Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Italian Navy in WWII

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> Italian Navy in WWII Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Italian Navy in WWII - 12/4/2007 4:25:49 PM   
sprior


Posts: 8596
Joined: 6/18/2002
From: Portsmouth, UK
Status: offline
Does anyone know of any good books (in English please) about the Italian Navy's lead up to and involvement in WWII? I was looking through the scenario booklet for Avalanche Games' Bomb Alley and was surprised (a function of my ignorance not any doubt about the Regia Marina's willing to fight) about how much they actually did.

Edited for ignorance.

< Message edited by sprior -- 12/4/2007 4:29:56 PM >


_____________________________

"Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
"History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
- Nigel Molesworth.


Post #: 1
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/4/2007 5:37:39 PM   
HansBolter


Posts: 7704
Joined: 7/6/2006
From: United States
Status: offline
I beleive the single biggest battle they took part in was the Battle of Cape Matapan in which they suffered a decisive defeat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cape_Matapan

After that their desire for battle was much reduced and I cannot think of any battles of significance they participated in after that.

Some one else will have to fill you in on the details of any minor actions they might have been involved in after Matapan.

(in reply to sprior)
Post #: 2
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/4/2007 5:54:29 PM   
sprior


Posts: 8596
Joined: 6/18/2002
From: Portsmouth, UK
Status: offline
Yes, I know about Matapan and the Sirte Gulf actions and Taranto but what's missing is the sorties the Italian fleet made that came to nought, plus those fierce little convoy actions, both allied and axis, that are hard to track down.

_____________________________

"Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
"History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
- Nigel Molesworth.



(in reply to HansBolter)
Post #: 3
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/4/2007 6:25:41 PM   
Jevhaddah


Posts: 626
Joined: 11/24/2005
From: Scotland
Status: offline
I dont know if any of these are any good....

http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/9226/ww2.html
http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsStartMed.htm
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/9226/heroes.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regia_Marina
http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsItalianNavy.htm
http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsItalianNavy2.htm

Cheers

Jev

_____________________________

I am really quite mad yoo know!

(in reply to sprior)
Post #: 4
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/4/2007 8:59:45 PM   
Terminus


Posts: 41459
Joined: 4/23/2005
From: Denmark
Status: offline
Cape Spartivento (which came before Matapan) actually got the RN with battleship to battleship range of the RM, if I remember correctly. Only time that happened.

_____________________________

We are all dreams of the Giant Space Butterfly.

(in reply to Jevhaddah)
Post #: 5
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/4/2007 9:23:12 PM   
Nikademus


Posts: 25684
Joined: 5/27/2000
From: Alien spacecraft
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: sprior

Yes, I know about Matapan and the Sirte Gulf actions and Taranto but what's missing is the sorties the Italian fleet made that came to nought, plus those fierce little convoy actions, both allied and axis, that are hard to track down.


Try: The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940-43 by Jack Greene & Alessandro Massignani. Covers those little convoy battles you mentioned. Also check out Christopher Shores' Malta: The Hurricane Years 1940-41 and Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942. While the latter two sources focus primarily on day to day air actions, they also contain a sizable # of entries on the small convoy actions and document all of the British resupply efforts to Malta.

For a broader paintbrush, if interested which touches on the impact of said battles in relation to North Africa, try; The Path to Victory by Douglas Porch.

_____________________________


(in reply to sprior)
Post #: 6
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/4/2007 11:23:55 PM   
sprior


Posts: 8596
Joined: 6/18/2002
From: Portsmouth, UK
Status: offline
Thanks Nik

_____________________________

"Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
"History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
- Nigel Molesworth.



(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 7
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/6/2007 9:43:27 PM   
Big B

 

Posts: 4870
Joined: 6/1/2005
From: Old Los Angeles pre-1960
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: sprior

Does anyone know of any good books (in English please) about the Italian Navy's lead up to and involvement in WWII? I was looking through the scenario booklet for Avalanche Games' Bomb Alley and was surprised (a function of my ignorance not any doubt about the Regia Marina's willing to fight) about how much they actually did.

Edited for ignorance.

