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PostItalians at El Alamein (Cameron Sawyer, Russia, 02/12/18 12:58 pm)
I was thinking about Eugenio Battaglia when I wrote my post on El Alamein.
I can't read in the Italian language, so the Italian point of view on the North Africa campaign is a mystery to me. Eugenio would be doing us a great service if he would elucidate that point of view.
I have done a lot of reading in the German sources, and they are quite disparaging of the Italian effort in North Africa. British forces defeating much larger Italian forces is what forced Hitler to intervene in the first place. The view is quite widespread in the German sources that the Italians had no real interest in fighting in the first place; that they had joined the Axis only in order to share in the spoils afterwards.
I would be interested to know what Eugenio thinks about all this.
JE comments: Cameron Sawyer quoted from a German source in his post of 11 February:
"Mussolini had the idea in 1940 when getting involved in the war that Hitler had already won, and that only a little Italian blood would be required, in order to sit at the table of the victors at the division of the booty [some German prejudice here!]."
I'll agree with Cameron's quip about prejudice. Interestingly, this is the same common perception of why Italy joined the Allies in 1915: opportunism and expansionist greed. Granted, France had expansionist (revanchist) aims as well, while the Empires of Britain and Germany were "merely" fighting for world hegemony and markets.