The Corner

Italian Victory

Couple of days ago I blogged a comment by Evelyn Waugh that “For about

fifteen centuries the Italians have never won an important battle.” Lots of

readers tried to make a case for Lepanto, not very successfully in my

opinion. Now here comes one from Jack Strocchi that I think more


“It is true that Italian troops were fairly pathetic in WWII. My favourite

story of Italian military meekness is the Italian invasion of France, where

the Italian army advanced triumphantly, until it met resistance. And then

stopped. Their hearts were not in the battle, since Italians always despise

Austro-Germans more than Anglo-French.

“Still, although Britain was the stoutest belligerent in the war, it is

worth remembering that the British Army was involved in three of the biggest

surrender/defeats in the war: Dunkirk, Singapore and Tobruk. And the

Italian Army at least made an appearance at Stalingrad, which was the

crucial battle of the war.

“One does not have to go back 1500 years to see an Italian victory, the

Italians defeated the Austro-Hungarians on the Southern front [i.e. in WW1].

The Italian Army, including my Alpinini grandfather Eugenio Strocchi, won a

great victory against the Tedeschi at the battle of Vittorio Veneto, in the

latter stages of that war: A resounding success for the Allies, the Battle

of Vittorio Veneto finished the Austro-Hungarian army as a fighting force.

The Italians lost some 38,000 casualties, a figure dwarfed by the 300,000

prisoners suffered by the Austro-Hungarians. Simultaneous political turmoil

completed the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

“It is worth noting that the British Army provided three divisions in this

battle, and won important fights to secure critical ground at crucial

moments, thus helping to enable the Italian victory. Italy should always be

on the same side as Britain.”


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