The best book on the subject (available in english) is The Italian Navy In WWII by Bragadin C_1957, Naval Institute Press.

It is a bit apologetic in tone (here and there), but its probably the only in-depth coverage from the Italian perspective - a very good read if you are interested in the subject.
You'll have to go to a used book store or a used book finder to get it.

Oh, and yes - the Italian Navy fought a good fight during WWII - they had nothing to be ashamed of.

B

< Message edited by Big B -- 12/6/2007 9:53:31 PM >

(in reply to sprior)
Post #: 8
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/6/2007 10:08:21 PM   
sprior


Posts: 8596
Joined: 6/18/2002
From: Portsmouth, UK
Status: offline
Thanks, Big B, I found it on Amazon for $19.95. I also ordered The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940-43 by Jack Greene & Alessandro Massignani as recommended by Nik too.

_____________________________

"Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
"History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
- Nigel Molesworth.



(in reply to Big B)
Post #: 9
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/6/2007 10:13:47 PM   
Big B

 

Posts: 4870
Joined: 6/1/2005
From: Old Los Angeles pre-1960
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: sprior

Thanks, Big B, I found it on Amazon for $19.95. I also ordered The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940-43 by Jack Greene & Alessandro Massignani as recommended by Nik too.

Funny, I was just going to post you an internet link to where you buy the book - when I saw you just ordered it!

When I got my copy years ago - I had to physically drive all over town to find it. Gotta' love e-shopping!

B

EDIT: By the way - I just got Bomb Alley as well for X-Mas, you should pick up Supermarina I as well http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/11428
- it's combat is better...but lacks Bomb Alley's maps, etc. The two can be used together with very little effort.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Big B -- 12/6/2007 10:28:14 PM >

(in reply to sprior)
Post #: 10
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/7/2007 7:16:15 AM   
wesy


Posts: 224
Joined: 2/10/2002
From: Berkeley, CA
Status: offline
I think I read that book in the 8th grade after playing AH "War at Sea". Damn - they loved fast destroyers and cruisers.

(in reply to Big B)
Post #: 11
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/7/2007 10:44:24 AM   
Gen.Hoepner


Posts: 3645
Joined: 9/4/2001
From: italy
Status: offline
Our Navy had very much of be ashamed of and i'm pretty sorry to say that.
If you know the story of our Navy you understand how many chances we did have to fight, if not at the same table, but at least with som pride against the RN...while we through everything away with our typical italian idiocy..

However Capo Matapan was just the final note of a tragic history, ended with the shame of the 8th sept 43 when we simply give to the brits at Malta our entire navy...
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/9226/ww2.html   This is a good site imho.
However, a very good book on the Italian Navy is "fucilate gli ammiragli" by G. Rocca, which is afaik not translated in english...however this book http://www.amazon.com/Italian-World-Contributions-Military-Studies/dp/031328797X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197016894&sr=8-3 took a lot from it and should be as good

_____________________________

[image]http://yfrog.com/2m70331348022314716641664j [/image]

(in reply to wesy)
Post #: 12
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/7/2007 5:13:47 PM   
sprior


Posts: 8596
Joined: 6/18/2002
From: Portsmouth, UK
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gen.Hoepner

Our Navy had very much of be ashamed of and i'm pretty sorry to say that.
If you know the story of our Navy you understand how many chances we did have to fight, if not at the same table, but at least with som pride against the RN...while we through everything away with our typical italian idiocy..

However Capo Matapan was just the final note of a tragic history, ended with the shame of the 8th sept 43 when we simply give to the brits at Malta our entire navy...
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/9226/ww2.html   This is a good site imho.
However, a very good book on the Italian Navy is "fucilate gli ammiragli" by G. Rocca, which is afaik not translated in english...however this book http://www.amazon.com/Italian-World-Contributions-Military-Studies/dp/031328797X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197016894&sr=8-3 took a lot from it and should be as good



I nearly bought that but the $120 price tag has kind of put a crimp in it.

_____________________________

"Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
"History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
- Nigel Molesworth.



