The Italian Army in North Africa: A Poor Fighting Force or Doomed by Circumstance

The Italian Army in North Africa: A Poor Fighting Force or Doomed by Circumstance

by Walter Zapotoczny Jr.

Hardcover

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Overview

When most people think of the Italian Army in North Africa during the Second World War, they tend to believe that the average Italian soldier offered little resistance to the Allies before surrendering. Many believe the Italian Army, as a whole, performed in a cowardly manner in North Africa. The reality is not so simple. The question remains as to whether the Italians were really cowards or actually victims of circumstance. While the Italian soldier's commitment to the war was not as great as that of the German soldier, many Italians fought bravely. The Italian Littorio and Ariete Divisions earned Allied admiration at Tobruk, Gazala, and EI Alamein. The Italian Army played a significant role as part of the German Afrika Korps and made up a large portion of the Axis combat power in North Africa during 1941 and 1942. In the interest of determining how the Italian Army earned the reputation that it did, it is necessary to analyze why and how the Italians fought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781556740
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Publication date: 09/20/2018
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Walter S. Zapotoczny Jr. is an award-winning writer and editor with over 25 years’ experience producing many different types of copy. He is the author of over 150 published articles and three books. Walter is a contributing writer and reviewer for several international publications. He is a former historian with the US Army, specializing is military history, Holocaust studies and events that transcend single states, regions and cultures. A native of Pennsylvania, Walter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in world military history and a Master of Arts with honors in global history from American Public University.

Table of Contents

Preface 5

Timeline of the Italian Army in North Africa 9

Introduction 11

1 The Abyssinia Crisis 15

2 Italy Conquers and Annexes Ethiopia 18

3 The Italian Army Before World War II 20

4 Italian Units in North Africa 23

5 British Commonwealth Forces Attack the Italians 44

6 The Germans Arrive in Africa 53

7 The British Eighth Army Campaign to Relieve the Siege of Tobruk 56

8 The First Battle of El Alamein 73

9 The Second Battle of El Alamein 85

10 British-United States Invasion of French North Africa 107

11 The Battle of El Agheila 111

12 The Battle of Tunisia 115

13 Analysis of Italian Army Performance in North Africa 120

Epilogue 130

Endnotes 132

Appendix I X Italian Corps Order of Battle: As of August 22, 1942 150

Appendix II XX Italian Corps Order of Battle: As of August 22, 1942 155

Appendix III XXI Italian Corps Order of Battle: As of August 22, 1942 164

Appendix IV XXII Italian Corps Order of Battle: As of August 22, 1942 168

Appendix V XXIII Italian Corps Order of Battle: As of August 22, 1942 169

Appendix VI Italian Army Vehicles and Weapons Used in North Africa 173

Appendix VII Italian Tropical Uniform 177

Bibliography 179

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