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Marek Sosbki
Zielona Góra  Poland
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020
Mussolini's War series
12/17/2020 6:32:26 AM
Hello!

I wanted to introduce myself, my book series and its first volume.

“Mussolini's War” series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth. It will discuss in a substantive way the campaigns fought by the Italian forces on the ground, at sea and in the air during the reign of Benito Mussolini, the dictator. Reader-friendly language style, descriptions of previously neglected or unknown operations and actions, a lot of space devoted to the most important heroes of the events in question – the rank-and-file - all this makes these books dedicated to readers of all levels of historical knowledge and a guarantee of pleasant time spent reading. The painfully honest account of the weaknesses of the Italian military, in which however, we do not forget about the numerous examples of unprecedented heroism and endurance of the Italians, is based on references on the topic published worldwide, thanks to which we avoid mythologisation, which can often be noticed in other works. It is the first time that the subject is presented comprehensively in the English language.

Volume I is "East Africa 1940-1941 (land campaign): The Italian Army Defends The Empire In The Horn Of Africa" available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PC7FYMV (and every other marketplace)

When the Kingdom of Italy entered the war in Europe in June 1940, it did so only for a moment to hasten the fall of France and force Britain to the peace negotiations table. With each subsequent month it was turning out that the Italians had got involved in a war that was not going to have a quick and victorious end, and the state of their own unpreparedness for the conflict was shocking.

Due to the Italian colonial possessions, the war also spread to East Africa, so distant for Europeans. This is where the situation of the Italian forces turned out to be the most difficult. The troops fighting there, mostly consisting of natives, were disastrously poorly armed, trained only for the purposes of colonial warfare or maintaining internal order in the colonies, cut off from supplies by neighbouring French and British possessions, and the Italian high command lacked the abilities of waging regular campaign. The British Empire, too, began the battle for the Horn of Africa poorly prepared, but quickly realised the importance of this campaign, namely the safety of its own lines of communication across the Red Sea, the Nile and Africa. Having quickly mobilised its forces, it proceeded to eliminate the Italian threat in this part of the world.

This work presents in detail the campaign that lasted until November 1941, in which soldiers of about twenty nationalities from three continents fought on both sides for the colonial interests of Italy and Britain. The campaign in East Africa is not only about the frontline combat, it is also a brutal war between Italians and Ethiopian partisans. We also present issues such as the economic situation of Italian East Africa, the fate of the Italians inhabiting it, the history of the countries that constituted it after the campaign ended, and the Italian underground resistance, whose flame was smouldering up to the very armistice between Italy and the Allies.

Marek Sobski, a graduate of the University of Zielona Góra, is a historian. Author of several books (including some published in English like "Lictorian Fasces Over England. Regia Aeronautica In Action Against Britain 1940–1941" and the two-volume "Crickets Against Rats. Regia Aeronautica In The Spanish Civil War"), as well as articles in specialist magazines. Since late 2011, he has been a promoter of interest in the history of the Italian military in the first half of the 20th century, and his expertise has been made available to readers of the "Mussolini's War" blog and on social media.

Please wish me good luck!

Best regards,

Marek Sobski
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kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2974
Joined: 2010
Mussolini's War series
12/17/2020 2:18:05 PM
Welcome to MHO Marek!

This sounds like a really interesting book which I will certainly be ordering.
The campaign in East Africa in ww2 has somewhat ended up in the shadows of the fighting in Egypt and Libya, but was certainly not any less interesting.

Great that the spotlight falls on this forgotten campaign at last!

K
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6742
Joined: 2006
Mussolini's War series
12/17/2020 7:01:42 PM
So guys,

Who was the smarter military commander? Mussolini, or Hitler??

Regards, MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3958
Joined: 2004
Mussolini's War series
12/20/2020 11:43:01 PM
Marek, welcome to MHO. As Kai notes, you discuss a sadly understudied part of the European war, or at least a series of campaigns which receive little MHO attention.

