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WWII - Axis Leaders
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NOTE: I split this discussion from the original (Flight Sim skins and 3D drawings) since it represents a different thread.
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Jeff: I don't think it would have changed the outcome of WWII, just delayed events. I'm reading Ciano's diary and you get a real sense of how much of an effect the Spanish Civil War (and also the Ethiopian War to a smaller extent) had on Italian finances. Although you read this fact in passing you don't realize how much it mattered to them forcing Ciano to declare Italy bankrupt on the eve of WWII. The Italians were much more involved in Spain than any other country and won that war for Franco but in doing so crippled the Italian economy - they were fighting the Spanish (Republicans), USSR (directly), Britain and France (indirectly). Mussolini explained to Hitler that he needed 3-6 yrs to rebuild the Italian economy in 1938 (ie., no wars). Britain btw was rearming as early as 1937 (this is not what we read in textbooks). It was incredible they lasted as long as they did and still managed to introduce competitive designs, in all their military equipment.


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Editor wrote:
Stormo isn't going anywhere, in fact will likely to expand to the RE through another site at some point. 3D renderings of those two planes would be terrific! Artwork is allot of work, especially when you take into consideration accurate detailing! Stormo C.202 decal sheet took 3 months.
Glad to hear that! If learning 3-D takes too much time hopefully my 2-D renderings should be evocative; 2007 & 2008 aircraft should be depicted in post-war Aeronautica Militare livery though would entertain camouflaging them rather than in aluminum paint.
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Retired In Kalifornia wrote:
Knew the original F-86 design was straight wing, surmised Longhi likely knew about the F-86 including subsequent swept-wing work. Sad neither the 2007 or 2008 didn't go beyond paper; Italy would had been forefront in fighter design albeit a short while. I've not seen anything else regarding the 2008 over the last 21 years other than what I'd posted above, still looking...

JeffZ wrote:
Jonathan Thompson says in his introduction that the Allies were fortunate that many of these designs didn't make it off the drawing board or more importantly that those that did weren't constructed in sufficient numbers.

Editor wrote:
Jeff: I don't think it would have changed the outcome of WWII, just delayed events. I'm reading Ciano's diary and you get a real sense of how much of an effect the Spanish Civil War (and also the Ethiopian War to a smaller extent) had on Italian finances. Although you read this fact in passing you don't realize how much it mattered to them forcing Ciano to declare Italy bankrupt on the eve of WWII. The Italians were much more involved in Spain than any other country and won that war for Franco but in doing so crippled the Italian economy - they were fighting the Spanish (Republicans), USSR (directly), Britain and France (indirectly). Mussolini explained to Hitler that he needed 3-6 yrs to rebuild the Italian economy in 1938 (ie., no wars). Britain btw was rearming as early as 1937 (this is not what we read in textbooks). It was incredible they lasted as long as they did and still managed to introduce competitive designs, in all their military equipment.

June 1935 when Stanley Baldwin again became Prime Minister U.K. rearmament finally reached forefront after a decade of failed disarmament diplomacy; Mussolini already posed a threat to British African colonies never mind Hitler rising to power, nick of time for sure here!

Even with limited industrial capacity Italy could had built a small fleet of four-engine strategic bombers (Piaggio P.108s or license-built Boeing B-17Cs) if for nothing else to intimidate the Brits & French around the Mediterranean by 1940, even license-built Dornier Do.19s, imagine them (Do.19s) buzzing the lake late 1937 before Hurricane MK.1s entered U.K. service, Chamberlain's Whitehall surely would had thoughts other than appeasing dictators never mind that PM by then!

Aside from that "what if" fantasy my pet one remains getting the Macchi C.202 in squadron service by 1940, wholly possible IMHO, Italy with enough of them would had given Empire Spitfires & Hurricanes lotta headaches early in the war, enough maybe to threaten RAF Home Defense readiness during the Battle of Britain, fortunately for the Allies that fantasy didn't happen either.


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Retired In Kalifornia wrote:
Retired In Kalifornia wrote:
Knew the original F-86 design was straight wing, surmised Longhi likely knew about the F-86 including subsequent swept-wing work. Sad neither the 2007 or 2008 didn't go beyond paper; Italy would had been forefront in fighter design albeit a short while. I've not seen anything else regarding the 2008 over the last 21 years other than what I'd posted above, still looking...

