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Why Graziani choose to motorise a Lybian division instead of AS one?

jwsleser

Member
Staff member
Hummmm.... I will look to see if I have anything that discusses that decision. Size is likely one consideration.
 
Certainly the slenderness factor of the Libyan division played a significant role in the choice of units to be used for a campaign which, according to the calculations of the Italian Command, had to be quick and fast and not encounter excessive problems. It should be considered, however, that according to the calculations of the Italian command to completely truck a CCNN or truck-mounted AS40 type, 600 Lancia Ro trucks (heavy) would have been needed, while to fully truck a Libyan division it would have taken half. It should also be borne in mind that the 10th army had around 900 of them, of which at least 300 were out of order. Even if he wanted, there was not much room for then to truck the supplementary troops.
all the best
Maurizio
 
However, it must also be said that the colonial divisions were considered by the Italians to be lean and manageable and in the imaginary of the time more useful in the short and moving campaigns what the campaign towards Sidi el Barrani should have been. Which in fact proved itself even if the British practically did not fight by deluding the Italians of their weakness. Which would have been denied shortly thereafter with Operation Compass.
All the best
Maurizio
 
As of 17/9/1940 there were 3,350 light trucks, 3,700 heavy trucks and 3,900 trailers in Libya, but many of these were of requisitioned civilian origin that were ill-suited to war in the desert and the remaining at least 30% were under repair
All the best
Maurizio
 

jwsleser

Member
Staff member
I wasn’t able to find any information on how the the decision was made in terms of motorizing the Libyan units. An operational/tactical decision of this type is not normally documented as these tend not to be the focus of a staff appreciation or other form of an official decision-making process.

I can only speculate:

1. The decision to motorize these units was made prior to any detailed plan to invade Egypt. Therefore the logic likely followed a different path.

2. The Libyans were understood/seen to be the best units to operate in the desert were motorization was seen as a requirement.

3. They already had a greater degree of motorization due to their mission to operate as independent units.

4. As independent units, they were already organized as semi-combined arms units with artillery and logistical assets.

5. As previously mentioned, their smaller size required fewer trucks.

6. No reason to break-up a division by motorizing only a portion when you have the Libyans.

What I need to check is whether the Maletti Group was the only Libyan unit fully motorized or whether the two Libyan division were also motorized. IIRC, only Maletti was fully motorized.

Maurizio

What is the source of your truck numbers? Are they from the official histories or a different source?

Pista!
 

Dili

Member
I have read mine in Diario Storico del Comando Supremo, Badoglio telling Graziani that he already had pretty much all trucks he requested.
 
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