Talk:Italian invasion of France

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funny point[edit]

the italian article claims it is an italian victory. wikipedia, the free propaganda in which everyone can take part. Cliché Online (talk) 22:33, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

That's because the Italian attack into France was basically successful. The French sued for peace and Italy annexed French territory. If that's not a victory, then what is?

AnnalesSchool (talk) 00:38, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The Italian Army entered in France, and, in few days, occupied several forts and a city. You can't consider it a defeat only cause the French fought well and, given the difference of forces, the Italians should have done more. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.226.108.169 (talk) 14:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
It is called a French tactical victory, because that is what the sources (English, French, and Italian) state. Mussolini ordered the attack when France was already on her knees, defeated by Germany. The Italian military, weighed down by doctrine and equipment issues, failed in their objective to penetrate the French positions and as a result had to weaken their armistice offer as the French were willing to carry on fighting. Finally, as historians have noted the Italian military did not breach the main French line and their attacks were repulsed with heavy losses. The political aftermath does not change the military situation.
The Italian article, on the subject, contains a whopping 18 inline citations. That is outnumbered by the current article's section analyzing the outcome of the attack. That does not include that, when a rewrite and expansion takes place, there are even more historians (English speaking and Italians) who further support the point that the Italian invasion was anything other than a victory. One Italian historian goes as far as to argue that the failure of this invasion was the starting point of Mussolini's downfall on a political and military level.
I know it is a late reply to the initial comment, propaganda is "information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view". Stating the Italian invasion was a limited victory goes against the consensus of the historical community that call it anything but that.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:24, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Even given for true the existance of a thing called "historical community" (that's not the case) the fact that there are historians that support another point of view demonstrates that there isn't a "consensus" over this subject, unless someone think to have the right to decide who of them is a real historian (a part of the "historical community" maybe?) and who is making "propaganda". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.36.226.176 (talk) 19:25, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Other than the straw man argument you have just created, you did not engage the point. You fail to grasp what consensus means.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:52, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

The questions are these: What was Mussolini's objective in invading France? The objective, as he stated, was to have a few thousand dead and be able to sit at the negotiating table. Was that achieved? Yes. Did he get all he asked for? No. Did he get important concessions from the French? Yes. Was it a great tactical victory? No. Was it a strategic victory or any sort of victory? Yes, it was but a modest one. Would Italy have achieved anything if there was no incursion into France? No. Did Italy get anything out of its military adventure in France? Yes. AnnalesSchool (talk) 14:42, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Questions missing: Why did Mussolini not get everything he asked for? (Despite the French being overrun by the Germans, they refused to back down to the Italians until they lowered their demands). Why did France give concessions anyway considering they were not defeated on the battlefield? (Due to the fact that Germany had overrun France). What was the long term effect on Italy? (According to one Italian historian, it was the beginning of the end of an independent Italy as it slipped into the clutches of Germany).
Point missed repeatedly: Is there consensus among historians that the Italian attack on France resulted in anything approaching a strategic victory, let alone just a victory? (no).EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 19:35, 16 June 2014 (UTC)


Enigma, I think the problem is that you have too narrow a focus on battles. It is quite possible to lose many battles but still win the war. Your question: why did France give concessions away considering they were not defeated on the battlefield? is a good question and one I wish you would answer for us. This is why we need to go to the Italian and French archives to find out precisely what was Mussolini's intentions and what were French intentions? What role did Hitler play behind the scenes? Battles are battles, but after the battle, politicians eventually wheel and deal and must come to an agreement. There is a theory that Mussolini attacked France to forestall any deal that the French may make with the Germans in forming their own special partnership, thus excluding Italy.

Anyway, whatever the "real reasons" the French decided to have an armistice with the Italians, the Italians gained land and concessions. It came out on top. I mean, just using logic and common sense tells one this. You don't need a barrel of historians to tell you this. AnnalesSchool (talk) 11:29, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Apparently you do. Despite the "barrel of historians" all stating the lack of military success, the political back down at the armistice table, and the long term geopolitical problems the invasion caused for Italy not to mention the numerous problems the invasion highlighted within the Italian military, you somehow can only paint a rosy picture of a successful invasion.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:20, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
"It is quite possible to lose many battles but still win the war" - yeah, but you still lost the battles. Pinkbeast (talk) 13:09, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

And who is "you" exactly? Is the "you" referring to me? This is the problem with many of the articles dealing with war - especially the first and second world wars. There is this pervasive partisanship involved, a sense of "us" against "them"; "you" against "me", which comes through strongly in the war articles and especially in the Talk Section. The articles dealing with Greece are especially partisan and lack neutrality, as the dominant contributors are Greek or strongly on the side of the Greeks. Likewise, many of the articles written by Anglo-Saxons show a strong bias as well, which is why Wiki war articles are and should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Scholars and academics are very vary of Wiki war articles because too many editors take sides, as Pinkbeast has demonstrated.