JeffZ wrote:
Jonathan Thompson says in his introduction that the Allies were fortunate that many of these designs didn't make it off the drawing board or more importantly that those that did weren't constructed in sufficient numbers.

Editor wrote:
Jeff: I don't think it would have changed the outcome of WWII, just delayed events. I'm reading Ciano's diary and you get a real sense of how much of an effect the Spanish Civil War (and also the Ethiopian War to a smaller extent) had on Italian finances. Although you read this fact in passing you don't realize how much it mattered to them forcing Ciano to declare Italy bankrupt on the eve of WWII. The Italians were much more involved in Spain than any other country and won that war for Franco but in doing so crippled the Italian economy - they were fighting the Spanish (Republicans), USSR (directly), Britain and France (indirectly). Mussolini explained to Hitler that he needed 3-6 yrs to rebuild the Italian economy in 1938 (ie., no wars). Britain btw was rearming as early as 1937 (this is not what we read in textbooks). It was incredible they lasted as long as they did and still managed to introduce competitive designs, in all their military equipment.

June 1935 when Stanley Baldwin again became Prime Minister U.K. rearmament finally reached forefront after a decade of failed disarmament diplomacy; Mussolini already posed a threat to British African colonies never mind Hitler rising to power, nick of time for sure here!

Even with limited industrial capacity Italy could had built a small fleet of four-engine strategic bombers, e.g. Piaggio P.108s or license-built Boeing B-17Cs, even license-built Dornier Do.19s, to intimidate the Brits & French around the Mediterranean. Imagine Do.19s "buzzing the lake" late 1937 before Hurricane MK.Is entered U.K. service, Chamberlain's Whitehall absolutely would had thoughts other than appeasing dictators never mind by that PM!

Aside from that "what if" fantasy my pet one remains getting the Macchi C.202 in squadron service by 1940, wholly possible IMHO. Italy with enough of them surely would had given Empire Spitfires & Hurricanes lotta headaches early in the war enough possibly to threaten RAF Home Defense readiness before the Battle of Britain, fortunately for the Allies this fantasy didn't happen either.


I'd also add if the Reggiane Re.2000 had been licensed to the Brits how irritatingly ironic they'd been pitted against C.202s over North Africa & Mediterranean never mind against East African Regia Aeronautica units.
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JeffZ
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Editor wrote:
Jeff: I don't think it would have changed the outcome of WWII, just delayed events.


They were winning the battle of the Central Mediterranean by mid-1942?
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Jeff: yes that's true but the US hadn't entered the fight yet (not fully anway). With German help the Italians would have eventually pushed the British out of AS. If you read day-to-day accounts over and around Malta for example what you see is a picture of RA patrols of 6-8 aircraft that would intercept a similar number of RAF/Commonwealth aircraft in 1941-42. When the US entered the fray these RA patrols of 6-8 aircraft began encountering groups of up to 60+US planes at a time. And these US planes weren't second-rate planes, but P-38s, Mustangs, P-40s, Marauders, Bostons, B-24s etc. Of course the situation always improved when the Luftwaffe helped out. The same thing happened on the ground, in 1942 very large numbers of Grants and Sherman's (with good guns + armor) appeared that gave even DAK all kinds of trouble. Mussolini never considered the US an enemy and so why did they declare war on the US? answer: fulfilling an Axis obligation and Mussolini didn't think they would ever need to fight the US since by the end of 1941 it looked like they may indeed win and the war would be over soon. Frank Joseph in MUSSOLINI'S WAR gives a very good account of why Mussolini took this gamble, against his better judgement. The world owes the US a huge debt of gratitude because they decisively tipped the balance of power once and for all against the Axis.

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If Mussolini stayed neutral 1938 Munich Hitler would had been enraged but Musso's "card" was helping Franco and if Italy & Spain allied as Mediterranean neutrals both could had avoided British & American economic boycotts even been "friendly" to Allied powers never mind keeping their colonial lands. Hitler soon would had cut-off everything Germany could had provided in the way of material & tech transfer resources to Italy but pulling out of Spain would had been politically catastrophic assuming Franco still gained power before 1940.

