The Italian Army in North Africa, 1940-43

Luck Was Lacking, But Valor Was Not

Ralph Riccio, Massimiliano Afiero

This book examines the capabilities and performance of the Italian army in the North African campaign and its significant contributions to the Axis effort there.
Publication date:
September 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
199 photos (2 are colour), 5 maps, 3 tables, 10-12 colour plates of vehicles & 6-9 colour plates of uniforms
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781913336165

Dimensions : 245 X 170 mm
Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.


• The only English-language work that describes the Italian combat effort in North Africa in a systematic, comprehensive fashion
• This book details the Italian participation in the desert as an integral part of the Axis effort there, viewing the accomplishments of the German Afrika Korps in a different context than normally accepted
• This work portrays the Italian accomplishments in North Africa in a much more positive context, based on fact, than commonly reflected in most English-language works

This book begins by examining a number of factors relating to the Italian army's performance in the desert, including assessments of the Italian soldier, leadership, training, organization and structure, equipment, the supply situation in North Africa, the ability of the Italian air force to support ground operations, and an appreciation of Italo-German relations in North Africa.

The book then describes the combat operations of Italian forces in the desert beginning with the early Italian advance from Libya into Egypt in September 1940 and ending with the final Italian surrender to the Allies in Tunisia in May 1943.

The extensive appendices focus heavily on organization and equipment, with tables comparing Italian, British and German armor and artillery in the desert.

Taken as a whole, this book presents an account of Italian ground operations in North Africa, from the time of their initial trouncing at the hands of the British Western desert Force in early 1941, through the see-saw battles of 1941 and 1942 when the combined Italo-German forces battled with the British, through the decimation of the Italian forces during the El Alamein battles in late 1942, and finally with the retreat to Tunisia and surrender of all Axis forces there in May 1943.

This book is the first English-language work to address in a systematic way the contributions of the Italian army to the North African campaign, and challenges the conventional wisdom that the German Afrika Korps was the pre-eminent Axis force in the desert.