>read about cadorna. >chosen as chief of staff because his father was a war hero during the italian unification

>read about cadorna
>chosen as chief of staff because his father was a war hero during the italian unification
>surprisingly efficient and level headed despite the memes
>had to rebuild the entire italian logistic system from scraps, while battling the moronation of the italian senate
>his temper and the staff's incompetence led to a vicious cycle of misinformation and bad decision caused by scared yesmen clinging to their jobs
>caporetto was entirely badoglio's fault for abandoning his post and leaving his men leaderless.
>still a brutal, detatched martinet, but an angel compared to the british or french command

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    One of the major reasons why the Cadorna meme exists is that the Italian high command and government used him as a scapegoat after Caporetto. He was an ok general, we've had much worse (see picrel for an example of a genuinely moronic and incompetent Italian general who doesn't get nearly as much flak as he'd deserve). I'd say his major fault was that he had a severe case of the "fight this war like the previous one" syndrome, but you could say that about most WWI generals. I'd argue that the Somme frickup was a much more significant blunder than anything Cadorna did from a purely military perspective.
    With that said, Cadorna sealed his own doom when after Caporetto he vocally blamed the defeat on the soldiers being cowardly and leaving their posts without fighting. Not only was that plain false, but it also completely tanked any shred of popularity and credibility he had left. If he had shut up and quietly resigned, he wouldn't have been roasted nearly as much by his contemporaries.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I thought Graziani was one of the best Italian generals in WW2...
      Did I learned wrong?
      Who was good then?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        i'm not well versed in italian military history, but as i recall messe was considered one of the best, mainly because his efforts in northern africa prevented italy from getting germany tier levels of casualties.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Graziani's incompetence was one of the main reasons Italy lost the North Africa campaign against the British. Rommel and his Afrika Korps were sent to Libya as a stopgap to try and fix the hot mess Graziani caused (which is why he was relieved of command). He was only "effective" against armies that were way weaker than his (the Somalian front of the Italo-Abyssinian War) or when literally bombing and exterminating defenseless civilians (the Cyrenaica genocide).
        Picrel is usually considered among the best (if not the best) Italian general of WW2. Some other generals are mainly remembered for limited tactical successes, like Reverberi's successful defense in a desperate situation (the battle of Nikolajewka, which slowed down the Red Army enough to allow many Axis troops to retreat), or for being a speedbump in the Allies' way (Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta's defence of East Africa). However, the vast majority of our high level generals were by all means shit (this includes Badoglio)

        [...]
        His frick ups obviously seem more significant because they happened against the Austrians. If he was mainly fighting Germans it wouldn’t have been looked so bad. But regularly fricking up against an army that was arguably even less competent than imperial Russia is just looks really sad.

        The Austro-Hungarian army and the Italian army were more or less matched in terms of equipment, logistics, technology and industrial might they could command. Italy had been recently unified and its economy was the weakest among the European powers (much weaker than A-H's). Cadorna didn't perform outrageously badly against the A-Hs; his major frickup was at Caporetto, in which German troops were the main factor contributing to the Central Powers' victory. Without the German offensive at the Banjšice the Caporetto rout simply would not have happened.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Oops, forgot to attach picture

          Why didn't italy use its navy to land forces elsewhere instead of isonzo madness?

          Geography. The Italian front was for the most part impassable mountain ranges where mass offensive were nearly impossible. Some of the highest peaks of the Alps lie on the border between Austria and Italy, with very little roads and railroads reaching them. The Isonzo valley was the only area where you could plan a massive infantry attack, which was Cadorna's original plan: a decisive victory leading to Italian troops crossing the Alps at the Isonzo gap and quickly reaching Ljubljana and Zagreb, facilitating the breakdown of the A-H empire and then swinging north to Vienna.
          That was the same tier of wishful thinking which other European strategic planners at the time were also affected by (see the Schlieffen plan)

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >the Schlieffen plan
            Which nearly worked but failed at basically the last minute before rolling into Paris because Germany overextended past it's supply lines trying to chase down the BEF, and the Western Front was beginning to turn from maneuver warfare into the grind of trench warfare.
            Honestly though, that plan was more trouble than it was worth since Belgium was a poison pill that would have turned the entire world against Germany even discounting the atrocities. Although that's just Willy's foreign policy for you; that man made enemies the way most people make acquaintances.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              >the Schlieffen plan

