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Italy and oil reserves

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Kai-Petri, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Just found this being mentioned in a book that once Italy joined the war its supplies from abroad ended and got it from the same sources as Germany thus leaving Germany with less for its operations.

    Any figures for this somewhere?

    Considering the "waste" of fuel created thus should Hitler have said goodbye to Italy from the pact for the oil´s sake?? ( just a provocative question )
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    An interesting question. Didn't Italy have oil in Lybia or was this not discovered yet?
    Also I believe it was better for Germany to have an ill equipped ally which wasn't too enthousiastic about sending troop to the East front than no troops and no material available at all. Up to 1943, the factories in Milan and Torino were a real threat and Italian supplies were needed. Without the Gothic line the allies would have been in France as early as 1943
     
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Oil was found in Lybia much later than WW2. Yes, Italy's entry in WW2 was an economic disaster as I. had no internal fuel source at all. The Reich was always in dire straits for oil, it was even worse with an inefficient ally like Italy.

    An Italy out of the Axis is an interesting thing to consider, whether Mossolini could hold out or not. Italy was indeed a late comer, being the guarantor of Austrian independence before the Anschluss. Perhaps we should move this to the What-ifs to take a good look at it.
     
  4. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    Hitler would have been better off with a friendly neutral than a hamstrung Italian Ally.

    Would the Allies have invaded Italy?

    I doubt it as long as she kept reasonably quiet.

    It would probably also take Greece out of the action, probably use up as many British troops in Garrison of Egypt etc as were used in battle and make the Western Allies have to crack NW France as their first Invasion. (IMHO they learned a lot from NW Africa, Sicily, Salerno & Anzio)
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    But do you think that Hitler would have left the neighbouring balkans unoccupied? If the Allies had a chance to get to Berlin faster via Italy they would certainly have taken that way. Italy was a gate to Germany. If it were Spain I would agree, but Italy was a different matter.
     
  6. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I dont think it would work out that way. With Italy neutral, Greece would be a launching off point for the Allies, heading North through the Balkans and those minor countries that became Germany's Allies (Hungary, Romania, etc).

    North Africa was also important, as a British defeat at El Alamein (followed by one at Cairo - Rommel had already planned out the battle for Cairo) would leave them wide open to continue moving east and into Americas Favorite Country - IRAQ - where they would be able to access lots of oil. I believe this would have been end-game for the Allies, as they would have to fight a protracted war to retake it (aka the D-Day Normandy force, but in Iraq) against an enemy whose vehicles were fully fueled.

    Keep in mind that there were numerous instances in El Alamein where Rommels tanks and vehicles simply ran out of gas.
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    True, this precisely why I said Hitler would not have left the Balkan countries unoccupied. The odds may have been the same but germany wouldn't have had Italian support and those divisions, material and territories would have been missed
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The question from the Italian point is: If there was more fuel would the Italian Navy be more aggressive? The Italian Navy has been called unwilling to battle with the Royal Navy in WW2 and usually this has been mentioned as a tactical fault.

    I´ll bring the source and the figures that the book gives next time but any thoughts on this?
     
  9. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well, i think in part it was due to the fact that the Brits had air-superioty (the Malta base for instance) or was more capable of using Air-Recon over wide stretchs of the Med (launched from various bases). I remember reading about howonl 1/3 of the Air Supply for the Axis in Africa actually reached Africa due to the other 2/3 being shot down. I could be wrong.

    Also, the Brits eventually had radar - which gave them the advantage in naval battles as they knew where the enemy was before the enemy spotted them.
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    I can't quote the source of this as it is one of those things one reads 'somewhere', but it appears the Germans were furious at finding very large amounts of fuel oil in the Regia Marina harbours, La Spezia, Livorno (Leghorn) etc, while the Italians were excusing themselves claiming they had no fuel to go anywhere with the fleet.
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Hmm, no Italy no El Alamein, I think. No Germans in the Med.

    Also we have discussed here that the Germans in Iraq would not find it very easy to bring any oil to the Reich, at least because the outlets were (and are) to the Persian Gulf. So I hope Rommel would have very deep pockets as he would have no other way to bring oil to Hitler.

    Denying oil to the Allies, ok. Bringing the loot home was another matter.
     
  12. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I think part of it was also to link up with the Germans who were heading south through Russia. Taking over the Suez Canal would also pretty much = demise of the UK Naval Power in the Med. Sea. Its possible to think that if Alamein was a German Victory, the Allied Army would be in disarray, and Egypt/Mid East would have fallen. Major setback for the Allies. It would probably also mean the Germans/Italians look to take Malta, or starve it out (so to speak)/neutralise it.

    Then the Axis powers would be able to ship the Oil around the Persian Gulf and bring it up through the Suez. Or overland it North through German-occupied territory (it would place Turkey in an interesting position). Well, with German ingenuity, i'm sure they would have come up with a feasable way to transport it, if not fly it to the Med. Coast and ship it by boat from there.

    I'm not very knowledgeable about Iraqi politics back then, but believe they were part of the British Empire and might have welcomed the Germans/Italians 'freeing' them from the British.
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I have read somewhere that some Iraqi rebbels fought for the Germans. I will try to find my source.
     
  14. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    The Iraqi Army revolted in 1941, very small Empire forces were required to clean up the rebels. Little more than an Indian Infantry Div.

    The Germans sent a small number of bf110 & He111 to support them, providing the British with a reason to invade Syria which had provided landing fields.

    Arabs (not all Iraqi)foughth in the SS, just as Indians, British & Australians did in extremly small numbers.

    With no Italy in the war in 1940, any German thoughts of going to the mid-east would probably involve Turkey.

    British Air Superiority over the Med , maybe in early 1943, the Air Battle for Malta was at best 50/50 for the RAF, and often overwhelmingly 90/10 in favour of the Luftwaffe. Any strikes made from the island were performed under amazing pressure, their deeds all the more improtant because of this. Air transport od Supplies/Troops was fairly easy, but a minute portion of the requirements, until late in the campaign when the Luftwaffe threw away their transport fleet again in a lost cause.
     
  15. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Thank you for this information Ali. I needed my memory to be refreshed on these points. There are some really interesting elements here that would deseve a topic on their own. You mentionned German support. Do you know whether the Italians send advisors and /or military support to the Middle East too?
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The book was Joel Hayward´s "Stopped at Stalingrad"

    " The oil shortage not only immobilized the German surface fleet but also that of the Italians. In December 1941 the Italian navy received 29,600 tons of fuel oil, instead of the 40,000 promised, and it received only 13,500 in January 1942."
     
  17. Fortune

    Fortune Member

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    with the numbers, you can visibly see the decline in the oil reserves...
     
  18. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    We must also consider that in 1942 the Italians had less ships available than in 1941
     
  19. Fortune

    Fortune Member

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    ah...i dont think i would have begun to think about that aspect...
     
  20. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Considering the British ruled the waves around Malta, Gibraltar, Egypt, etc.. there was little the Italians could do anyway. Also fuel was needed in Africa, and what Italy would get Rommel would not have.
     

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