Greatest Warship Name Ever

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.
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RF
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby RF » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:23 am

Pretty to look at, yes, but were they actually fit for the purpose? Their battle record was something of an embarrasment to Mussolini that even Lord Haw Haw couldn't cover up......
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby hammy » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:23 pm

RF wrote:Pretty to look at, yes, but were they actually fit for the purpose? Their battle record was something of an embarrasment to Mussolini that even Lord Haw Haw couldn't cover up......


I had another look at Whitley's book on cruisers of WW2 and dont see any particular criticism of either the light or the heavy cruisers in there .
The main guns were positioned too close together in the turret , which caused shot dispersion when firing broadsides due to interference , Italian radar technology was well behind the allies which was a crippling disadvantage at night , and the early light AA outfits weren't particularly good .
Otherwise the ships seem to have been perfectly good , just short on range , which is exactly what you would expect and want for a ship optimised for Mediterranean operations .

Crude Allied Propaganda relating to the poor performance of some of the reluctant conscripts , often taken from left wing urban working class communities , in some Italian army units in the North African theatre during the Desert campaign is nowadays taken to mean the entire Italian armed forces were some sort of amusing comic-opera collection of buffoons , singularly lacking in any manly courage , for the whole of the war period .

Complete bunkum .
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby yellowtail3 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:28 pm

hammy wrote:
RF wrote:The main guns were positioned too close together in the turret , which caused shot dispersion when firing broadsides due to interference , Italian radar technology was well behind the allies which was a crippling disadvantage at night , and the early light AA outfits weren't particularly good .
Otherwise the ships seem to have been perfectly good , just short on range , which is exactly what you would expect and want for a ship optimised for Mediterranean operations .

Crude Allied Propaganda relating to the poor performance of some of the reluctant conscripts , often taken from left wing urban working class communities , in some Italian army units in the North African theatre during the Desert campaign is nowadays taken to mean the entire Italian armed forces were some sort of amusing comic-opera collection of buffoons , singularly lacking in any manly courage , for the whole of the war period .Complete bunkum .


The Med campaign is something I don't know all that much about... but my impression is that, on paper, the Italians were quite well equipped... but didn't perform all that well in actuality. I've got the impression their navy didn't get all that much time underway for training, and it showed. I think their Littorio-class BBs look spectacular, and on paper... sound very formidable. Didn't accomplish much, though.

Accurate, or not?
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby Bgile » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:34 pm

Didn't they have very serious fuel problems? Maybe the same reason Yamato and Musashi weren't used much until to late.

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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:59 pm

yellowtail3:

The Med campaign is something I don't know all that much about... but my impression is that, on paper, the Italians were quite well equipped... but didn't perform all that well in actuality. I've got the impression their navy didn't get all that much time underway for training, and it showed. I think their Littorio-class BBs look spectacular, and on paper... sound very formidable. Didn't accomplish much, though.

Accurate, or not?


It sounds accurate to me. And Bgile is right also because they (the italians) had serious fuel issues. However fuel or not there other issues that affected their performance being one the consensus between the Navy brass and Mussolini not to risk their units without need, which was operationaly interpreted as "no risk at all".
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby hammy » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:47 pm

Jolly interesting campaign , the Mediterranean , pretty much non-stop action right through , and quite evenly matched so the pendulum of advantage swung from one side to the other continuously throughout .
After 1943 and the Italian surrender Germany took over most of the Important Island Garrisons held up till then by Italy , and because Churchill was always keen on the "soft under-belly of Europe" thing , and because he was a a fan of Classical Rome and Greece and a romantic Drama Queen to boot , the British forces were playing cowboys and indians there from Gibraltar to the Bosphorous right through till 1945 , and because the American Ally didnt want to play there too ,
( something about dissapation of effort and distraction from the central theatres of the war ) , the Brits were doing it with what Ike had agreed could be spared , which evened things up considerably for the German opposition , and so a hectic time was had by all .
You can still see bombing and strafing and bombardment damage today in places like the old town in Rhodes and Corfu and Malta .
In general about the Regia Marina -
Yes , chronically short of fuel oil , and Yes , under orders not to do risky ops and take big losses .
Let off those two leads , they'd have done much better . Little or no morale problem in the Italian Navy .
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby RF » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:48 am

hammy wrote:
Crude Allied Propaganda relating to the poor performance of some of the reluctant conscripts , often taken from left wing urban working class communities , in some Italian army units in the North African theatre during the Desert campaign is nowadays taken to mean the entire Italian armed forces were some sort of amusing comic-opera collection of buffoons , singularly lacking in any manly courage , for the whole of the war period .

