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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. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    A question for alternative history. Does it allow wild estimation ? What is the point of having alternative history ?
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Oh, if that is the case...

    Germany gives Italy & Finland 50,000 Tiger tanks, Foo Fighters, and atomic weapons in 1940.

    War over.

    Case Closed.

    That is all.
     
  3. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    I think my question is misunderstood. I asked what the purpose of alternative history is.
     
  4. green slime

    green slime Member

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    I think you've merely misunderstood the answer.

    In order to actually be considered "an alternate history", it is fundamental that the "alternate" be a considered possibility within the realms of what actually was feasible. This means the possible has to remain within the physical (agriculture, manufacturing, resource availability, environmental, etc), economical (finance, banking, etc), knowledge (education, science research, etc) and cultural (religion, beliefs, laws, and so on) constraints of the time and place you are proposing an "alternate" for.

    "wild estimates" are therefore the antithesis of "alternate history".

    Too many wishful thinkers thunder on by, handwaving away real constraints, and end up pouting, and refusing to understand why the world doesn't agree with their pet theory.

    Proposing a credible alternate history requires deep knowledge of the subject, that quite frankly, most do not possess.

    The benefit, of doing so (and therefore one of the many "purposes", for doing so), is that IF the person doing so is actually willing to listen, then they may actually learn a great deal about the problems facing people at the time in question.



    What's the purpose of learning?
     
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  5. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    Thanks for letting me know, In case of misunderstanding, shall one type a criticism straightforwardly if one wants so against another person ? Sometimes beating around the bushes is helpful to ease tensions but not beneficial to knowledge sharing. Anyway, this is a moot point.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I don't think so and it's not just oil as others have suggested. The British and latter the British and Americans had a much superior logistics structure. The British were actually building a railroad west from Egypt as I recall and had access to more and better trucks. In theater logistics was actually more important than sea lift although the British had an edge there as well.
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    I'm not sure that by 1940 the Italian aero industry as yet could have made use of any linkup with the Finns or anywhere else. It's axiomatic in aviation history circles that in the 1920s and through to the early 1930s Mussolini "bought " himself an air force...but there wasn't much investment in its ongoing modernisation through the rest of the decade. Some of the major designers/factories were pushing right up to the limits of their capabilities already - Breda and Caproni for example were churning out some REAL turkeys by the onset of Italy's war. It was only the demands/exigencies of war that forced high speed R&D into new designs beginning then...but these were only beginning to bear fruit by 1943.

    The Italians produced some of the finest designs of small arms in the early war period - one of the world's GREAT smgs for example...but note I said designs; look at the Mannlicher-Carcano for example. Compared to the original Steyr Mannlicher design, the Carcano looked equally good on paper - but manufacturing let it down. it would have probably been the same with any German design, let down by the Italians' manufacturing and metallurgy.

    Look at their tanks in 1940 - again it was Italian manufacturing and metallurgy let them down, not the actual designs - when captured and given over to the Australians, they performed well enough against their former owners after all! As for softskins....as noted above, if they had equal numbers of German-derived or -provided trucks etc., it still wouldn't have been enough.
     
  8. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    I do have a question though. Given better leadership, say a German general and senior staff, shall throwing Italian troops into combat make sense so that these troops improve by baptism of fire ?
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Technically this occurred with Rommel in North Africa. Certainly he seemed to get more out of Italian forces than their own command structure, but he could not overcome deficiencies in equipment and training. I have read anecdotal accounts that Italian troops working in close company with German forces envied the relationship between Platoon-Company-Battalion grade officers and the men they commanded which seemed much closer than for Italian formations in general. If true it would seem the dysfunction of the Italian officer corps ran from the top down.
     
  10. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    There were at least three classes of food in the italian military. Excellent for the officers, served by stewards on tables. Acceptable for sergeants and muck for regular soldiers. In the german army there is only one food for all.
     