              Hot garbage from the moment it was conceived. There's a lot of myth surrounding the war plan; the reality is that it wasn't so much a plan as it was a collection of hypothetical what-if scenarios that Schlieffen sent to Moltke in a memo. The plan was always a desperate gamble to knock out France early in the war and was simply delusional. When we look at the Franco-Prussian War, it took the Germans a whole month to neutralize the French Army in the field and then it took another five months to pacify the countryside and a four month siege of Paris to knock France out of the war. But somehow they thought they could do it faster a second time around.

              > Although that's just Willy's foreign policy for you; that man made enemies the way most people make acquaintances.

              Pop historians give Wilhelm shit, but he was much more level-headed than popularly portrayed. He was a moderating influence on the German General Staff which pushed for more highly aggressive political stances; for example, one of Schlieffens scenarios called for the occupation of a small part of the Southern Netherlands in order to widen the front and make the push to Paris easier. Wilhelm absolutely opposed the violation to Dutch neutrality and got into heated arguments with the General Staff over the issue. The latter finally gave up when they realized that the Kaiser wouldn't back down on the issue.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I'll add a final note on this which I forgot to post earlier
          >Without the German offensive at the Banjšice the Caporetto rout simply would not have happened.
          By the way, the German attack at Caporetto happened precisely because Cadorna was on the cusp of finally breaking the A-H lines in the Isonzo valley. The Austrian command realized they were in a desperate situation with the Italians threatening to break the front and sweeping into Trieste, so they had to swallow their pride and beg the Germans for help; the Germans, upon being explained the gravity of the situation and realizing that there was a severe risk of Cadorna's next offensive potentially destroying the A-H lines, agreed to help.
          The German high command would have never agreed to spare precious men and resources from their two front war if they weren't convinced that the situation on the Italian front was extremely dire. So yeah, Cadorna, while not a brilliant general by any means, was not really as much of a human meme as pop history makes him out to be

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >this includes Badoglio
          badoglio is arguably the reason why italy acquired a bad name in military history, and is responsible for many of the frickups that dotted italy's war chronicles. he was just so deep behind powerful connections that always managed to get away with it, including the masonry. just fyi, the armistice of cassibile is downright criminal in its planning, it was such a mess that the italian forces ran around like headless chicken for months trying to figure out who was the enemey and who was the ally.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I now hate Badoglio

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Graziani was decent when it came to police actions like ensuring the Libyans or Ethiopians didnt ape out.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >police actions
          Ah yes, police actions known as brutal and indiscriminate massacres of civilians, including women, children and monks, alongside torching a whole lot of houses and churches.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yekatit_12
          Truly the mark of a gifted military mind.
          >Libyans or Ethiopians didnt ape out.
          The only ones who "chimped out" were italian soldiers. Mass rapes of lybian and ethiopian women were common (as was the taking of young girls as concubines / sex maids).

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/zp7L98x.jpeg

      >read about cadorna
      >chosen as chief of staff because his father was a war hero during the italian unification
      >surprisingly efficient and level headed despite the memes
      >had to rebuild the entire italian logistic system from scraps, while battling the moronation of the italian senate
      >his temper and the staff's incompetence led to a vicious cycle of misinformation and bad decision caused by scared yesmen clinging to their jobs
      >caporetto was entirely badoglio's fault for abandoning his post and leaving his men leaderless.
      >still a brutal, detatched martinet, but an angel compared to the british or french command

      His frick ups obviously seem more significant because they happened against the Austrians. If he was mainly fighting Germans it wouldn’t have been looked so bad. But regularly fricking up against an army that was arguably even less competent than imperial Russia is just looks really sad.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        A big part of it might just be how they can be described.
        See pic related, that just makes him seem like an utter moron mashing his head against the wall without seeing reason. As a consequence it feels even worse.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          https://i.imgur.com/zp7L98x.jpeg

          >read about cadorna
          >chosen as chief of staff because his father was a war hero during the italian unification
          >surprisingly efficient and level headed despite the memes
          >had to rebuild the entire italian logistic system from scraps, while battling the moronation of the italian senate
          >his temper and the staff's incompetence led to a vicious cycle of misinformation and bad decision caused by scared yesmen clinging to their jobs
          >caporetto was entirely badoglio's fault for abandoning his post and leaving his men leaderless.
          >still a brutal, detatched martinet, but an angel compared to the british or french command