(in reply to Gen.Hoepner)
Post #: 13
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/7/2007 6:08:23 PM   
Big B

 

Posts: 4870
Joined: 6/1/2005
From: Old Los Angeles pre-1960
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gen.Hoepner

Our Navy had very much of be ashamed of and i'm pretty sorry to say that.
If you know the story of our Navy you understand how many chances we did have to fight, if not at the same table, but at least with som pride against the RN...while we through everything away with our typical italian idiocy..

However Capo Matapan was just the final note of a tragic history, ended with the shame of the 8th sept 43 when we simply give to the brits at Malta our entire navy...
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/9226/ww2.html This is a good site imho.
However, a very good book on the Italian Navy is "fucilate gli ammiragli" by G. Rocca, which is afaik not translated in english...however this book http://www.amazon.com/Italian-World-Contributions-Military-Studies/dp/031328797X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197016894&sr=8-3 took a lot from it and should be as good

General, I would have to disagree with you in a way. I don't argue that Supermarina made some poor decisions and was at times too timid. I wouldn't argue that sea-air cooperation was dismal. Nor would I suggest that the Italian Navy did not operate under a tremendous handicap fighting the British without Radar.

But as for the fighting spirit and qualities of the men and ships, their willingness to undertake any danger - I believe they have nothing to hang their heads over. Had the Italian Navy had enough fuel to properly sortie all the units they needed on any given occasion (as the Allies did) they would have been much more effective.
There was a British wartime taunt that ran something like: " the British Navy likes it's rum, while the US Navy likes whiskey - the Italian Navy sticks mainly to port". It was meant, of course, as a jab at their valor - but what it really highlighted was their abysmal lack of fuel.

I would further point out that after their lowest ebb after Matapan in March 1941, when fuel stocks finally rose by by late 41- early 42, the Italian Navy was able to dominate the central Mediterranean again for some months. A look at the period of successes for Rommel's Afrika Korps is also synonymous with success for the Italian Navy - which allowed the supplies to get through to make Rommel effective.

So overall, I still don't think the Italian Navy has anything to hang it's head over - given their situation.

B

(in reply to Gen.Hoepner)
Post #: 14
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/7/2007 11:23:48 PM   
wesy


Posts: 224
Joined: 2/10/2002
From: Berkeley, CA
Status: offline
I'm not so sure...just my .02 cents (i'm not very knowledgeable about the Regiamarina):

I think it in part goes to doctrine/technology as well. Sure the Italians didn't have radar, but neither did the IJN, but they were able to win the vast majority of surface engagements against the ABD powers through late 1942. Japan was always handicapped by the lack of fuel. That's one of the reasons the Yamato stayed moored at Truk for much of the war. Sure the Med is different compared to SE Asia and the SW Pacific, but I think the Japanese had better doctrine in regards to rigor of training in general and night surfance engagements in particular, technical advantages over Italy (optics, fire control, torpedoes) as well. I'm not sure if Italy had a huge naval tradition like the British and the IJN (which is modeled after the RN). One thing that you should check out if you haven't already is the combinedfleet site's "Who the Baddest BB of them All"

Here's the link:

Baddest BB of them all


(in reply to Big B)
Post #: 15
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/7/2007 11:40:47 PM   
Big B

 

Posts: 4870
Joined: 6/1/2005
From: Old Los Angeles pre-1960
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: wesy

I'm not so sure...just my .02 cents (i'm not very knowledgeable about the Regiamarina):

I think it in part goes to doctrine/technology as well. Sure the Italians didn't have radar, but neither did the IJN, but they were able to win the vast majority of surface engagements against the ABD powers through late 1942. Japan was always handicapped by the lack of fuel. That's one of the reasons the Yamato stayed moored at Truk for much of the war. Sure the Med is different compared to SE Asia and the SW Pacific, but I think the Japanese had better doctrine in regards to rigor of training in general and night surfance engagements in particular, technical advantages over Italy (optics, fire control, torpedoes) as well. I'm not sure if Italy had a huge naval tradition like the British and the IJN (which is modeled after the RN). One thing that you should check out if you haven't already is the combinedfleet site's "Who the Baddest BB of them All"
Here's the link:
Baddest BB of them all