The Mediterranean wasn't critical to Hitler's all-consuming fixation of taking out the Soviet Union other than preventing the Brits & French providing war support via the Dardanelles. No North African Campaign certainly would had expedited Operation Barbarosa assuming Mussolini didn't invade Greece never mind Albania, interesting indeed speculating what types of military equipment Italy alternatively would had developed & employed if readily not had entered WWII.
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Retired In Kalifornia wrote:


June 1935 when Stanley Baldwin again became Prime Minister U.K. rearmament finally reached forefront after a decade of failed disarmament diplomacy; Mussolini already posed a threat to British African colonies never mind Hitler rising to power, nick of time for sure here!

Aside from that "what if" fantasy my pet one remains getting the Macchi C.202 in squadron service by 1940, wholly possible IMHO, Italy with enough of them would had given Empire Spitfires & Hurricanes lotta headaches early in the war, enough maybe to threaten RAF Home Defense readiness during the Battle of Britain, fortunately for the Allies that fantasy didn't happen either.


J. Lee Ready says the same thing in World War Two, Nation by Nation (excellent reference), ie., could you imagine if Mussolini had 20,000 C.202s (that's how many Spitfires were built in WWII)? While the British were quickly rearming, the Italians were fighting in Ethiopia and Spain, hence why most of its programs including more and better tanks and planes were delayed, there just wasn't money. Italy actually produced fewer planes in WWII than WWI, with a far larger aviation industry.

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Retired In Kalifornia wrote:

No North African Campaign certainly would had expedited Operation Barbarosa assuming Mussolini didn't invade Greece never mind Albania, interesting indeed speculating what types of military equipment Italy alternatively would had developed & employed if readily not had entered WWII.


The German view on Greece was that Italy would have eventually prevailed on their own, what prompted them into action was the British involvement in their southern flank. It didn't affect their time table for Barbarossa as is often claimed and J. Keegan says Spring that year was unusually wet so the Germans wouldn't have moved anyway and the Greek campaign only lasted one month. The bottom line is that the Germans couldn't beat the USSR. Even if they took Moscow in 1941 the Russians were still prepared to carry on the fight, and the Germans could go no further. After the Germans failed to take Moscow in 1941 the Russians (Zhukov) launched a counter offensive that almost resulted in a total route of the Germans. btw although Germany and Italy declared war on the US in 1941 when Japan hit Pearl Harbour, the Japanese did not declare war on Russia (they should have). Once the Russians were sure Japan would not strike the USSR they released their Eastern Army onto the Germans. By 1943 Kursk the war was over. At the end of WWII the Soviet Army was formidable and if they kept rolling west I don't believe there was much the western powers could do to stop them (most historians agree on this point) short of nuking them.

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Editor wrote:
Retired In Kalifornia wrote:

No North African Campaign certainly would had expedited Operation Barbarosa assuming Mussolini didn't invade Greece never mind Albania, interesting indeed speculating what types of military equipment Italy alternatively would had developed & employed if readily not had entered WWII.


The German view on Greece was that Italy would have eventually prevailed on their own, what prompted them into action was the British involvement in their southern flank. It didn't affect their time table for Barbarossa as is often claimed and J. Keegan says Spring that year was unusually wet so the Germans wouldn't have moved anyway and the Greek campaign only lasted one month. The bottom line is that the Germans couldn't beat the USSR. Even if they took Moscow in 1941 the Russians were still prepared to carry on the fight, and the Germans could go no further. After the Germans failed to take Moscow in 1941 the Russians (Zhukov) launched a counter offensive that almost resulted in a total route of the Germans. btw although Germany and Italy declared war on the US in 1941 when Japan hit Pearl Harbour, the Japanese did not declare war on Russia (they should have). Once the Russians were sure Japan would not strike the USSR they released their Eastern Army onto the Germans. By 1943 Kursk the war was over. At the end of WWII the Soviet Army was formidable and if they kept rolling west I don't believe there was much the western powers could do to stop them (most historians agree on this point) short of nuking them.


Rommel's DAK Operations Chief Siegfried Westphal flatly stated in The World At War Episode 8 Desert War: "The task of the German African army [DAK] was only to tie down as many British troops [possible] and to cover the southern flank of Europe. We never had [the] intention to conquer Egypt or to cross the Suez Canal." Considering this startling frank admission by a high-ranking WWII Wehrmacht participant live recorded over 45 years ago of DAK's true strategic purpose combined with assertions made by some WWII historians I've read over the last 50 years notably William Shirer in 1990 pertaining to 1940-41 Axis Mediterranean Theatre Operations, having to check Allied forces in the Mediterranean IMHO were factors albeit minor in delaying Barbarosa's launch set for May 15, 1941 bad weather being just one more.

