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  • Successful Invasion of Egypt (1940)?

    Hi. I'm working on a TL about a more successful Italy in WW2. I need a plan with a reasonable chance of success for the conquest of Egypt. It seems that their plan in WW2 was just to march in slowly.

  • #2
    There isn't one. Italy's economy and industry can't support the modern navy, air force and mechanized army with the required logistical support.

    The best they can do is plan their entry better:
    1) recall their merchant ships to the med prior to the conflict
    2) simultaneous surprise frogmen raids on Alexandria and Gibraltar
    3) seize Malta on day 1
    4) commando raid on Alexandria supported by long range planes from Rhodes

    To be really successful, Italy would have had to have a 100% motorized army in North Africa, expanded port facilities at Tobruk, a Tripoli Tobruk railway, radar (especially naval), a larger and more modern airforce. None of these things were possible given Italy's woeful economy.

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    • #3
      Or lack of oil.

      That was the thing that lost them the war.

      Plus being evil...
      Credo quia absurdum.


      Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
        There isn't one. Italy's economy and industry can't support the modern navy, air force and mechanized army with the required logistical support.

        The best they can do is plan their entry better:
        1) recall their merchant ships to the med prior to the conflict
        2) simultaneous surprise frogmen raids on Alexandria and Gibraltar
        3) seize Malta on day 1
        4) commando raid on Alexandria supported by long range planes from Rhodes

        To be really successful, Italy would have had to have a 100% motorized army in North Africa, expanded port facilities at Tobruk, a Tripoli Tobruk railway, radar (especially naval), a larger and more modern airforce. None of these things were possible given Italy's woeful economy.
        Japan managed and their economy and industry wasn't that much better. They still managed to win great victories againt countries that should havecrushed them on paper. From what I've read, the British had 35,000 soldiers in Egypt and 50,000 in their other colonies in the middle east.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lee-Sensei View Post
          Hi. I'm working on a TL about a more successful Italy in WW2. I need a plan with a reasonable chance of success for the conquest of Egypt. It seems that their plan in WW2 was just to march in slowly.
          Having a crap military with men of questionable ability at all levels (up to Il Duce) doesn't help. Given that Italy was able to choose the timing of its entry into the war it is staggering that it thought things out so poorly.

          Given the general poor quality of the Italian military I suspect nothing much was going to get them Egypt, but here are a few things that might have given the ma better chance.

          *Try to block/impede the Suez canal. Make this the first thing you do. Sink a couple of freighters in the canal or at the entrance pretty much the moment you start the war. This will make it difficult for Britain to move naval units from the Med into the Red Sea.

          *Abandon the indefensible parts of Ethiopia/Somalia (in the south), set up strong defensive positions in the mountains & then use the better Italian & colonial troops to attack into Sudan. Focus on attacking up the coast to take Port Sudan.

          These two actions will make it harder to reinforce & supply Egypt and also divert resources south to Sudan. With Libya to the north & Ethiopia to the south the British were genuinely worried that Italy would move down the Nile toward Egypt. That wasn't realistically possible, but Italian forces could have moved far enough to be a threat & also to set up an 'air bridge' from Libya to Ethiopia. British forces in the area were close to non-existent when the war started.

          I know less about Egypt proper, so I'm not sure if it was remotely possible for the numerically superior Italian force on that border to achieve anything.
          Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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          • #6
            Having any plan at all and acting and preparing accordingly should have helped a lot i guess...
            Last edited by Hanov; 29 Apr 15, 07:45.
            One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

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            • #7
              Italy and Japan are a poor comparison. In 1938 Japan's economy, counting its colonies, was 62% larger, and a greater percentage of its national income was devoted to the war effort. Japanese war production also outstripped Italy's by a significant margin.

              The Japanese military was tougher, more prepared, and had better, more successful tactics and doctrine than the Italians.

              Italy probably could have been more competent about its war effort had comprehensive reforms started early on in Mussolini's reign, but they would never have matched the performance of the two 'great' Axis powers: Germany and Japan.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                Having a crap military with men of questionable ability at all levels (up to Il Duce) doesn't help. Given that Italy was able to choose the timing of its entry into the war it is staggering that it thought things out so poorly.

                Given the general poor quality of the Italian military I suspect nothing much was going to get them Egypt, but here are a few things that might have given the ma better chance.

                *Try to block/impede the Suez canal. Make this the first thing you do. Sink a couple of freighters in the canal or at the entrance pretty much the moment you start the war. This will make it difficult for Britain to move naval units from the Med into the Red Sea.