There is no "we" against "them". There is only historical truth. But even truth is a fiction. Some historians, especially the post-modern kind, would argue that history is mostly fiction and that "truth" is unattainable. So what do we have left? Not a hell of a lot. Only "perspectives" and dubious approximations of the "truth".

When a Wiki editor writes that the invasion of Greece failed, and yet two-thirds of Greece ends up occupied by Italy, I have to ask: "where's the failure?" When Wiki editors write: "The Italians retreated everywhere!" (which one did by the way), and I see a map of Yugoslavia with patches of green on it indicating Italian protectorates, I have to ask again: "Where is the failure?" And so on... .

As I wrote earlier, you can continue to write about Italian failures as much as you like, but the public will look at a map, see large chunks of Greece, Yugoslavia, Somalia, North Africa colored in green indicating Italian occupied territory, and people will draw their own conclusions from it.AnnalesSchool (talk) 17:12, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Oh, and I forgot to mention I will end this discussion here.AnnalesSchool (talk) 17:16, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

I cannot for the life of me understand how you are possibly a history teacher ... your lack of comprehension is unbelievable (you cannot understand what "you" means, in a very simple context), your oversimplification of complicated events (your ongoing strawman about occupation zones) not to mention your complete lack of understanding of how historians do their work, and your continued racism (Anglo-Saxons). Your posts are just staggering, and are completely void of constructive criticism or points. I have to say, I am glad you will end the discussion here, because I think your complete lack of respect to the editors and the public at large (their inability to grasp complicated subjects because of a map) is out of control.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 20:14, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
I am neither Italian nor French. Insert "one" for "you" if you prefer; I didn't mean you personally, or the nation to which you belong, or anything like that; I just meant that if one loses all the battles but wins the war, the battles were still defeats, not "tactical victories". Pinkbeast (talk) 10:29, 20 June 2014 (UTC)


I wasn't going to reply but you took advantage of my ending this discussion to launch a nasty and unwarranted attack upon me as an historian and teacher of history. If I wrote what you had written, then I would have been threatened with being blocked and censured.AnnalesSchool (talk) 11:44, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

