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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality?

 
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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/17/2013 8:42:00 PM   
Dili

 

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quote:

O'Hara thinks the RM performance was much better than people generally think


I also think so that Regia Marina performed better than generally people thinks. And that is not difficult knowing how most people don't know about War in Med. But it is not at level o'Hara thinks. RM had several failures. But not the anecdotal tales of people that don't know how many times the Italian battleships went to sea.

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/17/2013 11:25:19 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

quote:

O'Hara thinks the RM performance was much better than people generally think


I also think so that Regia Marina performed better than generally people thinks. And that is not difficult knowing how most people don't know about War in Med. But it is not at level o'Hara thinks. RM had several failures. But not the anecdotal tales of people that don't know how many times the Italian battleships went to sea.

warspite1

I am sure you are right - as has been proved with some comments on the thread so far.

However, as those of us who have studied the Mediterranean war know, the problem for the RM was two fold - it was not a lack of the number of times the Italian battleships took to sea, quite the reverse. In the first year or so of the war the RM sailed numerous times en masse . The problem was that in doing so they burned up precious fuel that they could not afford, but in so doing, achieved no real results.

As I said before, the RM, with their central position, should have been able (and did) achieve local superiority, but then failed to use that to good effect - either against Sommerville or Cunningham.


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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/18/2013 7:48:59 AM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DiliMaybe Italians would have discovered oil in Libya in 1941 or 1942, or 1943...which would make an interesting situation...


Nope. The Oil in Libya was too deep by far for the drilling technology of the 1930s ... and Italy didn't have the industrial capacity to either a) develop it or b) build it anyway ... and the countries that did (the US and UK) historically had other things occupying their minds, and their resources were allocated elsewhere.

So, no, no oil for Italy.

Phil

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/18/2013 7:54:30 AM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Footslogger

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if Italy had not join the Axis powers, but instead remained neutral.

There would be no need to send forces to North Afrika for instance.(no Afrika Korps)

What do you think?




There's an old joke, which actually accurately sums up the situation ...

It's 1939 and Hitler consults OKW ... should they accept Italy as an ally or not. OKW reply, "If the Italians come in on our side, we'll have to send around 20 Divisions to stiffen their army to the point where it might be of some effectiveness. If they don't come in on our side, then we will have to station 20 Divisions to guard the Alpine passes in case they change their mind and come in on the Allied side as they did in 1915. Either way? 20 Divisions!"

And that doesn't include the additional divisions that would have been required to watch the Franco-Italian borders after 1940 and, possibly, depending on whether the Italians cause enough disruption in the Balkans to trigger the need for German intervention, additional divisions to watch the Yugoslav-Italian and Yugoslav-Albanian borders.

So, more than 20 divisions, in actuality.

Phil

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/18/2013 6:21:05 PM   
Dili

 

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quote:

Nope. The Oil in Libya was too deep by far for the drilling technology of the 1930s ... and Italy didn't have the industrial capacity to either a) develop it or b) build it anyway ... and the countries that did (the US and UK) historically had other things occupying their minds, and their resources were allocated elsewhere.

So, no, no oil for Italy.


Italy had the industrial capability to develop it, they also had oil fields in Italy, Albania. In engineering development Italy had several firsts. Italian industrial problem was mostly massification. The issue is to discover it with theory to support the investment in searching, albeit with a Dictator i suppose that if Mussolini had a dream of a desert with oil wells of Saudi Arbia and the saw a Libyan desert he might just get a crazy idea.

< Message edited by Dili -- 2/18/2013 6:24:50 PM >

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/20/2013 12:58:24 AM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

quote:

Nope. The Oil in Libya was too deep by far for the drilling technology of the 1930s ... and Italy didn't have the industrial capacity to either a) develop it or b) build it anyway ... and the countries that did (the US and UK) historically had other things occupying their minds, and their resources were allocated elsewhere.

So, no, no oil for Italy.


Italy had the industrial capability to develop it, they also had oil fields in Italy, Albania. In engineering development Italy had several firsts. Italian industrial problem was mostly massification. The issue is to discover it with theory to support the investment in searching, albeit with a Dictator i suppose that if Mussolini had a dream of a desert with oil wells of Saudi Arbia and the saw a Libyan desert he might just get a crazy idea.


I believe you misunderstood the point. Or I wasn't entirely clear.

I guess that Italy could, possibly, barely, have developed the Fields, *IF* they'd been able to drill them.

