The Drastic Failure of Fascist Italy in World War II

Fascist Benito Mussolini

World War II was tough for many countries. However, one of the Axis powers was well-positioned when they entered the war, but they still failed.

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini had around 200,000 men and control over the Mediterranean Islands, most of East Africa, and Libya. He also had a pretty steady alliance with two great superpowers.

Mussolini was poised to take over the Mediterranean from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Strait of Hormuz.” Mussolini had grand aspirations and powerful allies. So, what went wrong? There were multiple reasons why he did not succeed.

Why Italy Failed

The first reason was Italy was not adequately prepared. Italy and Germany signed an agreement saying they would not start the war until 1943 because it would take Italy that long to be ready. Of course, Hilter started the war when he wanted to.

Italy used many of the weaponry they had from World War I. They did not have aircraft carriers and still flew biplanes. They did not have very many radios, and their tanks were old. Italo Balbo was one of the top Italian military officials. He was a skilled pilot and the Marshal of the Air Force. However, he was shot down in Libya by Italian troops, and his replacement was a failure.

When Italy joined the war in 1940, they thought the win was going to come easily. However, Mussolini was proven wrong once they entered Greece. Overall, the Italians, while great in numbers, did not have a lot of formal training. The soldiers walked on foot and carried small weapons. In addition, Italy could not manufacture anything that would drive the soldiers from place to place.

When they finally had some anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry, the men did not know how to operate it, especially not at the level of the Americans or Germans. So, the only thing the Italians could do was fight on the front lines.

Finally, the Italians failed in World War II because they did not have efficient supply lines. Often, they were too far away. Supplies had to cross the Mediterranean to reach Africa, and the British were ready and waiting to sink anything coming their way. Because of this, the Axis powers did not make it very far in North Africa.

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