books I quoted up for yourself.



    My dear friend, I have already told you that I looked Mack Smith up. We already know who his sources are. I have then looked up Faldella in all his length. There is nothing that has not already been gone over back and forth. I have provided you with everything, and frankly with much more than what you have provided.

    What now remains to be done is to choose what one prefers to believe. You evidently have already chosen, good for you, it's nice to have certainties.
    It is not a question of what one wants to believe but what actually happens.
    We already know Mussolini had withdrew his claims.
    Now give me the book and page number and ill read it and see this mythical conversation were Hitler turns down Mussolini's demands.
    Or that Mussolini makes anyone in the first place.
    Denis Mack Smiths Mussolini and Ciano's diaries are saying he withdrew his demands and are saying he did not. Some one is wrong here.

    Comment


    • #32
      It was all an embarrassment for Mussoni

      On news of the French approaching the Nazis for an armistice Count Ciano noted on Jun 17th:

      The Duce is an Extremist. He would like to go so far as the total occupation of French territory and demands the surrender of the French fleet. But he is aware that his opinion has only a consultative value. The war has been won by Hitler without any active military participation on the part of Italy. This, naturally, distrubs and saddens him. His reflections on the Italian people and, above all, our armed forces are extremely bitter this evening."

      Ciano's Diary Pg 266
      Nevertheless en route to Munich to discuss armistice terms Mussolini had the following demands to be put to the French:

      - Occupation of France up to the Rhone
      - France cedes Nece
      - France cedes Corsica
      - France cedes Djibouti
      - France cedes Tunisia
      - The French fleet would come into Italian possession
      - The French air force would come into Italian possession.

      This is detailed in Ian Kershaw's "Fateful Choices"

      Once in Germany Hitler raised no objection to the occupation zone but he wanted to treat France leniently to prevent the fleet going over to Britain and the government moving to Africa and continue the war. Hitler also had hopes that lenient terms would help convince Britain to also make peace.

      As a further humiliation to Mussolini Hitler did not even want the Italians involved in the negotiations and insisted they hold separate talks once German terms had been settled.

      Ciano noted Mussolini was:

      "... very much embarrassed that his role is secondary..."

      Ciano's Diary Pg 267
      At this point Mussolini decided to ask only for the 30 mile border zone with the future hope that he would gain more in the final peace settlement that ended the war. Mussolini could hardly ask for more in the face of German opposition. The Italian army had been embarrassed by comparatively small British forces in Libya that rounded up Italians in some numbers with a few guns supporting a handful of armoured cars and light tanks. In the Alps the Italians offensive had been stopped dead in its tracks with heavy losses (including frostbite cases - in June) adding to the humiliation.

      When the Germans compelled to the French to surrender on the 22nd the Italians were not invited. The armistice signing in Rome took place on June 24th Mussolini ordered no publicity. Ciano notes "almost in secrecy".

      With all this how on earth is a further defeat and more humiliation in front of the Mareth Line going to bolster Mussolini's demands. Its nonsense.

      See -

      Ciano's Diary, ed. Malcolm Muggeridge, 1947
      Ciano's Diplomatic Papers, ed. Malcolm Muggeridge, 1948
      Fateful Choices, Ten Decisions that Changed the World 1940-1941. Ian Kershaw, 2007
      Mussolini Unleashed 1939-1941, Politics and Strategy in Fascist Italy's Last War, MacGregor Knox, 1986
      Last edited by The Purist; 18 Oct 13, 20:16.
      The Purist

      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

      Comment


      • #33
        I think there was a saying in Italy, just after Benito joined the war in June 1940, that described the Italian situation or dilemma quite accurate:
        If Britain wins, we lose the War.
        If Germany wins, we're lost.
        One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
          On news of the French approaching the Nazis for an armistice Count Ciano noted on Jun 17th:



          Nevertheless en route to Munich to discuss armistice terms Mussolini had the following demands to be put to the French:

          - Occupation of France up to the Rhone
          - France cedes Nece
          - France cedes Corsica
          - France cedes Djibouti
          - France cedes Tunisia
          - The French fleet would come into Italian possession
          - The French air force would come into Italian possession.

          This is detailed in Ian Kershaw's "Fateful Choices"

          Once in Germany Hitler raised no objection to the occupation zone but he wanted to treat France leniently to prevent the fleet going over to Britain and the government moving to Africa and continue the war. Hitler also had hopes that lenient terms would help convince Britain to also make peace.