  11. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    I have read sources that the food in Red Army was basic but plentiful, Czech tank chases were sturdy, Romanian armored vehicles had a few good designs, Turkey supported in selling resources to both sides of the conflicts. For Italian governance, bringing together these foreign good technicalities together into Italian machines would have improved the Italian troops. So imagine the Italians having:
    a) building good tanks instead of many
    1) a sloped and wielded armor
    2) christie suspension
    3) 3 men turret: commander/radio operator, gunner, loader and/or 2 men chasis: driver, radio operator/flagman. At least 4, or 5 men crew in total.
    b) make more SPGs, mounting mountain guns that could fire HEAT ammunition; and half-tracks

    b) provide more but basic food to the troops.
    c) improvise with foreign and domestic design to produce better machines.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What do you think is so great about theChristie suspension? Were any post war tanks designed with it?

    What was the issue in regards to food? In the desert it was to a large extent due to the lack of an adequate logistics structure which had impacts on all parties in that theater.

    Pre war it was thought that half tracks would have the benefits of both wheeled and tracked vehicles. The experience was that they had all the problems of both and not all the benefits of either. Better to have a mix of tracked and wheeled (all wheel drive) vehicles.
     
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  13. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    About Christie suspension, had a hype been present in the media -- YouTube videos on ww2 tanks -- that the suspension propel Soviet tanks such as BTs and T34s to good quality? I think, your question on if any post war tanks using the suspension is a nail to that the suspension help only that tank to run fast, and that is the only benefit.

    About food, do you mean lack of adequate logistics contirbuted to failing to deliver food to the frontline?

    Thank you for answering the question about half tracks. In you opinion, having a mix would be better than a wholesome bland adoption of half tacks. If so, Italian would be equipping with tracks in SPGs and new tank design that improvised existing chasis and artillery. Wheel vehicles would be used for troops transport.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In your post #71 you mention "more but basic food to the troops". I was wondering if this was in reference to NA or the situation in general. I haven't heard of the Italians being all that short of food but it's not an area I've researched much.

    As regards to the Christie suspension I believe that the T-34 used a somewhat modified version of it and the T-34M had moved to what became the post war standard of torsion bars. I seem to recall the Christie suspension having problems with heavier tanks but I could be wrong in that regard.

    Having a mix of vehicles can be good or bad. For logistical efforts wheeled vehicles are better in most cases. If you go off road you may need multi wheel drive but that was certainly possible at the time. Better to have just a few types of trucks though than the mess that the Germans had. Nice if you can keep it to one or two types per unit. An armored tracked vehicle is nice to have as a troop transport at or near the front line but that might require a bit of precog in this scenario. Depending on where you are a scout car may be as or even more effective than a light tank as well. Too many vehicle variants and types though create their own log problems. If you asked for a "spring for an M3" in the US Army of the time you could end up with quite a variety of different parts. Even with the proper nomenclature having to have spare parts for 10 vehicles is a lot more of an issue than having to have them for say 4.
     
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  15. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    About food, some issues existed for food preparation, sanitation and platoon level (frontline) care.

    By comparing the Red Army with the Italians, would the Italian military developed some systems to ensure the sanitation and care for frontline, platoon level troops? The Russian model of providing basic rations and the British model on sanitation could be ones the Italian learnt from. Obviously more bodies needed to be responsible -- pulling out of military participation in Russia. Sending non-combatants to nation in need such as Finland, Hungary and Romania to maintenance and updating of machinery and vehicles, leaving the locals to fight for their respective nations. As technicians for examples would be sent, they would be replaced in rotation without hurting the fighting performance. For example in vehicle or aircraft garages, the technicians taught the second batch because the first batch would likely not be killed. When a front was overhelmed, then Italian government would not send Italians to territories already in Soviet's hands.

    In short, how to modernize the Italy's military structure? Borrowing foreign designs in machinery, vehicle and maintenance were suggestive in Knox' book and other sources.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Sounds to me like the food was one of the symptoms of a greater problem addressing it without addressing the root issues likely wouldn't have much effect.
     
