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Italian Navy again

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Ron, Dec 6, 2000.

  1. Ron

    Ron Member

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    I know a topic about the Italien Navy was started but it didn't go into much detail about the workings of it very much. The Italien Navy was a considerable force and was more of an asset to the Germans through their Navy than anything else.
    Why wasn't there more battles fought between british and italian capitol ships...Almost seems like the Italian navy kept keeping it's distance and suffered it's losses through abushes or was lost in port by aircraft or bombardment...Not in combat on the high seas.
    Why does it seem they didn't fight as well as they should have?
     
  2. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well, you have to rember the Allies had Radar and Air superioty throught most of the war. THe Italians had to rely on Line of sight to spot the enemy or sik planes getting shot down. The allies had many Observer planes that spotted the enemy Navy and reported it to the main fleet. That fleet would hten move in and set up once they make radar contact. The Italians and Azis Navies were ambushed that way, espically at night.


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    Mussolini

    "Blood alone moves the Wheels of history." Benito Mussolini.

    "What the proletariat needs is a bath of blood." Benito Mussolini, speech in Milan, July 22, 1919

    "Liberty is a duty, not a right"
    --Benito Mussolini
     
  3. Lupo Solitario

    Lupo Solitario Member

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    The question involves some considerations about naval strategy. Mediterrean is not a sea for great WWII-like fleets, too small and too much an easy place for light forces. Any fleet has a certain trend to not expose his capital ship (as in WWI the only considerable battleship gunfight was Jutland). Now, how and why must someone employ battleships? The key of war in Med was the battle of convoys: Axis convoys from Italy to Africa and Allies convoys for Malta. But going from Italy to Libya requires few more of a day of navigation. British battle forces could never come in time starting from Alexandria, neither could rest in Central Med or at Malta for Axis air superiority. Opposite, Italian forces couldn't operate out of Axis air range for lack of aircraft carriers. By their side, any time British tried to enter (in force) in central med suffered a lot of never ending attacks by air, subs and MTBs. The largest part of times one of the part had just suffered sufficient losses before encounter the bulk of enemy and retreat, this was made for example by Italian at Matapan and by British at Vigorous. It's true, anyway, that Italian high command substained always prudence. As a result the best result against battleships were obtained with attacks in harbor as at Taranto (November 1940, three battleships out of order) and Alexandria (December 1941, two battleships out of order). Anyway, the few encounters between battleships (as Punta Stilo or the First Sirte) ended in draws; In those occasions Italian forces showed high difficulties concerning fighting in bad weather and darkness (they were not trained for), artillery fire (Cannons misworked, it's said it was dued to corruption) and air-sea cooperation (for high commands hostility)

    After the second half of 1942, losses of fuel forced Italian Navy to reduce at minimum activity of battle fleet to concentrate on convoys and escorts.

    As a result, in three years of naval war, italian navy didn't lose on open sea no one of its 7 battleships while from cruisers down it was a slaughter. Lost on sea were:
    10 cruisers of 22
    44 destroyers of 64
    and so on for torpediniere, corvettes, MTBs, subs, etc.

    bye

    Lupo
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I dont want to sound negative but, a factor in the Italian Navy never losing a capitol ship might be due to the fact that the Italian Navy fleet rarely sailed anywhere. What I mean to say is: the Italian Navy basically had no long-term mission to attend to; unlike the Kriegsmarine, the RN, and the USN.

    No disrespect intended.
     
  5. Lupo Solitario

    Lupo Solitario Member

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    Evans, the concept of "fleet in being" is not a my invention; I think to have explained how operations of battleships were limited by strategical situation. Italian Navy fear that losing battleships there were less cards to play at peace and this pushed for prudence (excessive, yes!). Sincerly I'm not sure if a more aggressive behavoir could give really results or end only in other losses of ships and men
    However I can tell that Italian battleships executed 246 missions for a total 79959 miles covered

    bye

    Lupo
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Dear Lupo: I will admit, I do not know as much as you do on the Italian Navy, all I do know is what is stated in books that I have read or own, and documentaries I have on tape. In any event, the Italian Navy isnt protrayed very well.

    Like I said, no disrespect intended.
     
  7. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Evans - remember that the victor always rights the history of the war. Anything you see on tape or read that isnt written my an Italian or someone from the Axis Nations will be very biased. Would you write about the greatness of an enemy you defeated in a world war? Of course not! You would say how crappy and unorganized and cowardly the nations defeated are. (Get my point?)

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    Mussolini

    "Blood alone moves the Wheels of history." Benito Mussolini.

    "What the proletariat needs is a bath of blood." Benito Mussolini, speech in Milan, July 22, 1919

    "Liberty is a duty, not a right"
    --Benito Mussolini
     
  8. Lupo Solitario

    Lupo Solitario Member

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    Dear Evans, you have told nothing of disrespectful, you have given an argument i.e. "italian battleships acted few in wwII" and I've told that was true and tried to tell why. I've found interesting this debate.
    I've obtained my infos on books, too (I am 32 and logically I couldn't be a veteran....)Italian military is not a spread argument in anglo literature and too many "experts" writes about it not only without knowing anything about Italy but often they don't see a source different from British wartime propaganda; as result, I fear that still now is difficult listening to something different from clichè "Italians are cowards, untrustable, stupids and ugly too".
    The existance of italian sources, a storiography, evidences, etc. is simply neglected.
    Coming to our argument, you have reason to call for lack of plans and strategy. There's also the "psycological" trouble of the admiration of italian navy for british one for which italians "felt" to fight against their teachers. More Navy was the less fascistized armed force in Italy (those facts leaded fascists to accuse Navy after war to have traited, losing war by will). See, I don't know how many of those questions are known out of italy.
    It's a pleasure debate with you

    bye

    Lupo

    PS it's better tell two things:
    1) I'm Italian
    2) I'm deeply anti-fascist
     

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