I will look for your volume through Amazon, though I’d rather find it though any other outlet. Could you offer some precise titles of volumes translated into English? That would be helpful.

Have you written anything about the social, cultural and diplomatic place of Italy in Europe between the wars? I still find references to Great Britain “obliging” Italy, a form of appeasement (as I see it) which is seldom discussed. I sense that Italy’s position in Europe and Africa waned with its declaration of war on France and Great Britain, but have never found Allied (i.e., victors’) descriptions of Italian military forces satisfying.

I do hope you have not posted merely to sell your volumes. I think you might bring new perspectives to the years between 1913 and 1945.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3958
Joined: 2004
Mussolini's War series
12/21/2020 12:31:02 AM
Marek, welcome to MHO. As Kai notes, you discuss a sadly understudied part of the European war, or at least a series of campaigns which receive little MHO attention.

I will look for your volume through Amazon, though I’d rather find it though any other outlet. Could you offer some precise titles of volumes translated into English? That would be helpful.

Have you written anything about the social, cultural and diplomatic place of Italy in Europe between the wars? I still find references to Great Britain “obliging” Italy, a form of appeasement (as I see it) which is seldom discussed. I sense that Italy’s position in Europe and Africa waned with its declaration of war on France and Great Britain, but have never found Allied (i.e., victors’) descriptions of Italian military forces satisfying.

I do hope you have not posted merely to sell your volumes. I think you might bring new perspectives to the years between 1913 and 1945.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Marek Sosbki
Zielona Góra  Poland
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020
Mussolini's War series
12/22/2020 11:36:44 AM
Dear Brian,

1. Currently only East Africa 1940-1941 is translated into English. Next year I will publish a book about Italians in Operation Barbarossa.

2. In my book, I describe the political background. In East Africa 1940-1941 you will find quite a bit about the politics and society of Italian East Africa.

3. Selling books is important, but it's not just financial matters. I hope that a lot of people will read my books. For example, the book is free with Kindle Unlimited.

Regards,

Marek
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http://wojna-mussoliniego.pl/ https://www.facebook.com/War-of-Mussolini-books-by-Marek-Sobski-100807141516911 https://www.facebook.com/armiawloska
Marek Sosbki
Zielona Góra  Poland
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020
Mussolini's War series
1/30/2021 4:10:10 AM
Hi!

First review: https://comandosupremo.com/forums/index.php?threads/east-african-1940-194-by-marek-sobski.823/#post-3114

In preparation Vol. 2: "Mussolini's Eastern Crusade. Italian Expeditionary Corps In Operation Barbarossa"

Color version of maps from "East Africa 1940-1941..." for download: https://files.fm/u/b8x6p4xrs

Photos of the book:












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http://wojna-mussoliniego.pl/ https://www.facebook.com/War-of-Mussolini-books-by-Marek-Sobski-100807141516911 https://www.facebook.com/armiawloska
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3958
Joined: 2004
Mussolini's War series
1/30/2021 6:27:09 PM
Thanks for the update.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Marek Sosbki
Zielona Góra  Poland
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020
Mussolini's War series
10/30/2021 4:13:46 AM
Hello!

Mussolini’s Eastern Crusade: The Italian Expeditionary Corps In Operation Barbarossa (Mussolini's War vol. 2) is now available: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GPYLYXC

Color version of maps for download: https://files.fm/u/aceva9jf8

Benito Mussolini was an exceptionally hot-headed politician. No wonder then that when reports from various sources began to reach him about the invasion of the Soviet Union planned by Adolf Hitler, in the blink of an eye he made the decision to accompany his friend in this new venture. The news of the enormous successes of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front only reinforced the decision to send representatives of the Italian armed forces to Russia in the form of the Expeditionary Corps (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia; CSIR). It was one of the most disastrous decisions of the Duce, which in time directly contributed to the collapse of the fascist regime, as the number of victims and brutality of the fighting in the east terrified the Italian public opinion, which never looked at war in such a total way as it was in the 3rd Reich or USSR.