          As a further humiliation to Mussolini Hitler did not even want the Italians involved in the negotiations and insisted they hold separate talks once German terms had been settled.

          Ciano noted Mussolini was:



          At this point Mussolini decided to ask only for the 30 mile border zone with the future hope that he would gain more in the final peace settlement that ended the war. Mussolini could hardly ask for more in the face of German opposition. The Italian army had been embarrassed by comparatively small British forces in Libya that rounded up Italians in some numbers with a few guns supporting a handful of armoured cars and light tanks. In the Alps the Italians offensive had been stopped dead in its tracks with heavy losses (including frostbite cases - in June) adding to the humiliation.

          When the Germans compelled to the French to surrender on the 22nd the Italians were not invited. The armistice signing in Rome took place on June 24th Mussolini ordered no publicity. Ciano notes "almost in secrecy".

          With all this how on earth is a further defeat and more humiliation in front of the Mareth Line going to bolster Mussolini's demands. Its nonsense.

          See -

          Ciano's Diary, ed. Malcolm Muggeridge, 1947
          Ciano's Diplomatic Papers, ed. Malcolm Muggeridge, 1948
          Fateful Choices, Ten Decisions that Changed the World 1940-1941. Ian Kershaw, 2007
          Mussolini Unleashed 1939-1941, Politics and Strategy in Fascist Italy's Last War, MacGregor Knox, 1986
          Mussolini withdrew these demands hours after placing them as ive said.
          With the exception of asking for the French fleet which would just sail away anyway the Germans were quite willing to hand over French territory to Italy.
          As for the Italian offensive against France it was not meant to be a success no one even Mussolini expected it to be. He just wanted a few thousand dead for the negotiating table.
          I have two of the the books you mention above at my parents house so I shall pick them up next time im there.

          Denis Mack Smith quotes from Ciano page 281 and 563.
          Roatta 101 and Faldela 197.

          Comment


          • #35
            Nonsense

            You can repeat that as often as you like but the fact remains the terms were withdrawn when the Germans gave no support.

            Mussolini withdrew the terms because he did not have German support and the Germans did not want Italy anywhere near the negotiations aimed at ending the fighting. Mussolinin was on his own and not supported in his demands by Hitler. Hitler wanted the fighting to end so he could turn east. Mussonili would some how have to convince the French to accept the terms, which was an impossibility, Italian politcal capital was zero. Hitler wanted nothing to do with Mussolini's demands, thus the separate armisctice and lack of Italian participation in German negotiations.

            He withdrew the terms because he could not enforce the demands. It was a humiliating climb down and further losses in Tunisia followed by stiffer demands would only make Mussolini look more like the clown he already appeared to be.
            Last edited by The Purist; 25 Oct 13, 09:16.
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by The Purist View Post
              You can repeat that as often as you like but the fact remains the terms were withdrawn when the Germans gave no support.

              Mussolini withdrew the terms because he did not have German support and the Germans did not want Italy anywhere near the negotiations aimed at ending the fighting. Mussolinin was on his own and not supported in his demands by Hitler. Hitler wanted the fighting to end so he could turn east. Mussonili would some how have to convince the French to accept the terms, which was an impossibility, Italian politcal capital was zero. Hitler wanted nothing to do with Mussolini's demands, thus the separate armisctice and lack of Italian participation in German negotiations.

              He withdrew the terms because he could not enforce the demands. It was a humiliating climb down and further losses in Tunisia followed by stiffer demands would only make Mussolini look more like the clown he already appeared to be.
              Im sure you will be able to provide the proof of Hitler turning down the requests then wont you?

              Comment


              • #37
                I think an even better option for Italy is to initially stay entirely out of the war and then around late 1942 enter it on the side of the Allies.
                Letting Britain and the US push forces into northern Italy to invade France and Germany (or hold the front there) keeps Italy from being overrun by Germany.
                This allows Italy to retain Libya and their other overseas possessions.
                If we assume the Germans invaded much or all of the Balklans as they historically did, Italy can lay claim to a Greek campaign to take that nation and eventually post war end up with defacto control of it and possibly other portions of the Balkans as an "occupation" force to hold the Soviets back.
                They retain control of Ethiopia that way along with their other Middle East / Persian Gulf holdings.
                They might even be able to make some odd land grabs in the Pacific.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Italy was already in the Balkans after taking over Albania. Then they seriously mis-stepped by invading Greece. One of the reasons Hitler invaded Yugoslavia was so he could invade Greece and 'save' Italy. Greece had by that time freed one quarter of Albania! Italian troops also participated in the invasion of Yugoslavia.