                *Abandon the indefensible parts of Ethiopia/Somalia (in the south), set up strong defensive positions in the mountains & then use the better Italian & colonial troops to attack into Sudan. Focus on attacking up the coast to take Port Sudan.

                These two actions will make it harder to reinforce & supply Egypt and also divert resources south to Sudan. With Libya to the north & Ethiopia to the south the British were genuinely worried that Italy would move down the Nile toward Egypt. That wasn't realistically possible, but Italian forces could have moved far enough to be a threat & also to set up an 'air bridge' from Libya to Ethiopia. British forces in the area were close to non-existent when the war started.

                I know less about Egypt proper, so I'm not sure if it was remotely possible for the numerically superior Italian force on that border to achieve anything.
                I'm working with a start date in the mid to early 29's. That should give them 15 to 18 years to get their house in order.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
                  Italy and Japan are a poor comparison. In 1938 Japan's economy, counting its colonies, was 62% larger, and a greater percentage of its national income was devoted to the war effort. Japanese war production also outstripped Italy's by a significant margin.

                  The Japanese military was tougher, more prepared, and had better, more successful tactics and doctrine than the Italians.

                  Italy probably could have been more competent about its war effort had comprehensive reforms started early on in Mussolini's reign, but they would never have matched the performance of the two 'great' Axis powers: Germany and Japan.
                  Not really. Neither really had any business fighting the British or Americans. Counting their colonies is a bit misleading too. Counting their colonies, Britain was probably above the Soviet Union and Germany, but it wasn't out producing them.

                  Agreed. That's why it's in the alternate history forum.

                  That's what it's about. Italy was definitely the junior partner here, but Japan wasn't exactly on Germany's level. Aside from the US and the USSR, I'd say Germany was the strongest country in the world at the time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok, you are creating an alternative timeline where Il Duce is planning long term for a possible conflict with France and England?

                    Interesting scenario...
                    Problem is, i have no clue on the Italian economy and stuff. I also don't know how developed Italy was in key technologies like Radar, communications etc.

                    Also, there will always be the oil shortage. Changing that situation or getting access to Oil could be the initial position for Italy in your ATL.
                    Something similar to Hitlers dream of an almost autarkic Reich...

                    I think it would be key or mandatory for Italy to completely reform and modernize its Military. Their Navy was good, at least on paper. Here they would need much better training, probably a change in doctrine and Radar. Army-wise they can still keep a million bayonetts for occupation duties, but what they would need for sure is a smaller, well trained, better led, mobile and well equipped Army.

                    Again. I have no clue if such an undertaking would be realistic. Economically and technically.
                    Otoh staring such reforms as early as 1925 should give them a lot of time until 1940.

                    One thing is for sure:
                    Italy entered the war completely unprepared and with no plan at all. A guarantee to lose. And they could have done better.
                    One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The most obvious plan would be if Italy increased prewar cooperation with Germany. The Germans had a more robust and modern military establishment, and the Duce's officer corps could have learned a lot from the German General Staff.

                      This is a bit off-topic, but regarding Japan, I did a short comparison of the two during an extended debate in another thread.

                      Here is a spliced version (I apologize in advance for the extremely long post):



                      GERMANY VS. JAPAN: AN ECONOMIC AND MILITARY ANALYSIS

                      Right. In order to come to grips with this bloody discussion, I'll do a brief comparison between Germany and Japan from an economic, production, and military standpoint before and during the war years.

                      We'll start off with GDP:

                      GDP*: Grossdeutschland vs Japan, 1938-1945

                      * GDP measured in billions of international dollars at 1990 prices.

                      Source: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ec...erview1998.pdf

                      1938

                      Germany: 351
                      Japan: 169
                      Ratio 2.08 : 1

                      1939

                      Germany: 384
                      Japan: 184
                      Ratio: 2.09 : 1

                      1940

                      Germany: 387
                      Japan: 192
                      Ratio: 2.02 : 1

                      1941

                      Germany: 412
                      Japan: 196
                      Ratio: 2.10 : 1

                      1942

                      Germany: 417
                      Japan: 197
                      Ratio: 2.12 : 1

                      1943

                      Germany: 426
                      Japan: 194
                      Ratio: 2.20 : 1

                      1944

                      Germany: 437
                      Japan: 189
                      Ratio: 2.3 : 1

                      1945

                      Germany: 310
                      Japan: 144
                      Ratio: 2.15 : 1

                      Observations: Germany was very far ahead of Japan in terms of Gross Domestic Product, consistently maintaining over a 2 to 1 ratio over her Axis partner. This is slightly skewed, as the figure is for the territory of “Grossdeutschland,” which consisted of Germany as well as Austria, part of Czechoslovakia, and later Poland. Japan’s figures, on the other hand, count for none of its occupied territories. In solely economic terms, (resources under their dominion notwithstanding) during the war years Germany was clearly a superior power to Japan.