In early July 1941, three Italian divisions and a Blackshirt Legion began their journey into the unknown. There, soldiers were to fight against a completely unknown opponent, among peoples and ethnicities of the Soviet Union oppressed by red terror and living on the verge of poverty. Italians also quickly understood that their enemy would be the climate, regardless of the season. Nevertheless, they proudly represented their country, and the period discussed in the book was indeed a time of heavy fighting, but also successes, which for Italian troops were so often missing in World War Two. At the same time, the first symptoms of impending catastrophe appeared. CSIR logistics turned out to be ineffective, the enemy's reserves of manpower seemed to be endless, and in terms of the quality and availability of weapons, he quickly began to outperform the Italians.

The book covers the first period of Italian involvement on the Eastern Front: CSIR's participation in Operation “Barbarossa” and the Soviet counteroffensive in the winter of 1941/1942. The basis for the decision to increase the Italian participation to the level of an entire army (the 8th Army, commonly known as Armata Italiana in Russia - ARMIR) is also presented. One of the chapters is also devoted to the aviation component, which was subordinated to the command of the CSIR.

1.Transfer of Corpo di Spedizione Italiano from Italy to the concentration area in Romania.


2. Corpo di Spedizione Italiano positions as of August 13, 1941.


3. Battle of Petrykivka (September 28-30, 1941).


4. March of Corpo di Spedizione Italiano over the Volchya River and the capture of Pavlograd.


5. The participation of Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in the capture of the Donetsk Basin.


6. Operation of the seizure of Gorlovka and Rykove by Corpo di Spedizione Italiano.


7. Italian offensive in the Tchasepetivka area.


8. Christmas Battle (December 25-27, 1941).


Cover:



Next goal: France 1940 (land campaign)

Regards,

Marek Sobski
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http://wojna-mussoliniego.pl/ https://www.facebook.com/War-of-Mussolini-books-by-Marek-Sobski-100807141516911 https://www.facebook.com/armiawloska
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2114
Joined: 2020
Mussolini's War series
10/30/2021 4:59:04 PM
Quote:
Hello!


“Mussolini's War” series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth. It will discuss in a substantive way the campaigns fought by the Italian forces on the ground, at sea and in the air during the reign of Benito Mussolini, the dictator.

Marek Sobski


Hi Marek,

Intresting topic , I think the Italian soldier by birth was not a coward but possibly poorly led equipped and motivated to do what?, I dont think the Italian soldier ever knew. The rebirth of the Roman empire was a stretch even for Italians in 1940. I would guess they were motivated in the beginning but it must have been eye opening when Italian colonial troops faced a modern army and all that Mussolini malarky of make Italy Roman again must have melted away quickly. Napoleon's army marched through Europe with first rate infantry and artillery tactics of the Republic against the Monarchy's of Europe and was well led. Hitler motivated his army by providing it with the best equipment and the rallying cry of the shame of Versailles and Germans held behind borders created by that treaty, Hitler also had some good generals and a Prussian military tradition. Italy had none of this, they had a barking madman dictator that got into power because of a power vacuum and preached nonsense of past triumphs 2000 years ago. I would think when the Italian soldier took the field against the enemy it became pretty clear quickly that they were not fighting similarly as to their decedent legionaries did when they salted and destroyed Carthage in North Africa millennia's ago and then marched across alot Europe and most of north Africa. I would never count out the Italians but its a very nuanced discussion as you suggest.

Im also interested in the Italian Navy which was formidle at the begging of WW2 but was quickly sidelined by Britain, not sure if your interested in that but in any case will be checking out your books.

thank you

vpatrick
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nuts
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5268
Joined: 2004
Mussolini's War series
10/30/2021 6:53:56 PM
Marek,

Your venture wins my blessing, and I wish you luck.

Italians fought bravely at Keren and at El Alamein. A senior British officer who fought at Keren and at Monte Casino reckoned that Keren was the tougher fight.

The Folgore Division won the respect of the British and Dominion soldiers.