                  Pruitt
                  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"

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                    Italy was already in the Balkans after taking over Albania. Then they seriously mis-stepped by invading Greece. One of the reasons Hitler invaded Yugoslavia was so he could invade Greece and 'save' Italy. Greece had by that time freed one quarter of Albania! Italian troops also participated in the invasion of Yugoslavia.

                    Pruitt
                    Yep. So, in my version they don't try. Once Britain and the US are in the war together Italy says something like "If you guys supply us military gear and whatnot we'll declare war on Germany!"
                    The Italians get Shermans and Crusaders or something along with modern artillery, radios, trucks and such, the US and Britain have a "free" foothold on the continent.
                    Italy also restructures their army to match that of the US or Britain (or some variant thereof) giving them a fighting chance in operations.
                    Their airforce likewise gets modernized even if it is just Hurricanes and P-40's, or A-20's that replace the CR 42 and other obsolete junk. They have decent pilots so giving them halfway decent aircraft is another bash on Germany.
                    Worse, now they have access to oil and petroelum products in quantity. Their navy has radar and the Allies dominate the Med totally. They might even send a squadron to the Pacific. Give them a few CVE or help them finish their own...

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Philip F View Post
                      Im sure you will be able to provide the proof of Hitler turning down the requests then wont you?
                      Already done. Hitler didn't want Italians anywhere near their own negotiations. Italy was on its own and Hitler only cared that they did not endanger the armistice and cause the French to withdraw to Africa and possibly continue fight while the fleet sailed to English ports.

                      This is why Mussolini accepted just a small sliver of land and slipped the French into Rome via the back door for a very quiet armistice ceremony.
                      Last edited by The Purist; 25 Oct 13, 13:41.
                      The Purist

                      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        I think an even better option for Italy is to initially stay entirely out of the war and then around late 1942 enter it on the side of the Allies....
                        This would require getting rid of Mussolini, which, considering the propaganda machine of the 1930s was not likely.

                        The only hope was that the army, loyal to the King as head-of-state and not Mussolini, might stage a coup. How the Germans react to a hostile Italy to the south should not be hard to understand but it would proabaly have meant a campaign sweeping aside the Italians in the late summer of 1940.

                        Mussolini knew the country was not ready for war but he believed he had to side with Germany or become a victim of Germany. at best it would be a weak bystander while Germany gobbled up all the spoils. Mussolini was also beginning to feel decidedly inferior to Hitler, whom he considered the junior axis partner. Mussolini's moves in 1940 were aimed at showing Germany that Fascist Italy was capable of bending events to its will (somewhat laughable in hindsight).
                        The Purist

                        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                          Already done. Hitler didn't want Italians anywhere near their own negotiations. Italy was on its own and Hitler only cared that they did not endanger the armistice and cause the French to withdraw to Africa and possibly continue fight while the fleet sailed to English ports.

                          This is why Mussolini accepted just a small sliver of land and slipped the French into Rome via the back door for a very quiet armistice ceremony.
                          So, if Mussolini just decides at that point to stay neutral rather than declare war and doesn't invade Greece things could have continued without Italy in the war. Italy is Spain and Mussolini is another Franco.
                          Maybe Italy gives Germany a division or two like Spain did of volunteers.
                          When things start going south for Germany in 1942 Italy decides to switch sides.
                          None of that is too much of a stretch.

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                          • #43
                            About the only thing that could have helped Italy was finding oil in Libya in 1929 instead of 1959 when it was found. I picked 1929 only to give them time to develop the industry.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                              Already done. Hitler didn't want Italians anywhere near their own negotiations. Italy was on its own and Hitler only cared that they did not endanger the armistice and cause the French to withdraw to Africa and possibly continue fight while the fleet sailed to English ports.

                              This is why Mussolini accepted just a small sliver of land and slipped the French into Rome via the back door for a very quiet armistice ceremony.
                              It is not already done.
                              Show me where Hitler said no to Mussolini's territorial demands.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Already done, you just don't like the facts.

                                German refusal to risk pushing France into the British camp came up again during the north African campaign. The Italians wanted to force the French to allow the use of Tunis and other Tunisian ports to ease the lack of port capacity. Hitler vetoed the suggestion. Hitler was not going to permit any distraction to his his plans for the campaign in the east and for this he needed a supportive/neutral/pacified Vichy France.

                                Italy was a flank guard, the Mediterranean a strategic dead end for the Germans.
                                The Purist

                                Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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