                      Military Outlays, expressed as a percent of National Income, 1939-1944

                      1939

                      Germany: 23%
                      Japan: 22%
                      Ratio: 1.05 : 1

                      1940

                      Germany: 40%
                      Japan: 22%
                      Ratio: 1.81 : 1

                      1941

                      Germany: 52%
                      Japan: 27%
                      Ratio: 1.93 : 1

                      1942

                      Germany: 64%
                      Japan: 33%
                      Ratio: 1.94 : 1

                      1943

                      Germany: 70%
                      Japan: 43%
                      Ratio: 1.63 : 1

                      1944

                      Germany: ?
                      Japan: 76%
                      Ratio: ?

                      So what we can conclude from this table is that, at least up until 1944, Germany was spending significantly more on the war than Japan, which may actually go some way to explain Japan's lagging behind in aircraft and armaments production relative to the Third Reich: they were committing a smaller chunk of their GNP to the war effort! This indicates that if the Japanese devoted more to war production, their totals would also have gone up proportionately.


                      Now let's move on to actual war production.


                      German vs Japanese aircraft production, 1939-1945

                      Sources: John Keegan's "The Times Atlas of the Second World War," http://ww2-weapons.com/german-arms-production/ (for German production in 1939)

                      1939

                      Japan: 4,467
                      Germany: 2,518
                      Ratio: 1.77 : 1

                      1940

                      Germany: 10,247
                      Japan: 4,768
                      Ratio: 2.15 : 1

                      1941

                      Germany: 11,776
                      Japan: 5,088
                      Ratio: 2.31 : 1

                      1942

                      Germany: 15,409
                      Japan: 8,861
                      Ratio: 1.74 : 1

                      1943

                      Germany: 24,897
                      Japan: 16,693
                      Ratio: 1.49 : 1

                      1944

                      Germany: 39,807
                      Japan: 28,180
                      Ratio: 1.41 : 1

                      1945

                      Japan: 11,066
                      Germany: 7,540
                      Ratio: 1.47 : 1

                      Aircraft Grand Total

                      Germany: 112,194
                      Japan: 79,123
                      Ratio: 1.42 : 1

                      Observations: Here again, although Japan had a strong showing, constructing nearly 80,000 aircraft, Germany comes out on top. The German aviation industry was clearly larger and better adapted for mass-production than that of Japan. This is particularly evident in the manner in which the aircraft were produced: While the Japanese Army and Navy competed against each other, building similar types of aircraft for medium-scale production runs, the Germans standardized their models and stuck with them, hence the particularly impressive runs of aircraft such as the Fw-190 and Bf-109.


                      German vs Japanese Tank Production, 1940-1945

                      This one is so lopsided I won't even bother with the yearly breakdown. Figures are for tanks only, assault guns, armored cars, etc. are not included in the total. Japanese figure comes from Keegan, German statistics are from ww2-weapons.com.

                      Germany: 24,455
                      Japan: 4,524
                      Ratio: 5.41 : 1

                      Observations: This one should not be too shocking, as much of Japan's war effort was devoted to the naval conflict with the United States. Owing to the nature of that conflict, the introduction and mass-production of new tank designs was kept relatively low on the list of IGHQ's priorities, and most of its tank designs were consequently of 1930s vintage. Only at the war's end did those priorities change and newer, more advanced vehicles were introduced, but it was too little, too late. While vehicles such as the Type 97 ShinHoTo were capable of dealing with most light tanks, and even heavier vehicles like the Sherman at medium range, they were at a supreme disadvantage when faced with a straight-on fight. Japanese tanks in WWII were no match for their American, British, Soviet, or German contemporaries.


                      Armaments production: Germany vs Japan, 1939-1945

                      Source:
                      http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ec...erview1998.pdf
                      The document has the yearly breakdown, it would take up too much space to reproduce that in detail here. Shown are the 6-year cumulative production totals for the categories listed.