Complete bunkum .


I have a very low opinion of the quality and motivation of all Italian forces in general when it comes to Italian efforts in fighting the British, French and to put it bluntly, even against the Ethiopians. This is not based on ''crude allied propaganda'' but on their actual record. The Italians fought hardest against German and Austrian opposition, as evidenced in the First World War, which suggests to me that the Italians would rather be allies of the British than of the Germans.
In WW2 it was the native Eritrean and Libyan troops who often fought the hardest in the Italian forces, while many of the European troops in the Italian forces voted with their feet and surrendered en masse. This I hasten add was not due to cowardice but to poor motivation and leadership, and a war many Italians didn't agree with.
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RF
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby RF » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:55 am

hammy wrote:Jolly interesting campaign , the Mediterranean , pretty much non-stop action right through , and quite evenly matched so the pendulum of advantage swung from one side to the other continuously throughout .


Italy in June 1940 had an overwhelming superiority on land and to a lesser extent in the air. They did nothing beyond glorious inaction, when they could have seized the Suez Canal and swept into Kenya. Mussolini simply sat and waited for the Germans to win the war for him. And when that didn't happen his solution was - invade Greece! And with totally inadequate preparation and at the worst time of the year to do so!

If Mussolini wasn't the worst commander on the Axis side he must be pretty close to it.
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby alecsandros » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:44 am

RF wrote:
I have a very low opinion of the quality and motivation of all Italian forces in general when it comes to Italian efforts in fighting the British, French and to put it bluntly, even against the Ethiopians. This is not based on ''crude allied propaganda'' but on their actual record. The Italians fought hardest against German and Austrian opposition, as evidenced in the First World War, which suggests to me that the Italians would rather be allies of the British than of the Germans.
In WW2 it was the native Eritrean and Libyan troops who often fought the hardest in the Italian forces, while many of the European troops in the Italian forces voted with their feet and surrendered en masse. This I hasten add was not due to cowardice but to poor motivation and leadership, and a war many Italians didn't agree with.

Pretty much agree.
Just one addition: usualy poor motivation and training leads to cowardice :D

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RF
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby RF » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:55 pm

Possibly. Another aspect in this reflects from poor political leadership, namely the failure to implement any modernisation programme, in the army in particular, the need for which should have been evident from the Italian experiences in the Spanish Civil War. This in turn would have entailed a modernisation of the armaments and automotive industries, to provide the modern tanks, lorries and artillery that would be needed for a European war and a war in the desert.
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby Bgile » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:46 pm

My limited reading of German sources implies that they had lots of respect for the common Italian soldier, but despised their officers for the most part. They apparently didn't live with their men, had special meal service and other perks, etc.

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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby RF » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:39 pm

This is certainly true. With proper leadership the Italians fought as hard as any other army, the examples that can be cited are the Duke of Aosta in Italian East Africa, particulary in the Eritrean campaign, and of course Rommel, who despite his opinions got more out of Italian troops than most of the Italian officers.

Apparently one of the problems of the officer corps in the Italian armed forces, apart from living apart from their men, was that many owed their positions due to political favour/reliability than to military experience/training/ability to do the job. Add this to the largely urban, left wing background of many of the Italian conscrpts, the rotten nature of Italian Fascism after some twenty years of corruption and dictatorship, and the lack of cohesion can be seen.
Incidently, if you have seen the film ''Von Ryans Express'' although it is fictional, it graphically shows the divide between the fascist officerdom as seen in the charachter Battaglia as POW commandant, and the junior officers and men.
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby IronDuke » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:57 pm

HMS Victory
HMS Warrior
HMS Invincible
HMS Iron Duke
HMS Conqueror
HMS Dreadnought
HMS Thunderer
HMS Deverstation
HMS Daring
HMS Warspite
HMS Repulse
HMS Renown
HMS Nelson
HMS Revenge
HMS Resolution
HMS Majestic
HMS Courageous
HMS Glorious
HMS Illustrious
HMS Victorious
I could go on....
Ted
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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby alecsandros » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:32 am

IronDuke wrote: HMS ...


Welcome to the forum Ted!
I see you're a RN fan - and with serious reading behind :)

You might be interested in the Bismarck general discussion / Bismarck and her contemporaries thread. Many of the discussions of the forum have been synthesized over there and I guess it's a good place to start.

Keep in touch,
Alex

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Re: Greatest Warship Name Ever

Postby RF » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:02 pm

IronDuke wrote:
I could go on....
Ted


How about HMS Wolverhampton????
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