It was an Italian victory in military terms. The French had not advanced an inch and the Italians had made slight conquests when an armistice was concluded (Durant les quatre jours de combat, il n’y eut qu’une seule action offensive française. . . [mais] un nombre limité de fortifications avancées furent conquises [et l]e plus grand succès fut la prise de la petite ville de Menton, c.f. this article). On the topic of infoboxes ruin everything, it wouldn't be important to name a victor if we didn't have that infobox. Srnec (talk) 20:06, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I suggest you read Rochat's article again. He does not state the Italians won a military victory, and the French making no advances has little to do with the entire affair.
The very same paragraph you have quoted from, he calls the results of the Italian offensive "miserable" and sums the entire affair as a way of Mussolini to "get a few crumbs from the German victory". Rochat is on par with about every other historian, and is not a smoking gun as you make out.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:45, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Where did I make him out to be a smoking gun? I read the article. I know what he says in that paragraph. He also calls the French defence a "victorious resistance". Currently the infobox says "tactical victory", is that a tacit admission that it was a strategic defeat? Certainly Weinberg, p. 140, does not call it an Italian defeat. The haplessness of the Italian offensive is acknowledged by all. The terms "victory" and "defeat" are foisted upon us by the infobox. Srnec (talk) 22:47, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
If you read Rochat's article, how can you conclude the Italians were victorious on a military level? How, by acknowledging that the Italian attack failed (as highlighted on the page cited by Weinberg, and further noted in the other references used and practically every other source on the subject), is the infobox being "a tacit admission that it was a strategic defeat"? Do we have a source that suggests the Italian's achieved a strategic victory or something strategic in all this? Having looked at quite a large selections of work on this topic, I have seen none thus far. If anything, it should be clear that the French won on the battlefield, but lost in the grand scheme of things (mainly due to the fact that Germany had overrun the country).
The infobox does not force us to use simple terms such as victory or defeat, however over the past few months there have been attempts to impose "Italian victory" in the infobox: a result not supported by historians and hence the over the top use of citations to support the fact that the French military essentially defeated the invasion on military grounds.
In the interests of advancing this article in a positive direction, rather than just fighting on the talkpage, what would you suggest the infobox state?
In the long run, after the article had been padded out to provide a more in-depth look at the battle and its aftermath, I was thinking something along the lines of:
  • Italian invasion stalls/fails
  • French military undefeated
  • Political outcome resulting in the Franco-Italian Armistice
  • Italian occupation zone established in southern France
thoughts?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:02, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
"lost in the grand scheme of things" = strategic defeat
Thinking about this some more. . . if the article were titled "Battle of the Alps", I think there'd be less reason to quibble. Nothing wrong with saying that the Italians lost a battle that was part of a wider war. But to say the French were victorious opposing an invasion, when they in fact had to cede territory (some of which was taken from them in battle) is what strikes me (and AnnalesSchool, apparently) as misleading at worst, awkward at best. Unfortunately, I have no advice/opinion on the infobox. The battle section of this article needs beefing up. I'll see what I can do. Srnec (talk) 19:42, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Lost in the grand scheme of things does equate to a strategic defeat inflicted upon the French by the Italians. Germany had already defeated the French military when the Italians attacked (the German attack is the grand scheme of things). The Italian attack, other than capturing territory that had been abandoned in 1939, stalled before even hitting the main French positions. Trying to spin that into an Italian victory - of any sort - is ludicrous and not supported. As highlighted by several historians, the French were willing to carry on the fight resulting in the Italians having to back down at the peace table. Again, that is not some sort of victory. That is the undefeated French getting the best possible deal in the south while the main game was played in the north.
I have plenty of sources and notes at hand to expand the rest of the article, I just don't have the time at the precise moment. Additional input is always welcome, but if it is aiming to misuse sources (taking Rochat out of context) and turn this article into a propaganda piece unsupported by historians (an Italian strategic victory, for example) then I can see further fights taking place on the talkpage.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:08, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
The source I was planning to use—not yet cited in the article—is Emanuele Sica (2012), "June 1940: The Italian Army and the Battle of the Alps", Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d'histoire XLVII: 355–78. Do you have it, or access to it? If you do, then I won't worry about it.
I did not take Rochat out of context. I don't do propaganda. I don't misuse sources like you misuse Weinberg. I think the French won the battle. I admit my opinion on "strategic victory" is OR until I find a source for it. But I am not looking, since it does not matter. Srnec (talk) 00:32, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Misuse Weinberg! Where? He is quoted in full saying what a disaster the Italian invasion was and placed in the infobox merely as means to provide additional support to other historians who also point out that the Italians failed, due to an ongoing effort by certain editors and anon users to vandalize this article to reflect a mythical Italian victory on the ground (the word "tactical" being a left over from the back and forth edit war going on with anon editors, prior to my arrival, and left in the infobox as its removal would - before a complete overhaul of the infobox - imply an even greater victory, which I concede would be confusing for a reader). It is not like I have quoted him to come up with a different set of results ala your comment about an Italian victory due to their advance and the lack of a French one per Rochat (out of context).
I am intrigued how you call the battle "an Italian victory in military terms" yet now you comment "I think the French won the battle". The whole affair over the "strategic victory" comment is also intriguing considering it had zero effect on the overall cause of what was happening to France and failed to force France's hand at the peace table. In all the sources I have looked at thus far (by Anglo-American, French, and Italian historians), no one has stated it was any sort of a strategic victory.
As for the Canadian journal, I do not have access to it although the abstract for the article clearly supports about every other historian on the subject: the Italian military failed, due to a multitude of reasons (industrial, doctrine, equipment, etc), with their offensive "peter[ing] out after a few days, with no significant victories and few territorial gains."EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 09:25, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Weinberg does not call the battle a French victory on the page cited, as its use implies. Since it follows the bullet point "French tactical victory", what else could Weinberg be expected to say? What he says is quoted in the article: "the singularly inglorious record of the Italians in what little fighting they had done". This does not mean "French tactical victory". I wouldn't be too harsh about it if you weren't so insistent that I misused Rochat. What I said was, "The French had not advanced an inch and the Italians had made slight conquests when an armistice was concluded". Then I quoted Rochat—Durant les quatre jours de combat, il n’y eut qu’une seule action offensive française. . . [mais] un nombre limité de fortifications avancées furent conquises [et l]e plus grand succès fut la prise de la petite ville de Menton—which translates to "During four days of combat, there was not a single French offensive action. . . but a limited number of advanced fortifications were conquered [by the Italians] and the greatest [Italian] success was the capture of the small village of Menton". Rochat says exactly what I said, as anybody who can read French can see. I did not imply that he said it was an Italian victory because it was obvious that I was using Rochat to back up my second sentence—since I basically just restated Rochat in my own words and quoted him to prove it. Maybe this could mislead one who does not read French, but I was under the impression you could. In which case, how was it misleading to quote Rochat saying what I just said? Srnec (talk) 20:22, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Shall we call this a draw and both start a fresh, as it would seem the bickering - by both of us - has come about though miscommunication.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 20:39, 29 June 2014 (UTC)


Don't waste your time Srnec. Enigma is clearly defensive about "his" article that he will brook no other point of view. There is a very strong historiography about Italy and its role in the war, an incredible bias that was mainly established by Anglo and German writers: Anglo in their nationalistic triumphalism and German in whitewashing their own defeats and passing the buck to their Italian "allies" which by the way, the Germans often betrayed.

My advice is to let the reader decide. Italy gained important concessions from this battle and many others. Let them talk about Italian defeat and retreat and failures and fiascos to their heart's content, but at the end of the day, Italy gained territory in France, Greece, the Balkans, North Africa and elsewhere. All these gains are there for everyone to see. Italy and its ally Germany were actually winning the war, and the UK was losing it badly. When writers talk about how "bewildered" the Italians were with all their defeats, keep in mind that the country most bewildered was actually the UK in retreat everywhere. It couldn't even defeat the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean.

