Not neutral, just not an actively participating in the war. Think if Italy could have been the connection between Germany and Japan once Japan attacked the Allies. Rubber from Malaya going to Germany, weapons and technology returning. Torpedo armed Kates flying from France to attack convoys in the Atlantic - equipped with German homing torpedoes! Emilys flying patrol over the North Atlantic! Actual German engines being supplied to Japan instead of the Japanese trying to copy them plus trying to improve on them. Italian ports supplying German raiders, receiving captured Allies ships with their cargo . . .
The Allies never knowing if Italy would declare war . . .
As said this is a different question to the OP but I'm always happy to debate WWII.
Problem with what you are suggesting. Do you believe that because they were neutral the British would not continue to blockade Italy to ensure such equipment and strategic raw materials aren't delivered? And as soon as the slightest whiff that Italy was being used as some kind of staging post is gained (and any ship would have to move through Suez or Gib) then all bets are off anyway. Neutral countries couldn't do what they liked without compromising their neutral status
Really? How about the United States? The USS Yorktown escorting convoys? The Reuban James?
Ships could with questionable cargoes could have loaded/unloaded in Spain, then transferring it to the other side bypassing the Rock.
Some of that cargo could have been used by Italy so how can the British tell?
Would Britain want to antagonize Italy into going to war and being perceived as an aggressor nation by the US? If Britain did antagonize Italy into going to war, then what would have stopped Italy from having an immediate air/sea invasion of the Rock as well as Malta?
BTW, Spain was doing some but not all of that.
Really? Yes really - unless we are talking about different things I don't understand where you are coming from.
Are you comparing the USA with Italy? The USA were assisting the British as much as Roosevelt could - whereas Italy was a member of the Pact of Steel that bordered Germany. I don't know what Yorktown or Reuben James has to do with the point of whether the British would allow unrestricted imports to Italy by sea.
The USS Yorktown and its escorts violated the US Neutrality act by escorting British convoys. That was against US Law.
The Reuban James was harassing a U-Boat - which then launched torpedoes and the Reuban James sank. Said harassment was an act of war. It was US policy under Roosevelt to do so.
There were many other instances of the US violation of the Neutrality Act which could have constituted acts of war. That would not have sat well with the US public.
Re Spain, yes there was some export of goods to Germany (through France) but do you know of the diplomatic pressure that was put on Spain not to ally with Germany by both the British and US?
True, Spain did not ally with Germany. But the Spanish Blue divisions did serve on the Eastern front, U-Boats were rearmed and refueled in Spain.
How would the British know? You were talking of flocks of Kates and Emilys.... Yes, I think they'd know, not to mention intelligence and Ultra. And YES Italy (and Spain) acting like would not be the actions of a neutral country. Ships coming from Japan would not be allowed to simply enter Spain or go through Suez or Gib unchecked.
Those were aircraft of types that the Germans either did not have or have enough of. Plans, tools, dies, and a few examples were all that would have been needed. Before Germany attacked the Soviet Union, Japan might but probably would not have sent them that way. Of course, the items for the Kates could have been sent before the war.
You think Italy had the capability to seize Malta - and Gibraltar?
Yes, by surprise. It has been discussed elsewhere but think of it happening within minutes of the declaration of war. A ship or three disembarking highly trained soldiers right onto the docks . . .
Yes, Italy could have pulled what the Germans did for Norway, ships loaded with troops. A passenger steamer with apparent civilians to be seen while soldiers in uniform get ready to disembark. Seize the dock area while a passenger plane or three is landing with soldiers on board to grab an airport while more aircraft are getting ready to land. If done at night, there already could be "tourists" landed going to prepositioned weapons, ammunition, uniforms, and other supplies needed to then take predetermined objectives.
< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 8/2/2020 4:26:51 PM >
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