What they *didn't* have the capacity to do in any useful time frame was t0 develop the technology necessary to drill the deep wells. Regardless of what Il Duce might decree, or not.

No way it can be a) discovered, then b) the deep drilling technology developed, then c) the deep drilling technology placed into mass production then d) the infrastructure to move the drilling, pipeline, refinery and shipping capacity needed to Libya then e) putting all the capacity mentioned in (d) in place then f) building the tankers needed so that, when war is declared, the Italians will actually have a Tanker fleet to ship it home (and that assumes that Musso doesn't manage to DoW, as he did historically, while the bulk of his merchant fleet is in ports or waters controlled by the Allies *anyway*).

So, while it's not impossible, it's not going to happen by 1940.

Phil

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/26/2013 7:52:35 AM   
Dili

 

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Sorry for late reply i don't came here often to this part of the forum.

Let's resume my opinion:I think technological Italians could do it after finding, but finding it would be a lucky one only achievable by lets say: rare constellation alignment.
Of course depending on discover year of that lucky occurrence it get impossible, less or more possible.

It is false that Italians had most of fleet in Allied ports. They had an important part but was far from the most, neither they were the most modern.


Biggest Modern(this mean launched post 1936) Tankers in Italian Merchant Fleet in 1940 in Italian ports when war started, they were pretty good and were under employed:

Martelli Class 14000 tdw 14-16knots speed: Image http://captallievi.com/sergio_laghi

In Italy from the class - Martelli the class name was out of Italy so it was lost for Med war:
Iridio Mantovani
Sergio Laghi(being build 1940,employed since 1942)
Giulio Giordani

Sterope a version for the Navy http://www.culturanavale.it/documentazione.php?id=284

Minatitlan Class(for Mexico then taken over) . 11100tdw .
They are being build and in trial in 1940, employed since 1941: http://www.naviearmatori.net/ita/foto-63220-dHg9cGFudWNvJm5hPTEmaW1vPTAmZGM9MCZjbD0wJmFyPTAmY2E9MCZzbT0w.html
Minatitlanc
Pozarica
Panuco

Finished late in War:

Illiria 12040tdw operational 1943 http://www.naviearmatori.net/ita/foto-5173-dHg9SWxsaXJpYSZuYT0xJmltbz0wJmRjPTAmY2w9MCZhcj0wJmNhPTAmc209MA==.html

There were more being build and not finished or only finished after war.
There were also some small modern tankers also build post 1936.


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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/26/2013 11:54:16 AM   
aspqrz

 

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So, they had 2 x 14000 dwt tankers available in 1940.

To ship all that oil from the undrillable (with extant technology) deep fields as yet undiscovered in Libya back to Italy.



To which we add one in 1941, but subtract two sunk during the war.

And add another 3 x 11000 dwt tankers in 1941 ... which also may or may not have been sunk.

And during the whole period 1841-43 they managed to construct ... wait for it ... *one* ... yep, count it, *one*, additional tanker of 12040 dwt.



And with this *massive* tanker fleet they will transport back the cornucopia of oil from the undrillable (with extant technology) deep fields in Libya, transported to the pitifully inadequate port facilities in that country, through the nonexistent pipelines and over the inadequate to nonexistent road and rail net there, and back to Italy.

All the while keeping the Italian forces in Albania, Greece and the Aegean copiously supplied with the fuel *they* need as well.

All simultaneously, of course. Which is what they'd have had to do ... and even then it wouldn't have been enough.

This extant tanker ... can't call it a fleet ... bunch ... was so adequate that the Italians had to ship POL to Libya in 44 gallon drums in the cargo holds of regular tankers.

Not an efficient way of transporting oil. And the massive capacity of the main Italian port allowed, IIRC, *eight* ships to be unloaded at one time. That's right. Eight.

The situation was so desperate that the Germans were forced to *fly* POL across to Libya in Messerschmitt Gigants carried in 44 gallon drums.

Seriously, Italy has no hope whatsoever of getting oil in the first place, and even less of getting it back home

Phil

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/27/2013 1:40:57 PM   
bjmorgan


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I was once a liaison officer to a German jaeger bn back in the early '70s. One day when the unit was a Graf, one of the company commanders and I spent the morning drinking good strong German coffee (and beer) and shooting the breeze. He had many funny things to say; most were just ethnic/political jokes about other European countries. You know, the standard "I saw French army surplus rifles for sale the other day. The ad said 'never been used, dropped once'." Another that was really funny was when he put his hands on the top of his head and asked "What's this? The Italian army on maneuvers."

