Why do you think it is that Italian soldiers fought so poorrly in WW2?

I read that they were poorly trained and that is one reason but Russian soldiers were barely trained or not trained at all and they fought hard. I also have heard that it was because they didn't agree with why they were fighting but their were a lot German soldiers who didn't agree with the war but they still fought hard. So what do you think the reason is?

18 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    It is quite likely that it was about training and direction. A lot of the commanders werent that experienced, and many men therefore died unneccissarily in battle. The best soldier is only as good as the worst commander. Many men, from all countries, didnt believe in what they were fighting for, so I doubt that they didnt do so well becuase of that.

    Or perhaps the quality of food dropped when they got into battle?

  • 1 decade ago

    The average Italian soldier whenever he was properly lead and supported fought well and courageously in World War II. The problem existed chiefly among the officer class of the Italian Army where the vast majority of commissioned were either out right brought or political favors. As a result a great deal of the Italian leadership was unqualified for the positions they held in the field. There are many incidents where Italian troops came under German leadership, especially on the Eastern Front and fought like devils under the direction of German Sergeants.

  • Jingwa
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Russians didnt always fight hard, in some cases they put up next to no fight at all and it was due to morale, leadership, confusion, training etc etc. When they did fight hard they had better morale, better leadership and they had a reason to fight.

    When they tried to take over Finland they failed, They often were defeated by a handful of men. Were other times when the russians had their game together it resulted in some very bloody battles.

    This same scenario happened with germany, germany had better trained men and better equipment and also the Fins assisted the germans in Russia, it was only till the Russians got their heads screwed on near the end they started to fight hard, but nature was on their side and also the hitlers stupidity as he enjoyed ignoring advice from his military commanders.

    The Russians would have lost if hitler listened to his military adviser more during the war.

    Italy was in the firing line for the war and shared many of the above issues also, i cant answer the question though since i have done no research on italy...there are to many untalled stories overshadowed by the US, Russia and other major allies during the time.

    Although germans were very well trained and very well equiped, they also had very good military leaders, but unfortunately hitler was to focused on what he wanted and the people were also starting to see his insanity and loosing morale.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have to read the history of Italy during WW2 to know the reasons behind, instead on relying on some people's opinions that are mostly biased.

    Mussolini was a dictator who seized power in a coup that overthrew the legitimate and democratic Italian government long before WW2. So It was obvious that ordinary Italians never liked him. Most Italians were against Mussolini's decision in signing the Tri-Partite Pact, the treaty that formed the Axis Alliance between Germany, Italy and Japan. But with a dictatorship in power, the voice of the people means so little. Had a referendum been held at the time, the vast majority of Italians would surely had voted against Italy's joining the Axis. But there was no such referendum in a dictatorship.

    It was Mussolini's commitment to the Axis Alliance that dragged Italy into the war. There was a provision in the Tri-Partite Pact wherein it was stated that in the event any one of the three Axis members would be at war with any other nation, the other two would simultaneously declare war in support of their ally.

    Everybody knows that Britain and France declared war on Germany as a result of Germany's invasion of Poland (that triggered WW2). Therefore, this automatically puts Italy as a de-facto participant in the war (in support of Germany as required by the treaty) even though Italy never had any interest of its own on Poland. Later on, Italy would again be dragged in exactly the same way to fight against Russia (as a result of Germany's invasion of Russia).

    It is very clear that Italy's participation in the war was not because of its own initiative but was mainly due to the commitment made by Mussolini to support Germany in the war.

    This was the reason why the Italian Army fought half-heartedly during WW2. Most Italian soldiers felt that they are fighting for Germany rather than fighting for Italy. Furthermore, Italy would have to face war against Britain, France, Russia, and later on America (nations that in reality never actually posed any threat or adversity towards the Italian nation during its past histories).

    It is to be noted that in the latter part of WW2, Mussolini was deposed from power during an uprising. With Mussolini out, General Badoglio, the newly installed commander of the Italian Army then immediately arranged for Italy's surrender to the Western Allies. Soon after the surrender, Italy declared war against Germany. Then in the closing days of WW2, Mussolini and his mistress were executed by Italian partisans and their dead bodies hung upside down in a public square.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Poor leadership. Italy actually had one of the most innovative and well trained militaries of Pre-war Europe, including things like Airborne troops and Special Forces (commandos), however, due to Mussolini injecting political leadership into the military, the troops were often poorly led, and they became not much more than cannon fodder to be used and abused by the better led Germans.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The people were deeply devided politically. While the fascists took Italy to war that move was bitterly opposed by many, such as the communists and socialists. They wouldn't want to kill or be killed for a regime they hated.

    It's nonsense to talk of any people or country being 'cowardly'. Remember, there was once an empire based in Italy that ruled over most of the known world by force of arms.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most of them thought that their government had sold them down the river in the governments support of fascism. Others were communists whose only interest was to get the war over as soon as possible, win or lose, so that they could have a revolution to seize control.

    Fortunately the middle political mainstream of today has achieved democracy for several decades and they are quite rightly once again a proud Nation.

  • jadoo
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    1000's of British commonwealth troops fought from 1939 on. there have been British troops who fought in France and have been evacuated from Dunkirik in 1940 who took area interior the 1944 Normandy invasion and went directly to combat until 1945. Frankly all and sundry whose first action became Normandy had already neglected rather some the conflict.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Perhaps it was because they lived in a dictatorship where the funds to train them properly were not available until the country was actually in the war. It is not like Germany, who knew it was going to war and had time to build up their arsenals and work on their infrastructure. I think it was merely financial, lack of money for training.

  • Bobby
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You have it right when you say that they did not really believe in the war. Why should they be fighting for Germany? The German soldiers were fighting partly to prevent the destruction of their country and their families. They were probably more disciplined too, though.

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