There is no doubt in my mind and in the mind of many historians, that Britain would have been easily finished off by the Axis powers if it weren't rescued by its American and Russian allies.AnnalesSchool (talk) 10:40, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Thank you AnnlesScool for yet another unsupported and unconstrutive rant employing straw men and irrlevent material.
I don't own the article, I don't claim to either. However, since I am editing to improve it, I will not stand idly by while you vandlise it as you have done in the past. Finally, and once again, how about you back up your arguments rather than your nationalist border line racist attitude towards every historian who disagree with you (which includes Italian historians!).EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 12:53, 29 June 2014 (UTC)


Enigma, I accept the challenge. I wish to include in this article some revisionist historians such as Sadkovich and others who have a different view. Do I have you "permission" to proceed? AnnalesSchool (talk) 17:25, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Why throw the sarcasm in when he "challenge" was to be constructive?
I am glad that you acknowledge that Sadkovich is a revisionist (I still find it highly amusing that the only English speaking historian you don't talk about in a derogatory manner happens to be the one you agree with). There is no issue with introducing material that is controversial. The issue is giving it undue weight, as you have done in the past, to significantly alter what the histrocial consensus is on the subject.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 19:10, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Wasnt the Italian occupied area of France a haven for French Jews?[edit]

Belive(left out of article) that the Italian occupied area of France was a refuge for fleeing jews from Petains Vichy Frence and German Occuoied France. was this so? What happened to the refugess Jewish and non Jewish in Mussolinis Facist Occuipied France sector?JohnsonAndre'Edson (talk) 01:29, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Outcome[edit]

Re: [1]. Please discuss who won here rather than edit war. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:17, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Considering that anon IP is replacing referenced statements with unreferenced statements, and changing unreferenced numbers to different unreferenced numbers ( 1841 killed, 1440 prisoners), I would ask anon IP to supply the reference that states the victory is different, and to back up the new numbers. Until then, the referenced statement must stand. The unreferenced numbers smack of WP:OR, but replacing one OR with another is not a solution. If anon IP refuses to add a citation, and insists upon making the change, then perhaps this article should be WP:SEMISafety Cap (talk) 22:27, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I realise this is a somewhat dubious argument, but there's also the consideration that the other version doesn't make sense; how on Earth does one arrange to have 1000+ dead and 84 wounded (without the loss of a ship with all hands or some other specific circumstance that would kill all the men involved?) Pinkbeast (talk) 12:31, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

What is wrong with this article.[edit]

My position is simply to introduce more balance and neutrality and fair play. Many of the articles (like this one) show a bias against the Italian military involvement in nearly all spheres of combat. I have used a single source as an example, and even that one was dismissed out of hand. But there are at least a dozen others like Sadkovich I can produce at a later stage and introduce gradually, historians who are more even-handed than the earlier writers.

The problem lies with your example of Ciano. Yes, he probably made that remark, but why include it? For what purpose? To make Mussolini look bad? There was another from Roosevelt, the stab in the back quote. Why include that particular quote gratuitously, as if Hitler, or for that matter Roosevelt or Churchill themselves, have never done their own back-stabbing.

The fact is that the Italians had a small window of opportunity to invade France, and they took it. No one could foresee how quickly France would fall. So comments like: "Much of June was lost as the Italian armed forces prepared for an invasion. But, even after additional time for preparations, the hastily-prepared Italian forces were not at their prime." This sentence doesn't quite add up. If Italy declared war on France on June 10, well that's nearly half of June lost already. So what? Italy should have declared war sooner and because it didn't, it merely wasted time? And even after additional time, the Italian army was still "not a their prime"? Who's to say they weren't "at their prime?" And so the article carries on in this vein for much of the time. Nearly every paragraph takes a swipe or makes an innuendo against the Italian military, its generals and of course, that old favorite, Mussolini the "clown", the "back-stabber". And so it goes on and on , this disparaging, negative, non-impartial tone, right through it and many other articles like it.

It is also as if many of the Wiki editors who write about the Italian involvement in the war, actually dislike the Italians, or are contemptuous of them, and without even being aware of it because it is so ingrained in them, try to put the Italians in a bad light. Sure, the Ciano source is correct: that's what Ciano said! Sure, the Roosevelt quote about Mussolini being a back-stabber, is probably correct. But my question is: why did the editor include those quotes?

