Biggest Defence Spending Increase In Decades...

Location
London
I often used to wonder why their WW2 kit was so crummy, because their tradition of engineering is good.
Several reasons - the industrial revolution came somewhat late in Italy, so a lot of that undoubted mass engineering expertise is more recent than you might think. Much of Italy was effectively a peasant economy until quite late.

Even when the war started Italian society wasn't properly deployed for the war effort.

The Italian war effort and equipment was laughably underfunded - Mussolini was asking for German kit, supplies, raw materials and energy supplies pretty much from the off. Mussolini had spent 20 years founding Italian strength on little more than bullshit and bluster - he was a journalist.

Italian soldiers were criminally underequipped - no great wonder that come the armistice of Sept 8 when they were supposed to join the allies most went home - "ritorno a casa" as the italians put it.

I remember (In Italy) the first time I ever saw some Italian WW2 tanks in an old newsreel of a military parade. I was something between shocked and amused - I know the British tanks were seriously lacking, but I'd rather go into battle in a Fiat cinquecento than one of those things.

Something on Italian tanks WW2 - may be an idea to support your jaw if not sitting down.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB2GINNs3Aw&app=desktop
 
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HMS_Dave

HMS_Dave

Über Member
Location
Midlands
Several reasons - the industrial revolution came somewhat late in Italy, so a lot of that undoubted mass engineering expertise is more recent than you might think. Much of Italy was effectively a peasant economy until quite late.

Even when the war started Italian society wasn't properly deployed for the war effort.

The Italian war effort and equipment was laughably underfunded - Mussolini was asking for German kit, supplies, raw materials and energy supplies pretty much from the off. Mussolini had spent 20 years founding Italian strength on little more than bullshit and bluster - he was a journalist.

Italian soldiers were criminally underequipped - no great wonder that come the armistice of Sept 8 when they were supposed to join the allies most went home - "ritorno a casa" as the italians put it.

I remember (In Italy) the first time I ever saw some Italian WW2 tanks in an old newsreel of a military parade. I was something between shocked and amused - I know the British tanks were seriously lacking, but I'd rather go into battle in a Fiat cinquecento than one of those things.

Something on Italian tanks WW2 - may be an idea to support your jaw if not sitting down.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB2GINNs3Aw&app=desktop
Indeed. Although Japanese tanks weren't much better... They made the Sherman tanks, which didn't really perform well when faced against German Armour, look like Tiger tanks in comparison.

British tanks were a mixed bag. The Matilda tank was well armoured and liked by both the Brits and the Russians. But was slow and had an underwhelming gun. The Churchill tank were much of the same. It came down to the way we equipped the divisions. They had "Infantry" tanks such as the Matilda, which were designed to keep pace with normal infantry and "Cruiser" tanks designed to flank at speed, such as the Crusader. The Crusader which fought mainly in North Africa wasn't well armoured but was quick and not very reliable... It is typical of the way we did and still do some things in this country. 🙄
As you say, against Italian tanks it was a pathetically mismatched. But when Rommel arrived with a Panzer Corps, that changed things and he had nothing but good things to say about the Italian soldier, but cursed their equipment and superiors...
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
Several reasons - the industrial revolution came somewhat late in Italy, so a lot of that undoubted mass engineering expertise is more recent than you might think. Much of Italy was effectively a peasant economy until quite late.

Even when the war started Italian society wasn't properly deployed for the war effort.

The Italian war effort and equipment was laughably underfunded - Mussolini was asking for German kit, supplies, raw materials and energy supplies pretty much from the off. Mussolini had spent 20 years founding Italian strength on little more than bullshit and bluster - he was a journalist.

Italian soldiers were criminally underequipped - no great wonder that come the armistice of Sept 8 when they were supposed to join the allies most went home - "ritorno a casa" as the italians put it.

I remember (In Italy) the first time I ever saw some Italian WW2 tanks in an old newsreel of a military parade. I was something between shocked and amused - I know the British tanks were seriously lacking, but I'd rather go into battle in a Fiat cinquecento than one of those things.

Something on Italian tanks WW2 - may be an idea to support your jaw if not sitting down.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB2GINNs3Aw&app=desktop
Possibly ALLL true, but they did do pretty well in the Schneider flying boat trophy. Britain won it eventually, but that was because the I talians were not quite ready. When their plane was ready it broke the air speed record. It has a contra-rotating propeller. So why were Italian aircraft engines so crummy?
 
