Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

What if the Italians were equipped like the Germans in ww2.

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by Mussolini, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Black6

    Black6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    57
    Respectfully I would have to disagree to a point. In the heaviest fighting in North Africa at El Alamein Two of Italy's best formations (Folgore and Ariete) fought as hard and with as much determination as any other nations best troops.
    If the rest of the Italian Army were trained to their standard and equippned like German units there is no reason to believe they wouldn't perform like Folgore and Ariete.
    I would agree with the point made earlier that Italian victories in Africa and the Balkans would have a beneficial effect on Operation Barbarossa, and I would also offer that the effectiveness of the Italian 8th Army in that theatre(during Blau) would add a 2nd effective Armee in 1942 in addition to the German one in 1941.
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    889
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    Rommel had written that the relations between the Italian officers and enlisted men were strained and that would be a liability in the battles to come. He wrote that the trust in leadership was missing and officers did more to distant themselves from their men unlike that in the German Army where officers ate, slept and lived alongside the men. One could put up a good fight with inferior equipment if properly trained and led. If one has superior equipment but led poorly.................well.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    My impression also is that few of the Italians either officers or men really "bought into" the war. When well led and motivated their quality was second to none. Fortunatly for the allies that was a rare event.
     
  4. Black6

    Black6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    57
    Something to consider is that the German Army didn't exactly "buy into the war" either, the key differences between German and Italian units was level of training, equipment and the all important espirit de corps that comes from tough training.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    That certainly isn't the impression I've got. Care to present some greater detail on it?
     
  6. Black6

    Black6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    57
    The Heer as it was in 1939 through Stalingrad was a more or less non-political element in German politics and had nothing to do with making or even agreeing with the Political agenda of the Nazis. There was no fanfare in 1939 like there was in 1914 for the German people or within the Heer, but there was a heavy dose of consternation. That consternation only grew with the opening of Barbarossa. A key event to remember about whether or not the German Army was bought into the idea of war was General Beck's resignation in protest before any shots were even planned to be fired, let alone actually fired. How many times did Heer officers plan to kill Hitler?
    Just because the German Army was highly profficient doesn't mean that the Soldiers in its ranks believed in some sort of national agenda of conquest. The perspective the German had was more or less: "We didn't want this war, but its better to be on the winning side when trying to figure out who's fault it is for starting it".
    Good equipment, hard training and sharing the same perspective as German Soldiers would have taken the Italians a very long way.
     
  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    237
    You are forgetting:motivation,good command,....
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    On the otherhand the German people in general and I suspect the military even more so bought into the rationals that lead to the start of the war. That is overturning the treaty of Versai, regaining German lands in the East and such. While individuals may have opposed some parts of this it was pretty clear that there was strong general support for it. Once the war was well underway then it didn't matter all that much especially with the resounding victories over Poland and France. Italies rational for going to war had more to do with el Duce's idea that it would enhance Italian prestige. The initial problems vs France and in North Africa and then the Balkans didn't do much to inspire the Italian army and the Navy had a very good handle on the troubles they would have dealing with the RN.
     
  9. Black6

    Black6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    57
    No, not really: "How different would things have been if the Italian Armies were on equal footing as the German Warmachine in regards to a universal level of training and quality of equipment?

    I take that to mean at all echelons to include proper training of the Officer Corps and establishment of an NCO Corps on "equal footing as the German Warmachine".
     
  10. Black6

    Black6 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    57
    My understanding of the rationals that lead to the start of the war as you put it is that the Nazi govenment's agenda was clear enough to the civilian population, the Wehrmacht and the whole world for that matter as it pertained to Poland. That doesn't mean that the Germans supported it or even had a favorable opinion of it. When the Navi-Soviet Pact was announced, poland invaded, war declared by Britain-France and then Poland wiped off the map a mere 6-7 weeks passed. At no time during this were there any celebrations in Germany, it was more like a quiet grim determination to fight to the end rather than endure another Versailles.
     