                      Rifles

                      Germany: 10,328,000
                      Japan: 3,570,000
                      Ratio: 2.89 : 1

                      Machine guns

                      Germany: 1,176,000
                      Japan: 450,000
                      Ratio: 2.61 : 1

                      Artillery*

                      Germany: 320,000
                      Japan: 160,000
                      Ratio: 2 : 1

                      *Mortars are not included in these figures. The total numbers produced by both nations is unknown, but it ran into the hundreds of thousands. The Japanese built over 120,000 units of their Type 89 mortar alone.


                      Merchant Shipping

                      I don’t have any figures for German merchant shipping production during the war, and thus cannot render comparison. Being more a land power than Japan, I would expect the production figures to be significantly lower. Nevertheless, here is Japanese merchant construction from 1939-1945 (in tons)

                      1939

                      320,466

                      1940

                      293,612

                      1941

                      210,373

                      1942

                      260,059

                      1943

                      769,085

                      1944

                      1,699,203

                      1945

                      599,563

                      Total

                      4,152,361


                      Submarines 1941-1945

                      Source for U-Boats: http://uboat.net/technical/shipyards/
                      Source for IJN: John Keegan, ”The Times Atlas of the Second World War”, Anthony Watts, ”Japanese Warships of World War II”

                      Fleet submarines

                      Germany: 1,043
                      Japan: 132
                      Ratio: 7.9 : 1

                      Midget Submarines*

                      Germany: ~1,359
                      Japan: 550
                      Ratio: 2.47 : 1

                      *Not including so-called “human torpedoes” such as the German “Neger” and Japanese “Kaiten.”

                      Observations: Here, Germany is ahead of Japan as well. While the IJN stressed a decisive battle of surface ships, the Germans believed they had a better chance to wear down the Allies through a submarine campaign against merchant shipping. The Japanese submarine arm, believing its primary function was as a weapon for use against the enemy battlefleet, only ended the war having sunk 1,000,000 tons of Allied merchant shipping, despite having, in many cases, better quality submarines than Germany, whose U-Boats sank 14 times more merchant tonnage. In this, the Japanese submarine fleet never lived up to its considerable military potential as an economic weapon against the Allies.


                      Surface Warship Production: ships completed from 1925-1945

                      Sources: http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/index.html, http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm

                      Battleships

                      Germany: 4
                      Japan: 2
                      Ratio: 2 : 1

                      Cruisers*

                      Japan: 29
                      Germany: 14
                      Ratio: 2.07 : 1

                      Aircraft Carriers

                      Japan: 28
                      Germany: 1*
                      Ratio: 28 : 1

                      *The German carrier Graf Zeppelin was launched but only made it to 85% completion.

                      Destroyers

                      Japan: 132
                      Germany: 42
                      Ratio: 3.14 : 1

                      *Germany’s Panzerschiffen ‘pocket battleships’ are included under the category “cruisers.”

                      Observations: This is not surprising, either, as Japan was a maritime power who depended on a strong surface fleet to survive, a doctrine it stuck to throughout the war. In addition, the timeframe of 1925-1945 (the date the earliest German destroyer on this list was completed) excludes a large number of Japanese cruisers, destroyers, and battleships that all saw service during the war, thus comparing the vast majority of the Kriegsmarine’s surface strength to only a (admittedly large but still not the full picture) portion of Japan’s total surface strength.


                      Weapons of Mass Destruction

                      Source for German program: http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/...0-9275007fd157

                      During the war years, it is said Adolf Hitler forbade the use of gas in the field, a decision stemming from his experience in World War I. Nevertheless, Germany produced over 78,000 tons of chemical weapons during the war years, of which 12,000 tons was tabun gas, and half a ton was sarin. The Germans also had a substantial biological weapons program running in parallel with their chemical program.

                      However, the German efforts were dwarfed in every regard by the sheer scale of the Japanese WMD industry. While the stockpile of nerve agents, such as tabun and sarin, was more advanced than Japan’s, the sheer mass of the Japanese program and its immense stockpile of “traditional” chemical weapons such as chlorine and mustard gas simply outweighed that of Germany. Even today, the Chinese government estimates that more than 2,000,000 chemical warheads remain buried on its territory. The Japanese also had the world’s largest BW program, which represented the primary focus of its WMD department. Although these weapons saw extensive use against the Chinese, they were never deployed in the Pacific for fear of retaliation against the Home Islands.