Hi,
There were many differences in circumstances between the Italian Navy and the IJN.
First, Japan was never handicapped by lack of fuel to the extent that Italy was (at least until late in the war).
The Japanese Navy's "victories" in 1942 were a product of good training and optics - yes; but they were also predominately a product of indispensable air superiority, and superior force to what the Allies had available at the time. You may also be surprised to read that in the DEI campaign's naval battles, the Japanese were often enough "surprised" at night as well.
The major difference in the fortunes of the two navies were the extent of successful maritime air power...the Japanese were proficient, whereas the Italians never developed the same degree of proficiency and most importantly - never operated under conditions of Undisputed Air Superiority (as the Japanese established for themselves in the first months of the war).

B

< Message edited by Big B -- 12/8/2007 12:42:56 AM >

(in reply to wesy)
Post #: 16
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/7/2007 11:44:05 PM   
Zap


Posts: 3631
Joined: 12/6/2004
From: LAS VEGAS TAKE A CHANCE
Status: online
WESY
"I think it in part goes to doctrine/technology as well. Sure the Italians didn't have radar, but neither did the IJN, but they were able to win the vast majority of surface engagements against the ABD powers through late 1942. Japan was always handicapped by the lack of fuel"

Yes I agree., I believe the Italians had the ability to have made a greater impact in the war in the mediterranian. It must have been their naval doctrine.

_____________________________


(in reply to wesy)
Post #: 17
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 5:01:52 AM   
Brady


Posts: 10701
Joined: 10/25/2002
From: Oregon,USA
Status: offline
A great book is also:Sea Devals, by Borgese, tells the story of the Italian Navy Comandos and thier exploits with the Chariots and other activaties.

_____________________________





Beta Team Member for:

WPO
PC
CF
AE
WiTE

Obi-wan Kenobi said it best: A lot of the reality we perceive depend on our point of view

(in reply to Zap)
Post #: 18
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 8:04:18 AM   
Alfred

 

Posts: 6685
Joined: 9/28/2006
Status: offline
To back up Big B's comments, one should note the actual performance of the Italian submarines operating out of Bordeaux.  Usually one only finds derogatory remarks about Italian submarines made by people who obviously are not aware of the amount of Allied tonnage sunk out of Bordeaux.  Nor of (1) the Italian submarine operations out of Malaya or (2) the long distance sub cargo trips to/from Japan.

Alfred

(in reply to Brady)
Post #: 19
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 8:12:16 AM   
Alfred

 

Posts: 6685
Joined: 9/28/2006
Status: offline
There was also a book, written from the Luftwaffe perspective about the lead up to the Stalingrad operation, titled IIRC "Stopped at Stalingrad", which commented very favourably on, and detailed the indispensable support provided by the Italian navy in blocking off Soviet resupply to Sevastapol,  which greatly assisted Manstein to capture the Crimea.

Alfred

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 20
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 10:36:46 AM   
wesy


Posts: 224
Joined: 2/10/2002
From: Berkeley, CA
Status: offline
In response to Big B -

Air superiority was not the case during the long slog of the Guadalcanal campaign. The surface engagements that took place were at night preciscely because the Japanese did not have air superiority around the solomons. The IJN was running the "Tokyo Express" down the slot. It wasn't until Nov 1942. when USN radar controlled gunfire was decisive. The scope of the PTO was huge in terms of physical distances compared to the "relatively" small med.

The Japanese fuel situation was also very problematic at this stage of the war...

Quotation from Combined Fleet.com -

"...In the fourth quarter of 1942, Japanese oil production (which was almost entirely concentrated in her conquered territories, such as the Indies) was 1,194,000 tons. Of that, only 643,000 tons made it to Japan (which is where practically all the refineries were), the rest being either lost to attack, or consumed in the conquered territories. So roughly 214,000 tons of oil per month was making it to Japan. However, the Imperial Navy alone was consuming about 305,000 tons of heavy oil (in the form of fuel oil) per month by this stage in the war (Parillo, p. 237). Keep that figure in mind: 305,000 tons.

