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Old January 11th, 2018, 10:23 PM   #1
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worst equipped militaries of ww2


Which militaries of WW2 would be the worst equipped including all sides big and small powers? What are some of the weapons used by Siam, Egypt Bulgaria, Romania or Hungary?
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Old January 11th, 2018, 11:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wigglywaffles View Post
Which militaries of WW2 would be the worst equipped including all sides big and small powers? What are some of the weapons used by Siam, Egypt Bulgaria, Romania or Hungary?

The Italian military easily qualifys for this. Small arms were uniformly bad. Most troops were stuck with the old Carcano M1891 rifle, which used the weak 6.5×52mm cartridge. Only some got the marginally improved Carcano M1938 rifle. Italian submachine guns were unimpressive, and only produced in small numbers.

The Breda 30 machine gun was very inadequate. It was mechanically unreliable, jammed frequently, had a small magazine and was slow to reload, and had problems with overheating. In addition, it fired the underpowered 6.5×52mm round.

The Breda M37 was a significantly better machine gun. It used a more powerful 8x59mm cartridge, and was more reliable as well. However, the weapon still had a small magazine, was bulky and heavy, and few were available for use.

Much of their artillery was obsolete, with weapons dating back from WW1. There were some exceptions, though. The Brixia M35 mortar was a very good design. The Cannone da 75/32 was a pretty good field gun, too, but it wasn't produced in enough numbers.

Their tanks were pretty bad too. In 1940, the Italians relied heavily on tankettes and light tanks. The L3/33 and L3/35 tankette are representative, as are the L6/40 and M11/39 light tank. They were eventually able to replace these with the M13/40 and M14/41. These newer and heavier tanks were fine by the standards of 1941: They had a good gun and adequate mobility (but poor armor). However, the Italian vehicles proved totally inadaquate against the lee grant tanks in 1942. From that point on, their fleet was inferior in both quality and quantity to the allys.

Last edited by PlasmaTorch; January 12th, 2018 at 12:16 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 12:03 AM   #3

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The Royal Yugoslav Army was pretty badly equipped.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 01:34 AM   #4
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I have no factual basis upon which to base this assumption, but I bet the Romanian Army's equipment sucked.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 02:18 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by PlasmaTorch View Post
The Italian military easily qualifys for this. Small arms were uniformly bad. Most troops were stuck with the old Carcano M1891 rifle, which used the weak 6.5×52mm cartridge. Only some got the marginally improved Carcano M1938 rifle. Italian submachine guns were unimpressive, and only produced in small numbers.

The Breda 30 machine gun was very inadequate. It was mechanically unreliable, jammed frequently, had a small magazine and was slow to reload, and had problems with overheating. In addition, it fired the underpowered 6.5×52mm round.

The Breda M37 was a significantly better machine gun. It used a more powerful 8x59mm cartridge, and was more reliable as well. However, the weapon still had a small magazine, was bulky and heavy, and few were available for use.

Much of their artillery was obsolete, with weapons dating back from WW1. There were some exceptions, though. The Brixia M35 mortar was a very good design. The Cannone da 75/32 was a pretty good field gun, too, but it wasn't produced in enough numbers.

Their tanks were pretty bad too. In 1940, the Italians relied heavily on tankettes and light tanks. The L3/33 and L3/35 tankette are representative, as are the L6/40 and M11/39 light tank. They were eventually able to replace these with the M13/40 and M14/41. These newer and heavier tanks were fine by the standards of 1941: They had a good gun and adequate mobility (but poor armor). However, the Italian vehicles proved totally inadaquate against the lee grant tanks in 1942. From that point on, their fleet was inferior in both quality and quantity to the allys.
Really? I had always read that the Baretta sub-machine guns were highly thought of, the first thing the Germans did when Italy surrendered was loot the Baretta factory?
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Old January 12th, 2018, 02:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by PlasmaTorch View Post
The Italian military easily qualifys for this. Small arms were uniformly bad. Most troops were stuck with the old Carcano M1891 rifle, which used the weak 6.5×52mm cartridge. Only some got the marginally improved Carcano M1938 rifle. Italian submachine guns were unimpressive, and only produced in small numbers.