  17. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    The Italians had DB601 and DB605 engines under licences. For this what-if thread, if Italy had developed machinery -- engines for example -- given the neutrality?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Air_Force#Continuation_War_1941.E2.80.9344
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morane-Saulnier_M.S.406#Finnish_variants

    About aircraft, Germany donated Finland few Curtiss Hawk 75s that had been captured in Norway and France. Finland bought from Germany tens of French Morane-Saulnier 406s and 411s. For the what-if scenario, Italy being neutral allow Finland to exchange Finnish older Bristol Blenheim and Curtiss Hawks for Italian own second rate aircraft. Without taking the Hurricanes that the Finns directly got from the British, Italy did not severe the tie of neutrality. Or did it?

    Hawks, MS406, MS411 and German engines all uses liquid or water cooling. Can the Italian aircraft manufacturer realize earlier before the Continuation War/Operation Barbarossa in 1940/1941 that liquid cooling engines performed better than air coooling?

    Along the same reasoning, could Italy buy captured KV1 and T28 tanks (2 to 4 tanks in total) from Finland for research or reverse engineering from Finland? Would Soviet and German design help the development of the Italian P40 tank?

    If the Italians were equipped like the Germans, say the Italians has the following multi-purpose machines:
    P40 that borrowed designs from KV1, T28, became the Italian equivalence of PzKpfw IV.
    Macchi c205 with liquid cooling engine., became the Italian equivalence of Bf109.
    Could having two matching machines to the Allies help in the big picture Italian performance?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The first Morane-Saulnier 406s did not come from Germany, but were donated by France and arrived in Finland during February, 1940. 30 total were sent.


    Not exactly sure why the Italians would want a second rate British bomber and a second rate American fighter? Although, if they wanted better aircraft engines, and remained in neutral and in the good graces of the West...Would it not be easier, quicker, and far more productive to buy a license from foreign aero-engine manufacturers to produce such engines in Italy? They not only get the know-how to produce such engines, but it saves a vast amount of time reverse engineering such engines.

    Of course, that would take all the fun out of this Italy-Finnish fixation that knight has.


    The Curtiss 75 used an air-cooled radial, either the Cyclone or the Twin Wasp, the first three batches of French 75s had the Twin Wasp, with the last having the Cyclone.


    I really wish you would do some research...Nay, any research...before posting.

    Italy had been producing liquid-cooled inline aero-engines since, at least the very early 1920s.

    Italy designed the Macchi M.C.72, which was powered by the Fiat AS.6 24-cylinder inline liquid-cooled engine(Basically, two Fiat AS.5 12 cylinders coupled together). This aircraft held the world speed record for aircraft from 1934 until 1939, with a speed of 440.7 MPH.

    So, yeah, I think the Italians knew a thing or three about liquid-cooled inline engines.


    The two KV-1s were not captured until early 1942, so would be of little to no use concerning the development of the P40...Other than to add yet another delay in the P40s production while it would be redesigned.

    Two T-28s were captured during the Winter War, and another 5 in 1941-42. But, considering the Finnish experience in knocking out T-28s, I think the lesson would be on how not to design a tank.

    You would have to examine Italian tank construction capabilities, as the Italian tank production lagged well behind other nations.


    Only if Italian industry is brought up to German or British levels...or even that of Japan.
    Let's face facts, no matter how you slice it, even with these Italian "wonder weapons" Italy will still only be able to produce a mere fraction of what other nations are churning out.
     
  19. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    http://www.ww2f.com/threads/italian-tank-destroyer-semovente-m-41m-da-90-53.65285/#post-765433

    Given the above, the Italians in some aspects had superior weaponry than the Germans but their will to fight...

    ----
     
  20. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    Talking about individual vehicle,

    1) how about mounting the cannon backward, and hence driving backward in the sight of the gunner on a tank chasis? Like the British tank destroyer Archer,
    2) could a backward driven Italian tank chasis mount a larger caliber and heavier gun ? An Italian Nashhorn ...
    3) If possible, how about an enclosed in casemate? An Italian Jagdpanther...
     

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