          Would I be correct in saying that part of the reason he gets such a reputation is because of how much writting on WWI is done by British historians?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            idk but from my experience if a brit is telling the story you're likely getting a very one sided portrayal. Just look at how the spanish are portrayed in english language history.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Everyone who served alongside and under Cadorna already hated him, that's what made him such an easy scapegoat. So even if he hadn't dug his grave even deeper like that, I think his reputation would still be just as bad. It's not like that's the only time he was ridiculously cruel to his subordinates for no good reason.

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Why didn't italy use its navy to land forces elsewhere instead of isonzo madness?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      (Cont.)
      As for using the navy, the Regia Marina was absolutely in no shape to attempt anything of the sort. Amphibious attacks are notoriously difficult to execute logistically (case in point: when one major amphibious landing was attempted during WWI, it failed catastrophically, see picrel) and Italy did not have the naval expertise nor the industrial-logistical capacity to support an overseas front even in a relatively close area (like the Dalmatian coast).
      Finally, diverting forces from the main front (the Isonzo valley and to a lesser degree the Alps) was probably seen as a very risky gamble, understandably.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    would've italy performed any better if it had joined the war much later, say before barbarossa? from what i've read, mussolini gave the impression of being an ambitious moron when it came to foreign policy, but he had the foresight to admit italy wasn't ready for a second world war

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      It's difficult to say, and entering into Mussolini's mind is notoriously difficult. Most historians seem to agree that Mussolini became less and less sensible as time went on. His breaking point was probably the early successful German advance into France in 1940; at that point he likely lost every shred of lucidity he had left and became fully convinced that Germany was about to take over the world, and that he had to join the war on their side as soon as possible in order to get some of the spoils as well as not to get on Hitler's bad side.
      As for hard industry and logistics, it's difficult to say what would have happened, but Italy may have performed marginally better. 2 or even 3 years probably wouldn't have made that much of a difference though, and at that point (by 1943) Germany was already starting to look much weaker than it did in 1940, so it's likely that Italy wouldn't even have entered the war at all.

      >this includes Badoglio
      badoglio is arguably the reason why italy acquired a bad name in military history, and is responsible for many of the frickups that dotted italy's war chronicles. he was just so deep behind powerful connections that always managed to get away with it, including the masonry. just fyi, the armistice of cassibile is downright criminal in its planning, it was such a mess that the italian forces ran around like headless chicken for months trying to figure out who was the enemey and who was the ally.

      I fully agree with your assessment. Badoglio is a legitimate stain on Italian history, and unlike other people who were utterly evil and/or moronic (like Mussolini and Graziani, who were both) he gets almost no blame for it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      It's difficult to say, and entering into Mussolini's mind is notoriously difficult. Most historians seem to agree that Mussolini became less and less sensible as time went on. His breaking point was probably the early successful German advance into France in 1940; at that point he likely lost every shred of lucidity he had left and became fully convinced that Germany was about to take over the world, and that he had to join the war on their side as soon as possible in order to get some of the spoils as well as not to get on Hitler's bad side.
      As for hard industry and logistics, it's difficult to say what would have happened, but Italy may have performed marginally better. 2 or even 3 years probably wouldn't have made that much of a difference though, and at that point (by 1943) Germany was already starting to look much weaker than it did in 1940, so it's likely that Italy wouldn't even have entered the war at all.
      [...]
      I fully agree with your assessment. Badoglio is a legitimate stain on Italian history, and unlike other people who were utterly evil and/or moronic (like Mussolini and Graziani, who were both) he gets almost no blame for it.

      Mussolini's hand was pretty forced; he was a little in over his head and he knew that; but everyone-- and I mean everyone-- kept egging him on

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I was travelling through Italy a couple summers ago and was surprised to find a statue of Cadorna in a town square. He was dripping with red paint.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    People kinda udnersell the hole brutal martinet thing. Dude was literally the reason why the Italians executed more of their own soldiers than any other participating power.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Messe aside, any other notable Italian military officers who were good since 1870?

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