Finally, at the end of the day, the Italians occupied a slice of France as far as Menton. They invaded on the 20th and by the 25th, the French asked for an armistice with the Italians. In my book, that's not bad going. Did they fail because they didn't reach Paris? Nooooo! Did they want to? Noooo! If the French did not surrender when they did, then the Italians would have kept up the pressure until they did. But then you will say: "But wait a minute! It was the Germans who defeated France. Not the Italians!" But no one is claiming that. Did the Italians succeed in their limited objective? Yes, they did. Could they have done better? Possibly, but historians are not here to speculate or compare or to make assumptions. The job of the historian is simply to report the facts. And these are the facts. Italy invaded France on the 20th June. There was fighting, chaos, set-backs, etc. On the 25th June, France sues for peace. Italy is in possession of a slice of France as far as Menton. It then occupied Corsica and the Alpes-Maritmes. Voila! End of story! What Ciano said, what Roosevelt said, what the author of the article thinks should have happened, is irrelevant!

AnnalesSchool (talk) 16:12, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Please identify those sources you mention, and be specific on what they support. Your personal views and interpretations are not relevant: please see WP:V. Nick-D (talk) 10:14, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


Why? You want me to identify sources here in the Talk section? I'm not sure I know what you mean. I haven't even used the sources yet, and you want me to identity them?

AnnalesSchool (talk) 11:43, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

You said that the article isn't taking into account the views of "a dozen others like Sadkovich". Who are they, and what do they say that's relevant? Vaguely waving at sources isn't terribly useful. Nick-D (talk) 10:02, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

The Unreliability of The Count Ciano Diary[edit]

The diary by Count Ciano is considered by many historians as an unreliable source. The diary was re-edited by Ciano to avoid prosecution by the Allies, to put him in a better light against Mussolini. Furthermore, there is a question about the OSS and British Intelligence having altered the diary substantially. Care must be used when quoting from it. In my opinion, it should not be used. Therefore, I believe the quote attributed to Ciano, should be removed for two reasons: its reliability and secondly, it really does not add anything to this article. AnnalesSchool (talk) 01:16, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The problem with the author, William Shirer[edit]

William Shirer's work, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was published in 1960. It has been criticized by many historians as having "four major failings": a crude understanding of German history; a lack of balance, leaving important gaps; no understanding of a modern totalitarian regime; and ignorance of current scholarship of the Nazi period" and "not sufficiently scholarly nor sufficiently well written to satisfy more academic demands".


Therefore, its utility is problematic and should be used with care. The work itself is old and out-dated. It is certainly biased and lacks an historian's balance. I recommend using more recent, up to date research. Unfortunately for many of these types of Wikipedia articles, authors like Shirer are over-used and relied upon.

In this article he has quoted Count Ciano as describing Mussolini as "the strutting Italian dictator had been quickly deflated—all the more so because of the miserable showing of the Italian army against a handful of French troops." This has a ring of falsity. I have my doubt if the Italian foreign minister at the time would have actually written this down. Therefore, I believe it should be removed from this article because a) there is a question of reliability and b) it does not add anything to the article itself, which is about the Italian incursion into France.

AnnalesSchool (talk) 01:33, 23 April 2014 (UTC)



Actually, I think this whole article should be deleted. It could be beyond repairing. There is a much better one, on Wikipedia titled, The Occupation of France. [[2]] that goes into more detail and is more balanced and better sourced.

AnnalesSchool (talk) 02:04, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Shirer's book is actually only referenced twice. I agree that it's outdated, but the usage of it here doesn't seem very problematic. Nick-D (talk) 10:16, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


I beg to differ. Shirer has used the Count Ciano diaries heavily, and these diaries are not considered all that reliable as they have been altered by Ciano himself and by others. So the "strutting dictator" quote and the "Mussolini is humiliated" quote that have been taken from Shirer and included in this article, is certainly not reliable and indeed, add nothing to this article, and therefore, should be removed. AnnalesSchool (talk) 11:32, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I draw attention to the Wiki Verifiability Rule:

Verifiability does not guarantee inclusion See also: WP:UNDUE and WP:PAGEDECIDE While information must be verifiable in order to be included in an article, this does not mean that all verifiable information must be included in an article. Consensus may determine that certain information does not improve an article, and that it should be omitted or presented instead in a different article.

AnnalesSchool (talk) 12:19, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Discrepancies between this article and the one titled 'Italian occupation of France during World War II'[edit]

I've noticed a couple of discrepancies between this article and the Italian Occupation of France article. For example, the invasion dates are different. What should be done to harmonize the two articles? What are the guidelines here? AnnalesSchool (talk) 14:31, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Ok,if I don't hear anything to the contrary, I will go ahead and change the date from the 20th to the 10th June as the date Italy invaded or attacked France, and change the casualty figures to the ones shown in the Italian Occupation of France wiki article. AnnalesSchool (talk) 10:55, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Rebuke to the above comments, and to the changes made to the article[edit]

Ciano's comment[edit]

It has been mentioned that "Verifiability does not guarantee inclusion", however Ciano is not a random nobody making a comment. He was a member of the regime, thus warrants inclusion not exclusion. Despite the fact that the need for consensus has been noted above, his comments have been removed - again - from the article without notification or seeking concensus.

