Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Could proper planning have won WW2 for Italy?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #91
    Originally posted by Aber View Post
    :



    And the RAF mined the Danube later.
    But not with free floating mines but with magnetic mines - covered in another thread elsewhere.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
      Free floating, drift mines were heavily restricted but not completely illegal by WW 2. They could be used but had to have a time of only a few hours at most before they had to become inactivated. The Italians had at least two types the British labeled IO and IN (I don't know what the Italian designations were). These could be dropped and had a 9 hour float time before they sank to the bottom. As they were contact mines, they wouldn't have been useful past their 9 hour float time.

      I think the idea was you could use them in a battle in some fashion but couldn't simply lay them wherever and let them drift through shipping lanes forever.
      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
      AFAIK they were intended to be "laid" by a submarine in front of an oncoming battle fleet. As I said Italian submarine doctrine was to use subs to ambush battle fleets - a very old fashioned doctrine originally espoused by Jellico in WW1...
      Okay, thanks guys, this is better info than I had before.

      Now, since the Italians DDs had room for 30 or 60-100 mines, couldn't they have been used to lay the mines ahead of a convoy?
      They did go out, very game for action even if they only had 3-4 Destroyers to do it with. If they had started out with free-floaters, it would have been much more of a contest. The RN was concentrating it's runs to one or two big convoys a month, so there would have been a bunch of Cargo ships involved.

      They just sink after 9 hours? That sounds odd, and dangerous. Why not just have them self-destruct 8-10 hours out?
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

      Comment


      • #93
        On the subject of floating mines, the time limit set by the Hague Convention was one hour.
        Chapter IX of Capt. J. S. Cowie RN's book Mines, Minelayers and Minelaying entitled " The Mine in International Law" goes clause by clause through the "Convention Relative to the Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines (No. VIII).
        On page 169 he begins with looking at Article I Clause 1:
        It is forbidden to lay unanchored automatic contact mines unless they be so constructed as to become harmless one hour at most after those who laid them have lost control over them.
        He notes that while the UK and the US were in favour of forbidding unanchored mines completely, Italy, Russia and Japan were in favour of them as long as they were made harmless after a set period. There was much too and fro with the German delegation against the one hour limit as 'in their view the proposed limit of one hour would be useless in the case of of a weak naval force attempting to escape from a stronger".(Cowie p 170). It was this use, as a way of screening fleeing vessels from pursuers, that unanchored mines were originally envisioned for. After much debate, one hour was eventually settled on.

        Comment


        • #94
          [QUOTE=Aber;3402422]Some were deployed in 1940:

          /QUOTE]

          Too little too late - it appears that the whole operation was stymied by the French
          http://www.historyofwar.org/articles...al_marine.html
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

          Comment


          • #95
            For those interested in more information on Italian mines, I'd recommend looking here:

            Italy-Mines


            and here:
            Regia Marina Weapons - Mines

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by CarpeDiem View Post
              For those interested in more information on Italian mines, I'd recommend looking here:

              Italy-Mines


              and here:
              Regia Marina Weapons - Mines
              Thanks, that's good stuff!

              Interesting how the Italians developed a mine specifically for the Tropics. I am not sure if a 200-meter cable is long enough for the deepest depth in that channel, but then again "channelizing" movement into a particular area can be just as useful.
              It sure reduces the area the night patrol aircraft would have to cover, for example.
              "Why is the Rum gone?"

              -Captain Jack

              Comment


              • #97
                Incidentally, the Tirpitz sat snug and safe down a Norwegian fiord for a long time and the Allies were worried it might steam out on a convoy raiding spree. Does anybody know if they mined the fiord to try to keep it bottled up?
                I've googled around but haven't found the answer yet.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Probably not. Sweeping the fiord would be too easily accomplished following the mine drop. Mines are best laid where the enemy isn't watching.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Just adding an image while I am thinking of this.
                    The overall plan still seems a good one, given the limitations.


                    "Why is the Rum gone?"

                    -Captain Jack

                    Comment


                    • A few remarks.

                      1. Reforming the binary division and going back to the three-regiment division is a shambles for various reasons, last but not least of them that it was a recent reform that had created the 2-regiment divisions. The easiest way to avoid it is to prevent that reform from happening. And while Mussolini surely liked to have many divisions, and generals liked to be commanders of divisions, the fact is that not all top generals were in favor of the reform when it took place.

                      2. That said, yes, the 2-regiment divisions were going to receive as a standing part a 2-battalion Blackshirt Legion. There actually wasn't a shortage of volunteers, but there was a shortage of equipment (as for everything else). What's more important, the generals didn't want those Blackshirts in the Regio Esercito divisions - it was a politicization of their own turf. So they slowed down these allocations. If this resistance could be overcome, and if the equipment was found, an Italian infantry division per its official TO&E would have had 8 infantry battalions, just one short of a normal 3-regiment division with its 9. Note there were several Blackshirt-only divisions, which performed poorly, probably because of a shortage of good officers and decent equipment. One would be better off disbanding those and using the 2-battalion legions to strengthen line infantry divisions.

                      3. Cadres (including NCOs) are an issue with the proposals to turn the unwieldy infantry platoon (with two too large squads) into a standard one with three squads. You need more leadership, which is sorely lacking. You'd probably also need more initiative at the individual private level too, which also is lacking both in the manpower input into training (it doesn't help when most of the privates have little or no education) and in the training itself (discipline and obedience being considered virtues, not initiative).