We were talking about an Italian airborne bn that was going to airdrop that afternoon in a demonstration when the major said, "There's an old German military axiom: He who has Italy on their side shall lose the war."

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/27/2013 8:35:50 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bjmorgan

I was once a liaison officer to a German jaeger bn back in the early '70s. One day when the unit was a Graf, one of the company commanders and I spent the morning drinking good strong German coffee (and beer) and shooting the breeze. He had many funny things to say; most were just ethnic/political jokes about other European countries. You know, the standard "I saw French army surplus rifles for sale the other day. The ad said 'never been used, dropped once'." Another that was really funny was when he put his hands on the top of his head and asked "What's this? The Italian army on maneuvers."

We were talking about an Italian airborne bn that was going to airdrop that afternoon in a demonstration when the major said, "There's an old German military axiom: He who has Italy on their side shall lose the war."


As if the Germans could really brag, eh! They only emerged quite recently: 1870s... then they managed to lose two major World Wars in XX century.

But before the 1870s, and especially during the Thirty Years War they were a mere ragdoll trashed by all their neighbours... er, Italian troops among this lot. Oops!

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/27/2013 10:55:26 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bjmorgan

I was once a liaison officer to a German jaeger bn back in the early '70s. One day when the unit was a Graf, one of the company commanders and I spent the morning drinking good strong German coffee (and beer) and shooting the breeze. He had many funny things to say; most were just ethnic/political jokes about other European countries. You know, the standard "I saw French army surplus rifles for sale the other day. The ad said 'never been used, dropped once'." Another that was really funny was when he put his hands on the top of his head and asked "What's this? The Italian army on maneuvers."

We were talking about an Italian airborne bn that was going to airdrop that afternoon in a demonstration when the major said, "There's an old German military axiom: He who has Italy on their side shall lose the war."
warspite1

Except in the First World War of course - not very bright these German axioms obviously....

Maybe a better one would be - he who sides with the Germans in war has lost....

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/28/2013 6:12:37 AM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Except in the First World War of course - not very bright these German axioms obviously....

Maybe a better one would be - he who sides with the Germans in war has lost....


Franco-Prussian War?



Phil

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 2/28/2013 3:08:48 PM   
Dili

 

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quote:

This extant tanker ... can't call it a fleet ... bunch ... was so adequate....


In case you have read with attention you'll see those are the post 1936 build tankers and were 3 14000dwt. I didn't say anything about older tankers...

Besides lets look at their employment:

For example the Irido Mantovani was only employed this periods: 28 November 1940 to 9 January 1941, and 1 Nov to 1 December 1941. Sunk.
You can see it was only employed in war for 2 months while it was sunk in 18th month of war(Italian calendar)

Giulio Giordani was only requested in October 1941 and was sunk in November 42. So the first 16 months of war it did nothing.

Sterope as far as i know was never employed to transport oil to North Africa and remained in Italian harbor most of the time. It was scuttled in 1945 in an Italian harbor while in german hands.

All 3 Mexican ships only started to be employed in 1941 too. Of this one was sunk, 1 survived the war, and the other was sunk by bombing only in 1944 in German hands in an Italian harbor.

Illiria was briefly employed in late 1942 to transport oil to Africa and survived the war.



To Libia it was sent/arrived this quantities of oil products:

1940(from 10 June): 47.520 t / 47.520 t ( 100% )
1941..................: 234.426 t / 181.015 t ( 69 % )
1942 and 43(begin): 317.391 t / 248.168 t ( 78 % )

This is only for Libya and does not includes Tunisia.

So the Total of what was sent was 599.337 t
And arrived 476.703 t ( 80% ) of oil products. So i think it is possible that 400000 t of oil could be sent back. Or more because then 1940 could be much more active to pick oil.

< Message edited by Dili -- 2/28/2013 3:10:42 PM >

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 3/1/2013 3:38:42 AM   
aspqrz

 

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According to JJ Sadkovich, "The Italian Navy in WW2", out of some 786 ships over 500 tons (about 3.3 million GRT), some 212 (or some 1.2 million GRT) was outside the Mediterranean and thus lost. Including 46 tankers.

And the Italians had bugger all in the way of Tankers.

By way of comparison, in June, 1939, the British merchant fleet comprised 6,722 vessels of 17,891,000 grt. The Norwegians, for ghu's sake, had 230+ *Tankers* alone. And almost all went to the Allies.