The Breda 30 machine gun was very inadequate. It was mechanically unreliable, jammed frequently, had a small magazine and was slow to reload, and had problems with overheating. In addition, it fired the underpowered 6.5×52mm round.

The Breda M37 was a significantly better machine gun. It used a more powerful 8x59mm cartridge, and was more reliable as well. However, the weapon still had a small magazine, was bulky and heavy, and few were available for use.

Much of their artillery was obsolete, with weapons dating back from WW1. There were some exceptions, though. The Brixia M35 mortar was a very good design. The Cannone da 75/32 was a pretty good field gun, too, but it wasn't produced in enough numbers.

Their tanks were pretty bad too. In 1940, the Italians relied heavily on tankettes and light tanks. The L3/33 and L3/35 tankette are representative, as are the L6/40 and M11/39 light tank. They were eventually able to replace these with the M13/40 and M14/41. These newer and heavier tanks were fine by the standards of 1941: They had a good gun and adequate mobility (but poor armor). However, the Italian vehicles proved totally inadaquate against the lee grant tanks in 1942. From that point on, their fleet was inferior in both quality and quantity to the allys.
+1

Money explains so much in military history.
In 1940, in terms of modernity, Fascist Italy was at least 30 years behind Nazi Germany. More than half the Italian population were impoverished peasants. Despite Fascist propaganda, because of national poverty, Italy could not wage the sort of modern war that Nazi Germany envisaged. This also explains why Italy had no early victories but suffered catastrophic military defeats from the beginning.
The radios in Italian tanks did not work properly in 1940. If tank commanders wanted to communicate with the outside world, they had to get out of the tank and radio from the side of the hull - no easy task during battle.
Army reports from the first engagements with the British desert forces describe Italian tank armour ´shattering like glass´.

Last edited by FMHOPE; January 12th, 2018 at 02:30 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 02:35 AM   #7

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The Chinese, for much of the war:

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The NRA only had small number of armoured vehicles and mechanised troops. At the beginning of the war in 1937 the armour were organized in three Armoured Battalions, equipped with tanks and armoured cars from various countries. After these battalions were mostly destroyed in the Battle of Shanghai and Battle of Nanjing. The newly provided tanks, armoured cars, and trucks from the Soviet Union and Italy made it possible to create the only mechanized division in the army, the 200th Division. This Division eventually ceased to be a mechanized unit after the June 1938 reorganization of Divisions. The armoured and artillery Regiments were placed under direct command of 5th Corps and the 200th Division became a motorized Infantry Division within the same Corps. This Corps fought battles in Guangxi in 1939–1940 and in the Battle of Yunnan-Burma Road in 1942 reducing the armored units due to losses and mechanical breakdown of the vehicles. On paper China had 3.8 million men under arms in 1941. They were organized into 246 "front-line" divisions, with another 70 divisions assigned to rear areas. Perhaps as many as forty Chinese divisions had been equipped with European-manufactured weapons and trained by foreign, particularly German and Soviet, advisers. The rest of the units were under strength and generally untrained. Overall, the Nationalist Army impressed most Western military observers as more reminiscent of a 19th- than a 20th-century army.
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Generally speaking, the regular provincial army divisions did not possess any artillery. However, some Central Army divisions were equipped with 37 mm PaK 35/36 anti-tank guns, and/or mortars from Oerlikon, Madsen, and Solothurn. Each of these infantry divisions ideally had 6 French Brandt 81 mm mortars and 6 Solothurn 20 mm autocannons. Some independent brigades and artillery regiments were equipped with Bofors 72 mm L/14, or Krupp 72 mm L/29 mountain guns and there were 24 Rheinmetall 150 mm L/32 sFH 18 howitzers (bought in 1934) and 24 Krupp 150 mm L/30 sFH 18 howitzers (bought in 1936). At the start of the war, the NRA and the Tax Police Regiment had three tank battalions armed with German Panzer I light tanks and CV-33 tankettes. After defeat in the Battle of Shanghai the remaining tanks, together with several hundred T-26 and BT-5 tanks acquired from the Soviet Union were reorganised into the 200th Division.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...Army#Structure

