- Author : Major Howard R. Christie
- Publisher : Pickle Partners Publishing
- Release Date : 2015-11-06
- Genre: History
- Pages : 113
- ISBN 10 : 9781786250346
Fallen Eagles The Italian 10th Army In The Opening Campaign In The Western Desert June 1940 Excerpt :
The Italian Army developed a sound and unique combined arms doctrine for mechanized warfare in 1938. This new doctrine was called the “War of Rapid Decision.” It involved the use of mechanized warfare in the Italian version of the blitzkrieg. This doctrine evolved from the lessons learned in the Italian-Ethiopian War of 1935 to 1936 and the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. With Italy’s entry into World War II, military operations ensued along the Libyan-Egyptian border between the Italian 10th Army and a much smaller British Western Desert Force. The Italian Army in Libya outnumbered the British Army in Egypt by a ratio of four to one. The setting seemed to be ideal for the employment of the War of Rapid Decisions. Moreover, Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, who was the commander of the Italian 10th Army in North Africa during its first campaign in the western desert, had pioneered this new form of mechanized warfare during the Ethiopian War. Surprisingly, the Italian forces in Libya did not employ their new doctrine, reverting instead to more conventional techniques of “mass.” It was Graziani’s failure to utilize the doctrine which he had helped to develop that led to Italy’s embarrassing defeat in 1941.