John Toland's Adolf Hitler (later Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, 1976) which I have an original first printing makes plain how livid Der Führer was over Mussolini's Mediterranean regional invasions, Yugoslavia certainly did directly contribute towards delaying Barbarosa but his (Mussolini's) 1940-41 invasions must had taken its toll on Wehrmacht force availability when Barbarosa got underway. No matter as you say, the Soviets were going to prevail in the East U.S.A. material support just adding to how quickly.
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You need to be careful with some of these sources especially those printed in the UK, they use tons of anonymous sources (the old Ballantine and Time-Life books are the worst, what I refer to as tabloid history). This is from Kershaw/Cameron and Stevens:

In his private correspondence in April 1942, Hitler said: "It is equally impossible to imagine what might have happened if the Italian front had not been stabilized in Albania, thanks to Mussolini; the whole of the Balkans would have been set alight at a moment when our advance towards the southeast was still in its early stages." Hitler goes on to say that the easy fight the Germans had in Greece was because most of the Greek troops were facing the Italians (and btw outnumbered them by a good margin).

Hitler did try to stop the invasion of Greece although he was too late but did indicate that Greece was in the Italian sphere of influence and that the Greeks were actively working against Mussolini's government from 1938 and even imploring Britain to attack Italy in that same year.

Von Rintelen said that although the diversion of German resources into Greece just prior to the attack on the Soviet Union did little for the latter operation, Italy's invasion of Greece did not undermine Barbarossa before the operation started. Instead, Italy's invasion of Greece was to have consequences for its ongoing campaign in North Africa. Italy would have been in a better position to execute its North African campaign had it initially occupied Tunis and Malta.

I think it was in an Osprey publication where the author (really the publisher), wrote that while Italian bombers bombed Malta, British women on the island continued to tan (yes sun tan lol) as 500lb bombs rained down around them. The idea was that Italian bombs (bombers) were ineffectual - a joke. The problem with that statement was that they forgot to mention where the men had gone (hiding?) and it just underlines the utter stupidity of British histories in general (not all). English historians are no less uncharitable to US GIs.
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I'd stepped on amin123 thread way too much so will suspend further discussion...still hard-hugging my Macchi C.202 in squadron service by early 1940 "what if" fantasy, more FROGs yet to build!
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Great discussion, its been a while since I've seen this kind of discussion on stormo. I think British historians fail to recognize that only two superpowers emerged from WWII: the USA and the USSR. British historians have been "uncharitable" not just to US service men and women but to the Russians, the French and even the Germans claiming often they had no chance to win against them, even without the help of the US or the USSR - I don't think there are many who believe that bit of nonsense.
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Arditi1961 wrote:
Great discussion, its been a while since I've seen this kind of discussion on stormo. I think British historians fail to recognize that only two superpowers emerged from WWII: the USA and the USSR. British historians have been "uncharitable" not just to US service men and women but to the Russians, the French and even the Germans claiming often they had no chance to win against them, even without the help of the US or the USSR - I don't think there are many who believe that bit of nonsense.


Glad I'd contributed though must get around directly reading more 20th Century historical works pre-1960 (old enough then to make sense of "living history") rather than reading Wikipedia summaries & quote lifts.

William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (1960) was bookshelf reference for WWII history buffs here in the States for decades, many others regarding the Third Reich have been published since but need to do comparative evaluations which of them are worth considering sans David Irving. John Toland's Adolf Hitler made riveting reading over & over, only biography about Hitler I've read to date that wasn't psychoanalysis but still came short comprehending the deep evil of the man; read this 2016 Archives of Clinical Psychiatry article: Deconstructing the myth of Pasewalk: Why Adolf Hitler’s psychiatric treatment at the end of World War I bears no relevance regarding Hitler's psychiatric treatment whist at Pasewalk;



Sadly have yet to do serious reading about Mussolini, must get to it as well.
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Richard, you're an intellectual of history Smile! the discipline could certainly use more of it! Boiling down Mussolini, he was quite rational and not the buffoon that he is often portrayed to be; Nicholas Farrell in his biography opens with this view of him. Although you'd get some that would disagree, Hitler was probably a product of his environment.

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WWII - Axis Leaders
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