Excluding Shirer, the same comment from Ciano is used in the following sources:

Whatever problems Shirer may have, Ciano's comments have been used by several historians on the subject. The above, a quick search just looking to quote the sentence, highlights use outside of Shirer. If the quote is so compromised and irrelevant, why does it keep cropping up on the subject without any comment - thus far found - to counter it. The claim that the quote adds nothing to the article is bias: it presents an regime' insiders take on what happened. The claim that "This has a ring of falsity. I have my doubt if the Italian foreign minister at the time would have actually written this down." is without support. It is in Ciano's diary and has been attributed to him from several sources, none of which have thus far questioned if it was a post-war fabrication. EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:56, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Change from French tactical victory to Italian tactical victory[edit]

Other than Sheir, who does not agree with an Italian tactical victory, we have:

  • Damuel Mitcham's The Rise of the Wehrmacht: Vol 2: French victory
  • J. E. Kaufmann and H. W. Kaufmann's Fortress France: The Maginot Line and FrenchDefenses in World War II - French victory
  • . E. Kaufmann and H. W. Kaufmann's Hitler's Blitzkreig Campaigns" The Invasion and Defense of Western Europe: a French victory, and on in which the French "did not have to face military defeat".
  • Paul Henry Collier's World War II: The Mediterranean 1940-1945 He calls the Italian attack into France "hapless" and the Italian contribution to victory "ignominious"
  • Jim Ring's own anyalsis and quotes from various contemporary sources do not support an Italian tactical victory, rather the opposite
  • Knox's work highlights that the German contemporary view was not of an Italian tactical success. His own anyalsis is that the Italians failed, an opinion supported by Italian general Mario Roatta. Knox also highlights that other historians, aware of the Italian military failure, talk of a more political victory by the Italians than anything else.
  • Burgwyn argues that the German victory forced the Italians to reduce their demands and the Italians were compromising with the French: not the sign of victory. Not to mention, Burqwyn highlights that 22 Italian divisions "ground to a halt" in the face of six French divisions. Again, no support for a tactical victory and he further notes that the French were prepared to keep on fighting the Italians.
  • Gerhard Wienberg, A World At Arms. He comments "The singularly inglorious record of the Italians in what little fighting they had done ... facilitated German policy" and forced Mussolini to review his armistice demands. Again, no support for a tactical victory by the Italians (p. 140).

I could keep looking, but after 30 minutes, the consensus seems pretty solid: the consensus of the historical community is that the Italians did not win a tactical victory in the Alps in 1940.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:42, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Why this continual undertone of contempt and prejudice against the Italians?[edit]

Boy, EnigmaMcmxc, you really have it in for the Italians, don't you? Look, why not give the "eyeties" a bit of a rest and flog the Hungarians, or even better, the Bulgarians! They were members of the Axis too. So how about it? Can you give those poor dago bastards a bit of a break? Please.

Actually I don't, but it is nice to see that your initial reaction is to play the race card. That highlights the lack of an argument from you from the start. Considering your supposed academic background, I am appalled.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 14:07, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Seriously, there are problems with what you have written. Your statement, "the consensus seems pretty solid: the consensus of the historical community is that the Italians did not win a tactical victory in the Alps in 1940."

And who exactly is the "historical community"? Nearly every author you have mentioned, is Anglo-American. Maybe a German thrown in here and there for good measure? You mentioned Knox? Here is what Sadkovich and others think of him:

Yet Knox and other Anglo-American historians have not only selectively used Italian sources, they have gleaned negative observations and racist slurs and comments from British, American, and German sources and then presented them as objective depictions of Italian political and military leaders, a game that if played in reverse would yield some interesting results regarding German, American, and British competence. (Sadkovich, James J. The Journal of Military History 58.4 (Oct 1994): 617).

In which case, I believe we have Sadkovich's blessing for the rest that have been used. Well done, thus we have established consensus since practically every source (I say practically, because the only one at the moment is the one that you have inserted that cannot be verified) calls the Italian invasion anything but a success. When reading them, they highlight the numerous political, military, economic, and industrial problems facing the Italians.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 14:07, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm neither particularly for the Italians, nor am I against them. You see, history is actually 10% fact and 90% interpretation and point of view. Is the glass half full, or half empty? You tell me. At the end of the day, did the Italians achieve anything from their incursion into France? You yourself have admitted and accepted the list of concessions they received from the the French. Sure, Mussolini didn't get everything he wanted, but who does in life? Italy's gains were modest. So what? But make gains, they surely did. Therefore, the incursion into France, was a success, though a limited one considering what Mussolini had hoped for.