                      Forced Labor

                      Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_...g_World_War_II, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Japan
                      Japan: Up to 20,000,000+
                      Germany: ~15,000,000


                      Total Deaths due to Military Action and Crimes Against Humanity

                      Source: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmer...ooting-of-asia

                      Japan: 30,000,000
                      Germany: 26,000,000


                      Peak Military Strength

                      Sources: Keegan (Germany), Mark Harrison, "The Economics of WWII, an Overview" (Germany and Japan), Tameichi Hara ”Japanese Destroyer Captain” Appendix C

                      Germany: 9,480,000-10,800,000
                      Japan: 7,373,223-7,730,000*

                      *Japanese figure includes regular military personnel only. At the end of the war, the Japanese had 31,550,000 (sic) mobilized in paramilitary and militia units for the defense of the Homeland (Source: D.M. Giangreco, ”Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1946-1947”)


                      Land area under peak control (1942)

                      Japan: ~3,060,000 square miles (7,930,000 square kilometers)
                      Germany: ~2,000,000 square miles (5,180,000 square kilometers)
                      Ratio: 1.53 : 1


                      My Conclusion:

                      Although both represented vast, formidable fighting forces, Germany’s land army and air forces were on paper stronger than those of Japan. In military equipment, Germany tended to outproduce Japan on a ratio of approximately 2 to 1. Germany was better suited to withstanding the demands of economic warfare, maintaining a GDP twice that of Japan, and being a continental, rather than island power, unreliant on shipping to sustain its war economy. However, the projection power offered by Japan’s formidable navy and surface fleet meant that she was able to conquer an empire a third larger in land area than Germany’s, and consequently imperil more of humanity, despite the fact that she was an island nation. Both countries mobilized tens of millions of forced laborers, and were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions more, the vast majority of them innocent men, women, and children. Both nations made technological strides in various fields, the ramifications of which are strongly felt today.

                      Overall, based on the situation at hand, development potential notwithstanding, Germany was a superior economic power to Japan. The military balance is closer, and I would almost say they were even, with Japan’s powerful Navy giving her a more complete armed forces than the Third Reich. The Japanese were also very far ahead of Germany in the field of WMDs. However, the question of supply comes in yet again, and Germany’s superior production capacity gave her the ability to properly train and equip a military force a third larger than that of her Axis ally. While Japan could menace a larger portion of the globe, the Wehrmacht had a greater level of industrial muscle backing it up, and was thus more suited to attrition warfare. Nevertheless, there was never any chance of either winning, or even securing a favorable conclusion, to the war. The Axis Powers were doomed to defeat the moment they fired the first shot.

                      Both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were monsters the like of which has never before been seen in human history. They were the architects of both some of the most astounding military triumphs and most heinous crimes ever committed. Both erected massive war economies to construct colossal military machines bent on nothing less than total world domination. It took every ounce of industrial and spiritual muscle of the free peoples of the world to cast their monstrous regimes into the dustbin of history. This was the only time in the long and bloody annals of warfare that the fate of humanity itself was at stake. The defeat of Germany and Japan secured for all of us a future to look forward to, one free from the yoke of fascist slavery and murder.


                      Thus, the question remains to be answered, who was the greater threat? With the economic and geographic facts in mind, we should be able to answer it:

                      To the major Allied Powers? Germany.
                      To the United States?
                      -Short term: Japan.
                      -Long term (assuming Axis victory): Germany.
                      -Very long term (assuming Axis victory): Japan.
                      To the human race?
                      -Short term: Japan (barely)
                      -Long term (Axis victory): Draw.

                      OVERALL?: Draw.

                      Last edited by BobTheBarbarian; 30 Apr 15, 12:50.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nice infos and figures
                        Repped you for the effort, but some figures must be wrong or treted carefully:
                        No way that Germany produced 320,000 Artillery pieces. That must include Mortars. AFAIK Germany produced some 95,000 pieces from caliber 7.5cm to max. At Barbarossa the Wehrmacht fielded some 12,000 pieces. LoL!

