Why was the Italian Army weak in World War II?

Italian Soldiers World War II

When it comes to the analysis of the Italian Military’s involvement in World War II, one would realize their military aspect was mainly controlled by external factors which should not have been.

Italy joined the war at that time as one of the major players in the war. At that point, the French had already surrendered and the aim of the Italian army was to make sure of it that they defeated the United Kingdom’s force in all axis, especially in Africa. 

Failed Strategy during World War II

At the initial point of this strategy, they recorded massive success when they had to bomb Palestine, they trooped into Egypt and also occupied the segment that the British were in Somaliland.

At the same time, Germany and Japanese forces saw the entry of America in the war and this frustrated the agenda of Italy to make sure that Italy entered a peace settlement negotiation at that time.

The prime dictator of Italy whose name was Benito Mussolini had no more interest in continuing the feud, it was apparent that they were limited in their resources at the looming war, but he kept still with his position in the war when he nurtured the mindset of restoring the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean.

How weak was Italy in WWII then? During this time too, the Italian armies were contested by some insurgencies at that time with the predominant ones being that of Greece and Yugoslav. The insurgencies fought the war against the forces of Italy all over the Mediterranean. Subsequently, the Italian Empire was defeated in a number of places.

In the year 1943, the Allied forces invaded Sicily and Benito Mussolini was arrested, this led to a civil war. The military outside of Peninsula Gulf eventually collapsed at that time too. In the year 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide and after that Benito Mussolini was also executed.

What exactly led to the weakness of the Italian forces?

The first thing to note about the weakness of the Italian forces in the World War 2 was the fact that most of the failures and weakness could be associated with the weaknesses of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini respectively. 

There was a pact that was entered into by Germany, Italy and Japan and the reason for the pact was that they agreed that none would venture into the war at that time until the year 1943. Hitler started the war prior to that time and Mussolini followed suit too.

Why was Italy so weak in WWII then? The major reason was the Italian forces started with limited supplies, made poor decisions in deployment of troops in Africa, and was lacking in terms of technology. They had limited aircraft at that time and when it comes to using those to wage war against the United Kingdom’s navy, it was a no match at that time. Most of the tanks that were used by Italian forces at that time were pretty outdated and couldn’t stand the test of time when it comes to foot soldier fighting.

On the part of Italy, they could have stocked themselves with enough supplies if they had planned for the war, but because the war was way more impulsive than planned, they didn’t have the time to stock supplies. Mussolini at that time started the war suddenly, this didn’t give the various agencies and ministries in Italy the chance to plan well for the war and for this reason, they were bound to fail anyway.

The Italian Navy was bound to fail because they were limited in fuel in an ongoing war, and the admirals in charge of the ships at that point in time didn’t make crucial decisions that would have counted. The tall and short of the Italian forces at that time was that they needed time to prepare for the war and probably train for the war but they didn’t have the time because of bad leadership and lack of foresight.

More Facts About the Weakness of the Italian Forces

At the time of World War Two, the Italian forces posed a serious kind of threat on the Allies which were in North Africa. The Italians had a lot of men who were close to a million in North Africa and for this reason, they were always in that region instead. Besides their involvement with North Africa, they were also at war with other countries in the world such as the British’s Royal Navy. 

Though significant assets were available to challenge the Royal Navy for control of the Mediterranean, the lack of technological advances such as radar and sonar meant that in night engagements or foul weather, the Italian ships were unable to detect the approach of their British adversaries. When engaged, they could only range their guns if they were able to visually locate their targets.

The weakness and eventual failure of Italy were also due to the fact that they failed to take over Ethiopia in time, this was later done by Britain and was considered the greatest expedition honor in history. The Italian forces were also defeated in Libya.

Also, because of lack of proper planning, they were not able to stand Greece at war and this was while they were still fighting the British Army. The Italian Army was also defeated because of the war which they had with Russia under the kind of weather that the Russians were used to but it was far affective for the Italian Army. At this time also, the Italian war leadership only went to war without a strategy, the strategy that they would have used would have helped them to record a substantial level of success but this wasn’t the case.

The synopsis of the Italian Failure

The synopsis of the failure of the Italian soldiers was the fact that they had ideologies which didn’t fit the war that they were fighting. They were also poor with diplomacy and war supplies, which led to bad decisions. 

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Italy Lover. He travel to Europe a few times and loved Italy for its unique language and culture. He loved the idea of Italian food focusing on original taste of the ingredient.
Read His Personal Blog
Sign Up for weekly newsletter
Airports in Venice
Why Italy is called Italy and not Rome?