Last edited by Scaeva; January 12th, 2018 at 02:40 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 03:41 AM   #8
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Really? I had always read that the Baretta sub-machine guns were highly thought of, the first thing the Germans did when Italy surrendered was loot the Baretta factory?
The Beretta Model 38 submachine gun was pretty good, but there just weren't enough of them to go around. Apparently, Italy didn't use mass production for their firearms. Some of it was done on an assembly line, but the rest was by craftsman and artisans. They weren't available in numbers until 1943.

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+1 Money explains so much in military history.

In 1940, in terms of modernity, Fascist Italy was at least 30 years behind Nazi Germany. More than half the Italian population were impoverished peasants. Despite Fascist propaganda, because of national poverty, Italy could not wage the sort of modern war that Nazi Germany envisaged. This also explains why Italy had no early victories but suffered catastrophic military defeats from the beginning.
Money is definitely important. You need to have enough excess wealth to be able to properly supply your military, without skimping out on domestic stuff (like roads, railways, ports, factorys, houses, farms, etc). Italy was in a world of trouble on this front. They were spending a lot of money on deploying troops to Spain and Abyssinia. The invasion of Abyssinia was foolish, as the country was completely devoid of natural resources.

''The budget for Italian East Africa from 1936 to 1937 required Italy to provide 19,136 billion lire to create the necessary infrastructure for the colony. At the time, Italy's entire annual revenue was only 18,581 billion lire.''

Worse yet was Mussolinis failed push for autarky, I.E., independence from foreign resources and food. Not only was this policy unsuitable for Italy, but it was done in a bumbling manner that was harmful to the economy. Then there was the flagrant over-investment in the military: They were rearming 5 or 6 years before everyone else in Europe did, which ironically left them less prepared for war.

It was peacetime, and yet the Fascists diverted great sums of money away from domestic policys. Italy purchased large amounts of equipment that sometimes became obsolete (the tanks and planes, namely), maintained a large military whose men could have been better employed in agriculture, and had no money left when Europe rearmed for real in 1939.

It was just screw up after screw up. And like you said, Italy wasn't as economically or industrially powerful as Germany, so it could ill afford such flagrant mistakes. This also resulted in the Fascists getting alot of criticism from the people, who were rightly upset at their needs being neglected. Tyrannical government, rampant corruption, and bad social programs hurt Mussolinis popularity.

Quote:
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The radios in Italian tanks did not work properly in 1940. If tank commanders wanted to communicate with the outside world, they had to get out of the tank and radio from the side of the hull - no easy task during battle. Army reports from the first engagements with the British desert forces describe Italian tank armour ´shattering like glass´.
Many of Italys tanks didn't even have radios in 1940. Their industry was never able to produce trucks in the number required, either. That meant most of their divisions weren't motorised. Another problem was that artillery shells had a high rate of 'duds', and even when they exploded, they often didn't fragment properly.

Last edited by PlasmaTorch; January 12th, 2018 at 03:49 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 04:18 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by SirOrmondeWinter View Post
Really? I had always read that the Baretta sub-machine guns were highly thought of, the first thing the Germans did when Italy surrendered was loot the Baretta factory?
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The worst equipped would have to be the ducth east indies i would say
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Old January 12th, 2018, 04:32 AM   #10
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Their tanks were pretty bad too. In 1940, the Italians relied heavily on tankettes and light tanks. The L3/33 and L3/35 tankette are representative, as are the L6/40 and M11/39 light tank. They were eventually able to replace these with the M13/40 and M14/41. These newer and heavier tanks were fine by the standards of 1941: They had a good gun and adequate mobility (but poor armor). However, the Italian vehicles proved totally inadaquate against the lee grant tanks in 1942. From that point on, their fleet was inferior in both quality and quantity to the allys.
Remember about Fiat 3000.

But CANT Z.506. was very good.

Last edited by Zbigniew; January 12th, 2018 at 04:42 AM.
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