Furthermore, by this time (October-November 1942) it must have been begining to become clear to the Japanese that the oilfields in Java and Sumatra were not going to be brought back into production at nearly the rate that pre-war estimates had counted on. The Dutch and their Allies had done a much more thorough job of demolition in the oilfields than the Japanese had hoped. This, coupled with the sinking of a transport filled with equipment and valuable refinery personnel, meant that Japanese efforts to get the production field back into production were doomed to be much slower than hoped by the Japanese military. The fact that the Imperial Navy had built up large stocks of petroleum before the was could not compensate for this sobering knowledge, especially given the high rate of fuel consumption thus far in the war. The week-long Battle of Midway alone had consumed more fuel than the Japanese Navy had ever used before in an entire year of peacetime operations (Willmott, "The Barrier and the Javelin")..."

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 21
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 5:36:19 PM   
Gen.Hoepner


Posts: 3645
Joined: 9/4/2001
From: italy
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gen.Hoepner

Our Navy had very much of be ashamed of and i'm pretty sorry to say that.
If you know the story of our Navy you understand how many chances we did have to fight, if not at the same table, but at least with som pride against the RN...while we through everything away with our typical italian idiocy..

However Capo Matapan was just the final note of a tragic history, ended with the shame of the 8th sept 43 when we simply give to the brits at Malta our entire navy...
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/9226/ww2.html This is a good site imho.
However, a very good book on the Italian Navy is "fucilate gli ammiragli" by G. Rocca, which is afaik not translated in english...however this book http://www.amazon.com/Italian-World-Contributions-Military-Studies/dp/031328797X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197016894&sr=8-3 took a lot from it and should be as good

General, I would have to disagree with you in a way. I don't argue that Supermarina made some poor decisions and was at times too timid. I wouldn't argue that sea-air cooperation was dismal. Nor would I suggest that the Italian Navy did not operate under a tremendous handicap fighting the British without Radar.

But as for the fighting spirit and qualities of the men and ships, their willingness to undertake any danger - I believe they have nothing to hang their heads over. Had the Italian Navy had enough fuel to properly sortie all the units they needed on any given occasion (as the Allies did) they would have been much more effective.
There was a British wartime taunt that ran something like: " the British Navy likes it's rum, while the US Navy likes whiskey - the Italian Navy sticks mainly to port". It was meant, of course, as a jab at their valor - but what it really highlighted was their abysmal lack of fuel.

I would further point out that after their lowest ebb after Matapan in March 1941, when fuel stocks finally rose by by late 41- early 42, the Italian Navy was able to dominate the central Mediterranean again for some months. A look at the period of successes for Rommel's Afrika Korps is also synonymous with success for the Italian Navy - which allowed the supplies to get through to make Rommel effective.

So overall, I still don't think the Italian Navy has anything to hang it's head over - given their situation.

B


Sorry mate but i have to disagree here.
Supermarina, but above all the admirals who led thier men on the seas, were mostly cowards, selfishing and incompetent.
So many times, before Matapan, we had the chance of fighting against RN at equal means. When the Brits came bombing Genova with their BBs for example...we simply did show how a "powerfull" navy can be useless when led by incompetents.
I'm not arguing that the sailors and all those who served under the Italian flag were cowards. Not at all!! We had some great men, willing to fight till the very end even against a more powerfull enemy...take the braves of the X-Mas (Decima Mas) for an overall example...i'm just saying that the whole italian military structure was crowded by people who didn't know how to fight a war...and that's true especially for the navy.
The only months where we "dominated" the central Med were when the Furher answered to our prayers and sent his Stukas to Sicily to bomb Malta and his U-Boots to the Med to sink the major RN ships...but alone we were not able to do anything (except for the special navy corps).
Just think that we had in the Med something like 115 subs during 1941...they didn't score a single hit on a capital ship...while the RN subs managed to sink thousands of tons of italian ships...

_____________________________

[image]http://yfrog.com/2m70331348022314716641664j [/image]

(in reply to Big B)
Post #: 22
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 5:43:30 PM   
Gen.Hoepner


Posts: 3645
Joined: 9/4/2001
From: italy
Status: offline
We didn't have any radar, yes. But while the absence of Radar is a common problem with the axis forces, the inability to develop a decent gunning training is something that we italians have to blame ourself.
Consider that to be able to bring 4 cargo ships to Tripoli in Dec. 41 we had to move our whole combat fleet because we weren't able to stop "force K" (2 cruisers and some 4 DDs) from raiding our priceless convoys to Libia...and it's simply unbelievable that the operation to bring these 4 cargos has been stopped and restarted 3 times because we simply feared too much Cunnigham's fleet...

