Why was the Italian military so ineffective as a fighting force in World War II?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a number of reasons generally given for the Italian weakness in World War II.

  • Economic and industrial weakness.  Italy was not a major power in economic and industrial terms before or during the war.  In a war where success was so dependent on technological advances and industrial capacity, Italy was lacking.
  • Quality of weapons.  This is closely related to the first weakness.  Italy simply did not have a weapons industry capable of creating first-class equipment for its troops.
  • Weak morale.  The war was not as popular in Italy was it was in Germany or Japan.  Italians were therefore not nearly as motivated to fight.  Because Italy lacked a truly strong set of war aims that was supported by the people, morale in the Italian army was low.  This was exacerbated by the inferiority of their equipment.