  11. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    8,312
    Likes Received:
    2,378
    My view is that ANY outfit can dramatically improve given modern weapons and training. The Italians have the fortunate position of history, that is they have PROVED their metal as a race as fighters, this shouldn't therefore be up for debate, the relative poor showing was due to other factors then.
    Interestingly, HAD the Italians been better trained and equipped, at the level of the Reich, then maybe the two countries would be in a different position politically - Few facists like other facists groups... Maybe, the Italians would have joined the allies in an attempt to secure some German lands or at least political sway after the war. Their thoughts would be similar and therefore clash in many situations. An older brother and younger brother scenerio works...two brothers of similar size and strength tend to test each other continuously and compete at every corner. The psychology would be different and the world outside different as a result...not doing to well explaining this am i?
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    Actually you did it quite well. While we have debated German motivation elsewhere, but I feel it would be fair to say that in a manner of speaking German's had a motivation to fight that the Italian's lacked. Germany convinced itself that it was 'cheated' out of victory in the previous war and unfairly blamed for the war. Italy lost huge numbers of men in WWI in a effort to expand at the expence of others and got almost nothing for their efforts. Ironicly they better fit the 'crimes' that Germany was accused of and was 'cheated' by the Allies of the spoils they thought they deserved.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    I think you just did a much better job of stating the point I was trying to make than I did. While the German population and army may not have been thrilled when the war broke out (especially when France and Britain declared war) they were behind the stated aims and the victories over Poland and especially France pretty much sealed the deal. Italy's experiance was in many ways (certianlly not all) the exact opposite. I haven't read what the general reaction of the public and army was to the declaration of war so not sure just where they stood at that point.
     
  14. Skontos1

    Skontos1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    To me even if they were more well equipped for the Axis coordination and shared efforts would have been the key. Deciding on a target and taking a coordinated approach to taking it down. If a capable Italian military force works with Germany to take down the British isles possibly that puts the British homeland more at risk to capture.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well "more" may be correct but I'm not sure it would be noticably more.
     
  16. Skontos1

    Skontos1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well it depends on what the Italians would bring to the table are we saying only more well equipped ground troops? Or a well equippe naval or even marine type force that can run effective sea to land campaigns. Again reinforcing a strength that the Axis had already probably doesnt't make an impactful difference but adding one (air/sea) maybe that makes more of a lasting impact.
     
  17. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    73
    Ok, Given newer better technology they may put up a better fight with better training.. But simply.. The Italian's didn't have the will to fight, Doesn't matter if you have the best equipment and best training or worst equipment and least amount of training.. Having the will to fight makes the difference. Australian and New Zealander troops showed this in NA.

    You can be given as much training and equipment as you like.. But if you don't have the stomach for war you will lose sooner or later.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Italy did have a respectable navy. It just wasn't going outside the Med. I don't see any way the Italian economy could have supported anything like the program that would have been required for the Axis to launch a successful invasion of Britain.
     
  19. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    6
    I just suggest if more cooperations among axis and non-axis non-allies members, Italian military would have a different look.

    Hetzer was inspired by a Romanian tank destroyer design and made possible by Czech chassis. Semovente 75/18 was inspired by Stug-III. What if given earlier cooperations in late 1930s, Italian tanks and tank destroyer made use of the Japanese and Finnish experience against Soviet armor or derived designs from a Finnish captured BT tank donated to Italy and Germany. Using stugIII aligement of 4 crew, the new Italian-Hetzer would take a crew of 4: commander/radio-operator, gunner, loader, driver, like that of the SU-85.

    On the other hand, Romanian made use of Italian and Japanese navy and submarine technology. Romanian assault on Odessa would be two-prongs attack from land, amphibious and sea; for example, Italian-based Romanian submarine would lock down the port of Odessa, preventing Soviet reinforcement or retreat to the Crimea. Subsequently, Romanian would capture more Russian armorment and von Manstein would have a easier effort in the Crimea.

    Because Italy had produced those Italian Hetzer/SU-85's independent of German resources, Imagine Rommel would be leading flak-88, hetzer/su-85, pz3 and 4 against Monty. Finland armies would also field hetzer/su-85 along with stug3 and Romanian field hetzer/su-85.
     
  20. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    6
    If Soviet designers incorporates lessons from previous tank models into the T-34, could Italian -- with or without help from German tank designers and dropped tank designs -- incorporate past lessons from domestic tank designs and ones from exchanged Soviet tanks, say KV1, BT-7 from Finland's Winter War ? So an Italian new tank and its turretless tank destroyer/assault gun version would have BT's Christie suspension and sloped armor, KV1's wide tracks and wielded and cast construction (instead of rivet construction), Stug's low silhouette for mounting a bigger tank gun, Italian domestic conversion of mountain gun to tank gun (Obice da 75/18 modello 34 in Semovente 75/18)

    For simpler mass production, the turretless tank destroyer/assault gun version would first be mass produced for immediate army use. So Instead of Semovente 75/18 in NA, a Christie-sloped 50 mm armor-wide tracks-wielded-anti tank 75 mm gun Stug on a 4 crew NewSemovente.
     

Share This Page