Yes Brady, the Borghese's book is great! There are a lot of great books on the X-Mas...but i fear most of them aren't translated in english


_____________________________

[image]http://yfrog.com/2m70331348022314716641664j [/image]

(in reply to Gen.Hoepner)
Post #: 23
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 6:00:37 PM   
wesy


Posts: 224
Joined: 2/10/2002
From: Berkeley, CA
Status: offline
Another reason for us in the states to learn Italian!

(in reply to Gen.Hoepner)
Post #: 24
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 6:27:53 PM   
Gen.Hoepner


Posts: 3645
Joined: 9/4/2001
From: italy
Status: offline
I don't understand why they do not make a movie about the x-mas...the scene when the 6 operators, during the night of 17th Dec 1941, arrive in the Alexandria Harbour is simply great...De La Penna that places a 200kg of TNT under the Queen Elizabeth BB where Cunningham was sleeping...then they get cought and the interrogation starts...the Valiant BB that blows up....then it's the turn of the Queen Elizabeth with the Admiral aboard...simply awesome!
And then in 1945 the same Morgan, the captain of the Valiant, will put the medal of honour on the chest of De La Penne...really a great story imho!


_____________________________

[image]http://yfrog.com/2m70331348022314716641664j [/image]

(in reply to wesy)
Post #: 25
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 6:41:22 PM   
06 Maestro


Posts: 3989
Joined: 10/12/2005
From: Nevada, USA
Status: offline
Gen Hoepner

You may be just a little too harsh on the Italian navy. In 3 years and 3 months they maintained a credible threat to any Allied ventures. There were multiple actions in which RN ships were straddled by Italian fire-the British were sometimes, just plain lucky. The Italian navy also had to contend with the Allies knowing of shipping schedules because of the German code having been broken by the Brits. The one big chance they had to even the score, by invading Malta in '42, was thrown away by the Germans (including everyones darling, Rommel).

I am not implying that the Italian Navy could not have put up a better fight, but that they could have done much, much worse. They clearly had some very competent leaders in the ranks someplace.

(in reply to wesy)
Post #: 26
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 8:00:45 PM   
sprior


Posts: 8596
Joined: 6/18/2002
From: Portsmouth, UK
Status: offline
This about sums it up for me:

"The Italian Navy has for the most part excellent qualities, which should enable it to stand up to the best navies in the world. It is too bad its High Command lacks decision."

- Admiral Canaris


_____________________________

"Grown ups are what's left when skool is finished."
"History started badly and hav been geting steadily worse."
- Nigel Molesworth.



(in reply to 06 Maestro)
Post #: 27
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 9:45:49 PM   
Nikademus


Posts: 25684
Joined: 5/27/2000
From: Alien spacecraft
Status: offline
The "not enough fuel" reasoning was, and remains a highly controversial topic. The first book I mentioned on the recommendation list goes into it in considerable detail, including the regular German fuel shipments to Italy and the head scratching that it caused in their quarters whenever Supermarina continued to turn down German requests for action based on "lack of fuel". I believe the Italians did indeed suffer shortages but ultimately in sum, it wouldn't have prevented action to the degree that some ex-Officers have suggested. In the end, the Italians suffered from that great bane of all capital ship builders, including both those who have greater resources as well as those with limited resources. i.e. "My expensive shiny battle fleet is too valuable to risk unless the odds are totally stacked in my favor"....a phenomenum so very prevalient during WWI. (formally called the "Fleet in Being" concept)

When it came to low cost operations however, the Italians were as brave as any other navy hence they scored a few notable successes (after repeated tries) when utilizing MTB's, X-MAS and SLC's. The Italians were however wise to avoid night actions with the RN since the former had developed a good doctrine for fighting during that time period and were aided by radar. The Italians as mentioned lacked radar but also had not established a night fighting doctrine and were woefully unprepared to fight a night battle in general.