Your interpretation, unsupported by practically every source out there on the invasion. Who note, that while the Italians may have gained something, they made limited gains because the French military outright halted the Italian invasion. There was no military gains. How Italy were forced to drop claims at the negotiation table due to their unwanted arrival, possibility of screwing up the German armistice plans, and the fact the French were willing to carry on fighting them. Am sorry, but enough sources point to the Italians stabbing the French in back - in their darkest hour - and attempting to reap the rewards, which they were force to limit. That does not speak of a military victory.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 14:07, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

You mention there is a "strong consensus" of historians. Of course there is for the simple reason that historians often just paraphrase and quote each other! I should know because I teach history! If you follow their footnotes, you begin to notice a curious thing. You notice the footnotes tend to do a loop, back to themselves and this community of "consensus". Historians are often sheep-like in instinct. They don't like to stand out in a crowd and often go "baah! baah! in unison.

If would like to provide details to your school, I will file a formal complaint on behalf of the student body if you wish?
I have been reading history long enough, and have academically studied the subject. I am aware of the problems. I am aware that historians will source secondary sources, and that myths can often go repeated for decades. However, I am also aware that historians will make a stand, stand out from the crowd and announce these myths to be such. Thus far, I have read several sources on the subject all of which have them providing their own analysis of the subject and not a single one is saying "hang on a minute, the Italians actually fared better in this campaign than previously thought" or "No, the Italians were not halted by the main French defensive line and unable to overcome it". So you can complain about the problems historians face, but you have yet to provide any substantial evidence that the overall interpretation of this campaign is wrong (something pointed out by several other wiki users to you, and something you failed to address).EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 14:07, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

AnnalesSchool (talk) 11:03, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

I have read carefully your "Analysis" and it adds little to the overall article. There is a fixation on numbers and a misreading of the actual situation on the ground when you write:

Of course it doesn't add anything to the article! Although that is probably because it doesn't call the Italian advance into France a tactical, strategic, and political victory.
    • On 22 June, 50,000 Italians troops were unable to breech the French positions at Bourg St. Maurice, held by 5,500 troops.

This is a little misleading because in a defensive line like the Alpine Line, you don't need all that many defenders. That's why one has a defensive line of concrete and underground fortifications in the first place: so that a few can hold off the many. Even the Germans would have had severe difficulties confronting the Maginot Line head on, which is why they went around it! Due to the rugged, mountainous terrain, the Italians had little choice but to confront it head on! Indeed, the French Alpine Line was twice as difficult to overcome than the Maginot Line due to the narrow and few mountain passes that were available to the Italians. So your comparison of how 50,000 Italians were held back by 5500 French, is unfair, It is yet again, another example of using any statistics or "evidence" or opportunity to place the Italians in a negative light in a back-handed way.

Having read your rebuttal carefully, it adds little to your overall argument. It highlights a complete lack of understanding of what the Maginot Line was about (it was suppose to funnel the Germans into Belgium to be faced by the cream of the French Army and keep the battle of French soil) or what happened (when attacked head on, iirc in the weakest sections in the northern end of the line, the Germans walked on through due to the failing in the design of the line). Your rebuttal also completely misses about every other thing said in the section, and also misses how the same source goes on offer a reason why the Italians failed. In fact, a casual search has revealed more evidence as to why they failed including an assessment by Ciro Paoletti (an Italian historian if I am not mistaken) who goes on to lambast the Italian military (lack of planning, unprepared, doctrine failings, organization failings, equipment failings) and industry as the reasons why Italy failed and goes on to suggest that the Battle of France was the starting point in the fall of Italy from a regional power to a satellite of Germany.
So I am sorry, but contempt, prejudice, and all your other little insults are not grounded in or backed by the evidence: which points overwhelmingly to an unprepared Italian military being unable to overcome the small French force facing them (thus no Italian victory), and only gaining what they did because Germany had already defeated France (which was the strategy Mussolini had decided to employ).
I look forward to your next round of insults.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 14:07, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Enigma, please try to calm down. And please cease your abusive language or I will have no choice but to report you. Take a couple of asprins and try to get a good night's sleep. And please, try to refrain from highly strung paranoid statements, and remember the Wikipedia motto of assuming good will in other editors. Good night.AnnalesSchool (talk) 15:06, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Considering your opening statement contained no good faith and was full of insults and racial comments, please by all means report me as you are on more shaky ground than I. EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:57, 7 May 2014 (UTC)


Enigma, you are so wrong in so many ways, I really don't know where to begin. You have a strong, deeply felt prejudice towards the Italians and are simply regurgitating myths and falsehoods about the Italian war effort. Your prejudices have blinded you to the many success stories of the Italian military. I would say at least 80% of Anglo-American authors are simply paraphrasing and quoting themselves and as Sadkovich and others have stated, have acted more like prosecuting lawyers in building a case against the Italians, than being fair and neutral historians. You should stop this witch hunt and reflect for a moment. You are not doing Wikipedia any service. There is a growing awareness in the public that the Italian war effort was much maligned and unfairly portrayed, and this awareness is growing.

