Italians in WW2

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BeserkWraithlor

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 3, 2006
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Arizona
How come I NEVER see anything about Italians in WW2? I never hear about them either. I used to think Only Germany and Japan were in WW2 a few years back. Anybody have info or insights on the Italians? I have no idea about there weapons or vehicles. Why is it they don't get as much attention or info as the Americans or Germans?
 

User Name

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 12, 2006
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Yeah, you hardly ever hear about the fact that we landed there in Sept. of '43. It's always been overshadowed by D-day.
 

{YBBS}Sage

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 15, 2006
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Yeah, you hardly ever hear about the fact that we landed there in Sept. of '43. It's always been overshadowed by D-day.

Because the Italians only put up token resistance in most cases?

A lot of the history I've read didn't speak highly of the Italian military's performance.
 

User Name

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 12, 2006
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Well, it's not that so much as we were on mainland Europe before June 6, 1944. Unless your a student of history you usually don't know that. Then again, most people my age don't know what year the Civil war ended either.
 

[TW]Wilsonam

VP, Tripwire Int.
Oct 17, 2005
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To answer a number of questions...

1. Go take a look at the "Mare Nostrum" mod for Red Orchestra... lots of Italians coming there!
2. The Italians fought in the Balkans/Greece, North Africa, Sicily/Italy (as Axis, then some alongside the Allies) and on the Eastern Front.
3. Their army was made up of a small professional core - mostly career officers and NCOs - plus a large number of conscripts and a bunch of rich kids/aristos playing soldier for a couple of years as officers.
4. The conscripts mostly had no interest in Hitler's war, or Mussolini's plans to join in. They'd mostly rather be back on their farms. Very sensible.
5. A large portion of the officer corps was fairly useless and had only joined up for all the wrong reasons. They mostly enjoyed travel, drinking the wine and having plenty of people to order about.
6. The professional Italian soldiers were as good as anyone else's. They were pretty poorly equipped by the standards of the day, as Mussolin hadn't bothered to invest in his new Roman Army as much as he liked to pretend.
7. Almost all the Italian artillery was very high quality - they were mostly professionals. In the Western Desert, the Brits noted that they wouldn't stop shooting at the Matildas (even though the Italian 37mm AT gun was useless) until they actually ran the gun over and flattened it. Their artillery often fought the enemy tanks right to the muzzle.
8. Their tank forces were ridiculously brave: they had to be, as their armour was bloody awful.
9. In terms of ground troops, the Bersaglieri were generally of high quality, as were the Alpini, the paratroops and the San Marco Marines. The key infantry divisions were pretty good.

They largely got their awful reputation when badly-led infantry divisions simply walked into captivity rather than get blown to bits for a war they didn't give a toss about.

For good measure, the Germans had a habit of taking any "spare" Italian kit. In this case, "spare" meant "Ze Cherman Reich needs zis more than you lot". The two classic moments were:

a) At Alamein, as the Commonwealth troops finally broke through, the Afika Korps grabbed every Italian vehicle they could and headed west, leaving the poor bloody Italians to walk. Fat chance - so they surrended.
b) More catastrophically for the Germans, the Italian 8th Army north of Stalingrad had (again) been stripped of transport and heavy weapons by the Germans. When the Soviets hove over the horizon in large numbers, the Italian 8th Army disintegrated and the German 6th Army ended up surrounded in Stalingrad.

So - the Italians are hard to model in general, as about 70% of their troops simply didn't want to play. The remaining 30% were perfectly good soldiers - just equipped mostly with out-dated crap :)
 

Elton

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 5, 2006
113
5
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...and don't forget the Road to Rome expansion for BF42 (although not many play it now)

I think the Forgotten Hope mod run Tobruk as Italian vs Australian (one of the voice commands is "Need help! We're up sh*t creek")


.
 

Elton

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 5, 2006
113
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No it wasn't - it was abut Nic Cage doing a ****e Italian accent, with Penelope Cruz doing a ****e Greek accent... Oh and some Brit doing a camp German accent...

Well, Brits are good at accents :D

I can do Welsh, Scot, Lancaster, Mancunian, Liverpudlian, Cockney, Mockney, French, an American trying to do French, an American trying to speak English, phew! The list goes on and on :D
 

Lionel-RIchie

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 29, 2006
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TN, US
...and don't forget the Road to Rome expansion for BF42 (although not many play it now)

I remember getting Road to Rome and then looking at the new armies...Free France and Italy o_O

I was like ok, something new in WW2 games.

But those Italian tanks...WTF. After that I never played any maps with those two armies :p