Location
London
Possibly ALLL true, but they did do pretty well in the Schneider flying boat trophy. Britain won it eventually, but that was because the I talians were not quite ready. When their plane was ready it broke the air speed record. It has a contra-rotating propeller. So why were Italian aircraft engines so crummy?
Well speed isn't everything. I'm no expert on planes to put it mildly, but I do seem to recall that there's an italian WW2 plane in the RAF museum in Hendon and that it maybe gets credit for manoeuvrability but not much else.
The Italian airforce in WW2 also suffered from the same problems as the rest of the armed forces - not enough stuff, inability to churn out more and even maintain numbers due to insufficient industrial capacity, shortage of raw materials, shortage of power, inability to marshall the civilian population for warwork, 20 years of bullshit.

Anyway Italian plane engine maker Piaggio then came up with the Vespa, so all came good :smile:
 

Joey Shabadoo

My pronouns are "He", "Him" and "buggerlugs"
The Italian navy had some superb ships that totally outclassed the Royal Navy in the Mediteranean. Rarely put to sea though and got thumped by the RN when they did.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I must say I was a bit 'open mouthed' seeing last nights news about billions more going into defense at this moment. Any of Boris' mates shareholders in the key defense contractors per chance ?

Absolutely insane, who the F is going to pay, oops we are, or those that still have a job !:sad:
 

Landsurfer

Über Member
I must say I was a bit 'open mouthed' seeing last nights news about billions more going into defense at this moment. Any of Boris' mates shareholders in the key defense contractors per chance ?

Absolutely insane, who the F is going to pay, oops we are, or those that still have a job !:sad:
He needs to keep the Armed Forces on side for when he deploys them on to the streets to control the population of the UK ....
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
He needs to keep the Armed Forces on side for when he deploys them on to the streets to control the population of the UK ....
With some more stealth aircraft ! :laugh:
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Several reasons - the industrial revolution came somewhat late in Italy, so a lot of that undoubted mass engineering expertise is more recent than you might think. Much of Italy was effectively a peasant economy until quite late.

Even when the war started Italian society wasn't properly deployed for the war effort.

The Italian war effort and equipment was laughably underfunded - Mussolini was asking for German kit, supplies, raw materials and energy supplies pretty much from the off. Mussolini had spent 20 years founding Italian strength on little more than bullshit and bluster - he was a journalist.

Italian soldiers were criminally underequipped - no great wonder that come the armistice of Sept 8 when they were supposed to join the allies most went home - "ritorno a casa" as the italians put it.

I remember (In Italy) the first time I ever saw some Italian WW2 tanks in an old newsreel of a military parade. I was something between shocked and amused - I know the British tanks were seriously lacking, but I'd rather go into battle in a Fiat cinquecento than one of those things.

Something on Italian tanks WW2 - may be an idea to support your jaw if not sitting down.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB2GINNs3Aw&app=desktop
The Italian army was re-equipped in 1930s and not too bad for the era but swiftly outdated by developements. The one Italian piece of kit that all sides liked and used was the Beretta model 38 submachinegun, simply designed but crafted the old fashioned way.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
The idea that Britain has a strategic need that is separate from EU and NATO is daft. We cant afford the full spectrum of modern arms. We are stronger and more secure when allied to likeminded nations. A peaceful Europe is key to reducing our defence overheads and the EU is the cornerstone of Euopean peace.
Biden is already looking to France as the bridge nation to Europe. We are less important and weaker than many of us understand. Once Scotland and NI leaves, we will a disunited rump and in no way deserving of our permanent seat on the UN security council.
 
Location
London
The Italian navy had some superb ships that totally outclassed the Royal Navy in the Mediteranean. Rarely put to sea though and got thumped by the RN when they did.
Not sure about outclassing the royal navy in the med - Mussolini liked to push the idea of the Med being Mare Nostrum (our sea) but he couldn't control it. Had trouble keeping supplies to North Africa open. Yes they did stay in port a hell of a lot so not a lot of use. A large part of the reason for this a lot of the time was, incredible as it seems, shortage of fuel.
i don't really understand what you mean about italian ships outclassing the royal navy if, as you say, they tended to get thumped by the royal navy whenever they came out.
The Italian ship Roma came to a particularly sad end - in the chaos after September 8, when Italian forces were all over the place thanks to less than decisive leadership it got sank by the germans. It was supposed to deliver itself to the allies.
 
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