                      4. Yes, the 45mm mortar was mounted on CV35s, and fired from them (as opposed to just carried around). It goes without saying that it wasn't properly mounted as an integral weapon, but just stuck on top; the crew had to expose themselves to fire it. Yet this field improvisation, made on a few of these vehicles, could give a CV35 company a welcome if small beyond-the-hillock capability.
                      Michele

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Michele View Post
                        A few remarks.
                        1- Yes, I was only looking at bringing up about ten Divisions to Trianary status, for the rest just making them full strength under the tables of the times would have been enough of a trial.
                        Still, dropping them from 73 to 45 Divisions should eliminate the material shortages.

                        2- I thought there were Blackshirt Brigades, and that some of them did fairly well.

                        3- A lot of Armies were like that, but Italy should have no excuse for that, they had been at war since 1936... more or less. By the end of 1939, it should have been an established fact, not guesswork or favoritism, as to who the good NCOs and Officers were.

                        4- You mean, in addition to the normal weapons?
                        I could see that in a place like East Africa, but not anywhere else. It should be an easy fit, if they could have a 20mm AT gun in the same spot.

                        Speaking of East Africa, I also have plotted out my idea for a landing at Aden (a surprise, hopefully, to be done within hours of the DOW)




                        It is parred down to 5K Eritreans and 3k Italians, and assumes sunrise at 05:45.
                        "Old" Blackshirts are WW1 vets used to help the Colonials deal with fortifications, and the "Young" ones are the College boys that are there to refurbish the base and make use of whatever they can. The Alpine battalion is the 2nd wave, and can land anywhere that opportunity calls.
                        "Why is the Rum gone?"

                        -Captain Jack

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                          1- Yes, I was only looking at bringing up about ten Divisions to Trianary status, for the rest just making them full strength under the tables of the times would have been enough of a trial.
                          Still, dropping them from 73 to 45 Divisions should eliminate the material shortages.
                          I see.

                          2- I thought there were Blackshirt Brigades, and that some of them did fairly well.
                          Never heard of Blackshirt Brigades, but see below.

                          There were 5 full Blackshirt Divisions in 1939, with the proviso that the artillery, engineers, signals etc. were Regio Esercito units. One of these was disbanded to bring the others up to strength, and another was distributed piecemeal as garrisons in Libya. The other three were destroyed during Compass, and did not perform very well at that. All of them had 6 Cohorts (battalions), either with 3 Legions having 2 Cohorts each, or vice versa.

                          Later on, the MVSN formed elite independent battalions, the "M" Battalions (note change in nomenclature); actual war experience had demonstrated that heavier armament was needed, and had also provided veterans for them. These did perform well.

                          A purely notional structure was the Raggruppamento di Legioni, and this might be called a "Blackshirt Brigade" by English-language sources. It actually was a HQ and two (rarely three) Legions under it, with no "brigade" assets.

                          4- You mean, in addition to the normal weapons?
                          I could see that in a place like East Africa, but not anywhere else. It should be an easy fit, if they could have a 20mm AT gun in the same spot.
                          Yes.
                          https://www.google.com/search?q=%22c...d6hb1XunHU0KM:


                          An additional note: if you're launching all of that from Africa Orientale Italiana starting on the first day of war, there really is no reason to leave Djibouti alone. Send something there too.
                          Last edited by Michele; 03 Oct 17, 03:55.
                          Michele

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                            Could proper planning have won WW2 for Italy?
                            Not a chance, for the simple reason that the vast majority of the great Italian people are a peaceful race, so their heart was never in the war no matter how much Mussolini tried to stir them up..

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Michele View Post
                              ...
                              An additional note: if you're launching all of that from Africa Orientale Italiana starting on the first day of war, there really is no reason to leave Djibouti alone. Send something there too.
                              Djibouti is by far the toughest target in the area, even if there was no naval or air power worth speaking of (and I'm not sure if that was really the case).
                              There were a full five battalions of infantry there, as well as several batteries of artillery and some good AAA. The Garrison would also not have been surprised at all, the only Rail Road leads from there straight to Addis Ababa!

                              Historically, Italy did indeed plan to attack there, but the war was over for France before more than preliminary skirmishes had taken place (the French fell back to a fortified line). Faced with that, the Italians switched over to an attack on British Somalia and were successful there... despite the fact that it didn't get underway until August.

                              This is why I push for intensive planning in late 1939, and serious preparations in the following winter/spring.

                              Now.... since Aden could only be taken on Day One, I'd say hang the risks and just do it. The Brits will probably take it back someday, but until they do they have serious problems with use of the Red Sea, and this gets even worse when they lose their part of Somalia.
                              So, why not go for that first, and fully isolate Djibouti before starting the assaults there?

                              Pre-war planning cannot anticipate France's sudden collapse, and Priority One for this front is sealing off the Red Sea (and thus, the Suez Canal). A more deliberate and careful siege of Djibouti would seem to be the more intelligent way to go forward here.
                              "Why is the Rum gone?"

                              -Captain Jack

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                                Djibouti is by far the toughest target in the area...
                                I didn't say "conquer it at all costs". I said "send something there".

                                The point being (and this goes back to the thread's question) that no matter how much proper planning was done, from a strictly economic and assets-wise point of view Italy can never win the war.

                                What it might do, however, is to convince the British, come 1940, that they'd better come to terms, at least with Italy. Thus winning the war in that way.
                                That means racking up a series of stunning victories which will impress on the British the notion that Italy too is as unstoppable as Germany, and picking up all the chips that are within reach. It doesn't matter if Djibouti is still just under siege when the time for this decision comes; what matters is that the Italians are on the offensive there too. Djibouti might not have fallen, but if it's being besieged it will be part of the bargain equation, if it's not, it will not.
                                Michele

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Working...
                                X