The Regia Marina had a *minimum* requirement of 20,000 tons of oil *per week* just to keep the boilers ticking over, evidently (and fell below this in 1943), and which kept the escorts needed for the Libyan convoys mobile ... all of which was sourced from Germany (the Kriegsmarine was forced by Hitler to dip into *its* limited stockpiles to provide the fuel).

20,000 tons per week = 1,040,000 tons per year.

Just for the Regia Marina.

And you reckon they could have moved 400,000 tons of oil from nonexistent wells, for which they had neither the technology to drill as the oil was too deep for pre-1950's (and late 1950's) tech, nor the money and industry to develop said technology, run on nonexistent rail lines or pipelines, to nonexistent or patently inadequate port facilities and then back to Italy.

Right, pull the other one, it plays "Jingle Bells"

The fact that, as I mentioned, the Italians had to resort to shipping POL to Libya in 44 gallon drums in regular merchant ships, grossly inefficient at that was, or in 44 gallon drums *flown* across in German transport aircraft may be something of a clew that all was not well.

The Italians had neither the wells, nor the technology to drill them, nor the infrastucture to move any oil from them to ports, nor the port capacity to load their virtually nonexistent tanker fleet which, even if the oil had been available, couldn't have moved enough anyway.

I think that says it all.

Phil





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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 3/1/2013 6:20:03 PM   
Dili

 

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quote:

And the Italians had bugger all in the way of Tankers.


I already proved it did not but you seem to be impervious to facts. If 300000 t were sent in 1942 and this already with several losses and in 1940 if we extrapolate to all year it reach 80000t what do you think it means? The tankers weren't operating.


quote:

had to resort to shipping POL to Libya in 44 gallon drums in regular merchant ships

No they had not to resort to that with the meaning you give to it. They made it because there was space and because it was in the ships that went to more dangerous ports or that didn't had facilities to unload oil in a speed way. You can even say they had to resort to submarines in mid 42 to transport oil, what does that means? nothing, the oil was transported to Bardia...that doesn't mean they didn't had tankers.
Maybe you can explain then the lack of operations about the tankers i listed.

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RE: What if Italy Chose Neutrality? - 3/1/2013 11:44:46 PM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili
quote:

And the Italians had bugger all in the way of Tankers.


I already proved it did not but you seem to be impervious to facts. If 300000 t were sent in 1942 and this already with several losses and in 1940 if we extrapolate to all year it reach 80000t what do you think it means? The tankers weren't operating.

quote:

had to resort to shipping POL to Libya in 44 gallon drums in regular merchant ships

No they had not to resort to that with the meaning you give to it. They made it because there was space and because it was in the ships that went to more dangerous ports or that didn't had facilities to unload oil in a speed way. You can even say they had to resort to submarines in mid 42 to transport oil, what does that means? nothing, the oil was transported to Bardia...that doesn't mean they didn't had tankers.
Maybe you can explain then the lack of operations about the tankers i listed.


You don't even see the massive contradictions between the first part of your "reply" ... that they didn't have enough tanker tonnage ... and the second ... that they had so much shipping capacity that they shipped POL in 44 gallon drums simply because they were awash in said capacity ... do you?

You can't have it both ways.

The fact was that they didn't have the shipping capacity to move any significant amount of oil back to Italy from the nonexistent and undrillable fields in Libya even if they'd wanted to. Which you don't seem to be able to grasp.

As for port capacities, the major Italian Port in North Africa, Tripoli, had the wharfage capacity to dock and unload *eight* cargo ships (not tankers, mind, *cargo* ships ... it's not 8 Cargo Ships and 8, or unlimited, Tankers ... it's 8 ships of any type) at one time (Nominal unloading capacity at the beginning of the war, 5000 tons per day. Actual unloading capacity 1700-2000 tons per day). This was not expandable in any timeframe available to them nor with any equipment available to them. Benghazi had a pre-war capacity of 1700-2500 tons per day, but this was rapidly reduced by RAF bombing to 750 tons per day.

As for the coastal ports, port capacity was generally low, usually less than 1000 tons per day. Usually much less. and these "ports" were almost always too small and/or the draught available to shallow for regular merchantment but, worse than nominal unloading capacity and ship size limitations, the Axis simply didn't have enough coastal lighterage available to move even those limited tonnages! And they were not only never able to increase the amount available, they were even unable to keep up with losses to the RAF, RN and other causes.

So, no, only Walt Disney would claim that they had so much capacity that they shipped POL in 44 gallon drums simply because they could, and not because of dire necessity.

Phil


< Message edited by aspqrz -- 3/1/2013 11:55:09 PM >


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