At the end of the day, the Italians achieved success by their incursion into France. While they did not receive all their grandiose desires in the Franco-Italian armistice, they achieved sufficient to make the incursion a clever and worthwhile maneuver by Mussolini. The Italians fought hard and bravely against very formidable defences and if the war had lasted another week, would have undoubtedly, overcome French resistance. AnnalesSchool (talk) 00:27, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Sigh, yet more unfounded personal attacks. I have nothing, despite your repeated assertions, against Italians (you are the only one here who has provided racial stereotypes and slurs against Italians). I have not provided my own interpretation of what the Italians have done, I have quoted what historians have said. Your own rebuttal is to repeatedly paraphrase an American historian who has been described as a revisionist (and not in the good sense) who overextends his arguments and takes them were the evidence does not fit and apparently - according to you - calls everyone else a racist.
You post yet more comments without sources to back them up. Every single historian (including Italians!) thus far (save one economic historian who you have refused to provide more detail on) call the Italian attack into France anything but a success. Contemporary Italian opinion of the time, as shown in the article, also doesn't suggest anything that could be described as a successful military venture into France.
Do you have a source that disputes the Italians did not break through the Alpine Line? Do you have a source that disputes they suffered 6,000 casualties in doing so due to be unprepared? Where are these supposed myths about this campaign?
Perhaps you should take your own advise, take a step back and reflect for a moment. All you have done is accuse people of being bias and racist, have inserted unhelpful and misleading comments into articles, twisted information to your own personal view, made erroneous edits to articles (such as removing what historians call the outcome of this battle on a military level, changing the dates of the attack, removing information you do not believe), and attempted to discredit the consensus of historians with a single source you will not quote. You are not being helpful the wiki either, by quoting a single historian as the end all on the subject as an attempt to discredit every instance of where historians have highlighted the problem of the Italian military. For example: the amazing claim the Greeks sabotaged the defense of their own country, that despite the consensus of most historians that Italian equipment was a major problem that it was on par to the Anglo-German equipment (in some respects yes, but the way you have worded it: no).EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:30, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Request for verification[edit]

The Italian historian Vera Zamagni, who provides the lone dissenting voice to this article and apparently makes the claim that the Italian invasion of France as a victory, according to Google Translate is the editor of the book called "How to lose the war and win the peace", which contains six essays.

"The first essay provides an analysis of Vera Zamagni macroeconomic mica effects of the war. The analysis focuses on the economy, costs and damages of war and finally on production capacity that survived the conflict. ... The second essay, Fortunato Minniti, deals with the arms industry between 1940 and, 1943. ... The third essay, by Andrea Heal me, is the technology and models of armament ... The fourth essay, by Duccio Bigazzi, showing the situation of workers in the industry of war (1938-43). ... In the fifth essay Rolf Petri explains the technological innovations between military use and civilian market. ... In the fifth essay Rolf Petri explains the technological innovations between military use and civilian market. ... " Finally, the conclusion states these "essays contributes to persuade additional readers of the fact that Italy was in these years at a crucial stage of its process of industrialization" and that Italy was able to take advantage of the Marshal Plan, learn from its mistakes and flourish in the post-war world.

Assuming this is the correct book (Italian title put into google, matched, and then the translation tool utilized) and that the translation tool is as accurate to allow a decent translation of the intro, it raises serious questions about the quality of the source in regards to this article. It is several economic historians, who are not focusing on combat. It would seem that whatever is on page 53 needs to be verified, the actual historian mentioned, and the context of what he said and why.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 14:35, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Then you should have no trouble providing the name of which of the six historians you have quoted and - considering the nature of their work - a full quote showing the context of what they said and exactly what they said.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:58, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Emanuele Sica (2012), "June 1940: The Italian Army and the Battle of the Alps", Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d'histoire XLVII: 355–78[edit]

Earlier I had wrote, although it seems I edited out in error - prior to hitting save - when caught up in the bickering, was that input is welcome.

Does this source mention anything on the Italian war plans: PR 12, Operation M and Operation R?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 20:47, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Here is what he says on p. 368:

As early as January 1938, the P.R. 12 (Piano Radunata 12 or Staging Plan 12), as well as in its updated versions of April 1939 and March 1940, assumed the formations on the Italian western border would take a defensive stance. This prudence stemmed from the realization that the French army, at least until May 1940, could boast many more troops in the Alpine region than the Italian army, while the Alpine terrain favored attacks from French territory. (For more on the evolution of the P.R. 12, see Gallinari, Le Operazioni del giugno, pp. 22–38.)

Nothing on operations M and R. Srnec (talk) 15:18, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
I had seen references to PR12 in numerous sources, but none mentioned what it was. To find out it was just the order for a defensive posture, is a bit of a let down I have to admit. However, that will happily bolster the background section until we can dig up more info regarding the offensive plans (whatever Ops R and M are).
According to our article Fortified Sector of the Dauphiné and this website, Operations M and R were the northern and southern sectors of the offensive, named after the Maddalena Pass and the Riviera respectively, corresponding, it would seem, with France's two sectors of the Alpine Line. Srnec (talk) 20:18, 30 June 2014 (UTC)