Ultimately while the Italians scored some notable tactical successes and enjoyed a period in early/mid 42 where they able to get their small convoys through to N.A. with minimal interference (though with considerable German assistance which often does not get mentioned), they never dominated the Med. in the way originally envisioned pre-war. The RN, while suffering low ebbs...(again, especially during early 42 with her resources stretched as taunt as they'd get), was never eliminated entirely as a threat and Malta's eventual survival ensured that the costly interdiction of Rommel's supplies would continue.

< Message edited by Nikademus -- 12/8/2007 10:10:12 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to Gen.Hoepner)
Post #: 28
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 11:19:22 PM   
Big B

 

Posts: 4870
Joined: 6/1/2005
From: Old Los Angeles pre-1960
Status: offline
In regards to the fuel shortage, from Bragadin, pages 188-191;
"The Italian Navy calculated it would take 200,000 tons of fuel per month to obtain complete freedom of movement at sea, However, with limitations progressively imposed by lack of sufficient supplies, the navy had been forced to accept a consumption factor of one half of that originally foreseen. 100,000 tons a month, therefore, was the basic figure advanced in the negotiations with Germany for supplies after the Italian war reserve had been exhausted by the summer of 1941. In actual practice, despite the agreement with Germany and the continued pressure of Supermarina, the shipments of fuel were always less than and frequently far below the necessary minimum."
"In spite of agreements made with the Germans following the meeting at Merano, the Italian Navy received scarcely 38,810 tons of fuel oils during the second quarter of 1941. Consequently it was necessary to introduce new limitations on naval movements. Consumption, which in the first quarter of 1941 had been 348,230 tons, was reduced in the second quarter to 297,327, and in the third quarter to 266,865 tons. This last figure ment an average consumption of less than 90,000 tons a month. No further reductions were bearable - except at the cost of intolerable limitation on operational activity. In spite of all requests, however, only 64,703 tons arrived during the summer quarter of 1941, even as the pre-war reserve was running out. As a result of the dwindling fuel supply such a crisis developed at the end of September that the operations of the Italian Fleet were cut down to a fearfully low level for almost two months, precisely during the period of the first battle of the convoys when it was most necessary that the fleet enjoy maximum freedom of movement."

He goes on documenting a fuel shortage situation that gets progressively worse (though I won't type it all out) - and they eventually were reduced to retiring capital ships and cruisers - as they have to drain their fuel bunkers to provide fuel for the corvettes and other convoy escorts later in the war.

I know Japan faced a serious fuel shortage due to tanker losses and therefore had to station large fleet units not in Japan but in the SRA where the fuel supply was, but I don't recall that they had to retire major fleet units just to provide some operating fuel for DE's and the like...certainly not for the majority of the war.

B

< Message edited by Big B -- 12/8/2007 11:24:23 PM >

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 29
RE: Italian Navy in WWII - 12/8/2007 11:50:27 PM   
Big B

 

Posts: 4870
Joined: 6/1/2005
From: Old Los Angeles pre-1960
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: 06 Maestro

Gen Hoepner

You may be just a little too harsh on the Italian navy. In 3 years and 3 months they maintained a credible threat to any Allied ventures. There were multiple actions in which RN ships were straddled by Italian fire-the British were sometimes, just plain lucky. The Italian navy also had to contend with the Allies knowing of shipping schedules because of the German code having been broken by the Brits. The one big chance they had to even the score, by invading Malta in '42, was thrown away by the Germans (including everyones darling, Rommel).

I am not implying that the Italian Navy could not have put up a better fight, but that they could have done much, much worse. They clearly had some very competent leaders in the ranks someplace.

One other thing to consider was that not only was the British Royal Navy a world class opponent (and no shame in losing a fight to), but outside of Italy's Pearl Harbor and Savo Island (Taranto and Matapan), the Italian Navy suffered no stinging defeats at British hands either...and by that I mean in fleet actions.

(in reply to 06 Maestro)
Post #: 30
Page:   [1] 2   next >   >>
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> Italian Navy in WWII Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.279