                        Also Aircraft or Subamrine production can be very misleading:
                        Germany produced some 55,000 Me-109 and Fw-190. Such an Aicraft is obviously easier, cheaper and faster to produce as a multi-engine Aircraft. What i want to say is that one has to be more detailed here.
                        The German type VII sub was well under 1,000 tons while Japanese subs were 3x larger afaik.
                        Last edited by Hanov; 30 Apr 15, 09:13.
                        One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lee-Sensei View Post
                          I'm working with a start date in the mid to early 29's. That should give them 15 to 18 years to get their house in order.
                          Yes, but it also gives Britain 15-18 years to prepare a counter. I struggle with WIs that operate over such a timescale because there are so many more variables. If Italy really gets its act in order Britain will probably notice and do something about it.
                          Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hanov View Post
                            Nice infos and figures
                            Repped you for the effort, but some figures must be wrong or treted carefully:
                            No way that Germany produced 320,000 Artillery pieces. That must include Mortars. AFAIK Germany produced some 95,000 pieces from caliber 7.5cm to max. At Barbarossa the Wehrmacht fielded some 12,000 pieces. LoL!

                            Also Aircraft or Subamrine production can be very misleading:
                            Germany produced some 55,000 Me-109 and Fw-190. Such an Aicraft is obviously easier, cheaper and faster to produce as a multi-engine Aircraft. What i want to say is that one has to be more detailed here.
                            The German type VII sub was well under 1,000 tons while Japanese subs were 3x larger afaik.
                            Thanks for the rep Hanov.

                            I agree that one must be careful when examining broad statistics such as these (it was a basic comparison after all ). Harrison's figures for 'artillery' (or 'guns,' as it appears in his study) must refer to all such weapons, that is, anti-tank, anti-air (probably 3.7 cm and up), 'traditional' artillery, and the like. (There are no separate columns for the individual systems and the logical conclusion is that they are represented together.) On the question of mortars, he makes it quite clear that they are covered separately, but I did not use his figures because they appeared to be incomplete for want of data.

                            On aircraft and submarines, the sources I listed mainly report the aggregate totals produced over a given time. I supposed I could eventually track down the resources and man-hours actually devoted to their production, but it probably would have taken a great deal of time and by then I would have written a small novel

                            Overall, the original point of my compilation was to put out some raw numbers to give substance to an argument in another thread. As to the question of their validity, they appear to be corroborated across several reputable sources, so I would consider them trustworthy if one realizes what they actually represent. If, on the other hand, a researcher was looking for a more detailed breakdown, the figures of Harrison and the like would be of only rudimentary use.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hanov View Post
                              Ok, you are creating an alternative timeline where Il Duce is planning long term for a possible conflict with France and England?

                              Interesting scenario...
                              Problem is, i have no clue on the Italian economy and stuff. I also don't know how developed Italy was in key technologies like Radar, communications etc.

                              Also, there will always be the oil shortage. Changing that situation or getting access to Oil could be the initial position for Italy in your ATL.
                              Something similar to Hitlers dream of an almost autarkic Reich...

                              I think it would be key or mandatory for Italy to completely reform and modernize its Military. Their Navy was good, at least on paper. Here they would need much better training, probably a change in doctrine and Radar. Army-wise they can still keep a million bayonetts for occupation duties, but what they would need for sure is a smaller, well trained, better led, mobile and well equipped Army.

                              Again. I have no clue if such an undertaking would be realistic. Economically and technically.
                              Otoh staring such reforms as early as 1925 should give them a lot of time until 1940.

                              One thing is for sure:
                              Italy entered the war completely unprepared and with no plan at all. A guarantee to lose. And they could have done better.
                              1) In this he's actually dead. OTL, he survived several assassination attempts. Here he's fallen victim to one of them and is replaced with a Italian military junta headed by Italo Balbo.

                              2) Mussolini blew a lot of money in Ethiopia and Spain in an effort to establish himself as the leading dictator instead of Hitler. So much so that Franco credited him for their succes in the Civil War. It was foolish though, seeing as Germany simply had much more to give and his excessive spending just pushed him further into the German sphere. Still, by 1939 Italy was the 7 largest economy in the world. Of the non Great Powers, Canada's gdp was the largest at 55 billion. Italy's was 151 billion.

                              3) I did some reading on that. Research was done on radar and Marconi even had a demonstration forthe Italian general staff, but it was scrapped when war the began. They'd also been funding atomiv research at the University of Rome and Milan, but research stopped in Rome when Fermi and other scientists fled the anti-semetic laws in Italy and the University of Milan when the war began.

                              4) Balbo was very interested in developing Libya...

                              5) Reading Donitzes (Donitzs'... Donitz'?) Memoirs, the Italian Naval command showed a lack o willingness to launch offensives. They're frogmen were good though.

                              6) Mussolini expected Britain and France to surrender. France did, but Britain didn't so it was to late to pull out.

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