I have read of amazing feats by Italian cavalrymen fighting against the Russians in 1942,

There was an elite formation of Italian frogmen who plied their skills with great effect against British shipping around Gibraltar.


The soldiers who fought for Italy 1940-45 were sons of men who had endured a nightmare in 1915-18, and who had secured victory at a horrific price.

Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Marek Sosbki
Zielona Góra  Poland
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020
Mussolini's War series
10/31/2021 4:04:23 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Hello!


“Mussolini's War” series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth. It will discuss in a substantive way the campaigns fought by the Italian forces on the ground, at sea and in the air during the reign of Benito Mussolini, the dictator.

Marek Sobski


Hi Marek,

Intresting topic , I think the Italian soldier by birth was not a coward but possibly poorly led equipped and motivated to do what?, I dont think the Italian soldier ever knew. The rebirth of the Roman empire was a stretch even for Italians in 1940. I would guess they were motivated in the beginning but it must have been eye opening when Italian colonial troops faced a modern army and all that Mussolini malarky of make Italy Roman again must have melted away quickly. Napoleon's army marched through Europe with first rate infantry and artillery tactics of the Republic against the Monarchy's of Europe and was well led. Hitler motivated his army by providing it with the best equipment and the rallying cry of the shame of Versailles and Germans held behind borders created by that treaty, Hitler also had some good generals and a Prussian military tradition. Italy had none of this, they had a barking madman dictator that got into power because of a power vacuum and preached nonsense of past triumphs 2000 years ago. I would think when the Italian soldier took the field against the enemy it became pretty clear quickly that they were not fighting similarly as to their decedent legionaries did when they salted and destroyed Carthage in North Africa millennia's ago and then marched across alot Europe and most of north Africa. I would never count out the Italians but its a very nuanced discussion as you suggest.

Im also interested in the Italian Navy which was formidle at the begging of WW2 but was quickly sidelined by Britain, not sure if your interested in that but in any case will be checking out your books.

thank you

vpatrick


Hi,

I agree. You mentioned many important factors. I am writing a book about a short campaign against France in 1940 ... the Italian army saved even on shoes for soldiers, because modern guns, planes, ships were needed more ... This does not sound like a recipe for defeating a colossus like the British Empire.

I am very interested in the navy. My vol. 4 will be the book: Betasom. Italian submarines in the Battle of the Atlantic 1940-1945. Did you know that Italian submarines have done so well that they are the fifth or sixth most successful submarine fleet ever?

Regards,

Marek
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Marek Sosbki
Zielona Góra  Poland
Posts: 6
Joined: 2020
Mussolini's War series
10/31/2021 4:08:53 AM
Quote:
Marek,

Your venture wins my blessing, and I wish you luck.

Italians fought bravely at Keren and at El Alamein. A senior British officer who fought at Keren and at Monte Casino reckoned that Keren was the tougher fight.

The Folgore Division won the respect of the British and Dominion soldiers.


I have read of amazing feats by Italian cavalrymen fighting against the Russians in 1942,

There was an elite formation of Italian frogmen who plied their skills with great effect against British shipping around Gibraltar.


The soldiers who fought for Italy 1940-45 were sons of men who had endured a nightmare in 1915-18, and who had secured victory at a horrific price.

Regards, Phil



Hi,

Yes, the generation remembering the war of 1915-1918 was against participation in WWII. And the young? They knew no other homeland than the fascist one ... They followed their leader. It did not bring good results. But many soldiers fought very well and I devote my work to their memory.

Regards,

Marek
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Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5268
Joined: 2004
Mussolini's War series
10/31/2021 10:15:37 AM
Vince,

Napoleon’s army marched through Europe with first rate infantry and artillery...

Many of those first rate soldiers in the ranks of that army were Italian, as was Buonaparte himself, as determined by his Corsican provenance.

The warfare that raged in Europe was, for centuries, defined in large measure by the renown and skill of Italian mercenaries, especially in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance .

Those who fought the Ottomans at Lepanto, or held Malta, were, in many cases, Italians.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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