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Ariete!

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  1. For budgetary reasons, Italy kept the 104s going (with updates, etc.) well into the 1980s (early 90s). In Italian service it was often referred to as "Spillone" ("Big Pushpin" but also, arguably, "Prick" due to its pointy shape). It was basically a hot rod but with short legs and an indifferent radar. Essentially a short-range, quick-reaction, ground-controlled interceptor. The problem with the F-104 in NATO use was that Lockheed, as part of a huge, Europe-wide scandal, bribed governments in the 1960s/70s to buy F-104s and C-130s The F-104G was meant to be used as a light-bomber / inter
  2. BTW, regarding comments about being built in the US. Fincantieri will, of course, be building these in the US (Wisconsin, I think).
  3. I'm very much on board with what 'Zuk' and others have stated. I think that what you want is an 'IFV' that can carry 8 dismounts and has a turreted armament in the 25-30 mm range. There are several models now that can give you that, I think/ Given the typical forestation / urbanisation levels of many theatres, I think the Ideal Armour (combined arms) unit is two Coys of IFVs and two Coys of MBTs. As others have stated, that's armoured forces; if you;'re getting in a lot of 'close' terrain w=you will need more leg infantry, of course. On the 'wheeled IFVs', there is clearly a trend there. (
  4. A pretty comprehensive critique and a difficult one to rebut. :-)
  5. Happy to be corrected but the thing that always amazed me teh msot abotu th whole operation is how a batallion-sized, training-unit commander in teh sapce of an hour sets up stop-gap positions that, whatever the difficulteuis of ana rilanding, stop 1-2 brigade of elite light infantry dead intehir tracks, giving teh rest of teh Jerries time to bring in serious forces. I cannot think of any other simialr situation with another army where they woudl have reacted as quickly and as effectively given what they had.
  6. I've read the book and recommend it. Amazing fellow; truly. I won't spoil "the ending" for you but it's also v. interesting.
  7. On the IFV concept, per se. - Where they have been used, their relatively high protection and substantial firepower has been highly appreciated. - prominent programs for recent APCs (Styker, Namer, etc.) have tended to get retrofitted with.. An AC!! - If you are deploying large armoured formations, I'm assuming it's armour-friendly terrain. In any case, in an assault, the fire support element should be = or larger than close assault one. IOW, you don't need huge numbers of dismounts. You need firepower. As for procurement process, yeh, it's messsed up. It strikes me that the CV90 is proba
  8. Simply cannot believe that after all history people still doubt the usefulness of proper aircraft carriers. Even in the (ill considered) Lybia campaign, the mission turnaround times posed a strain. As a NATO type, I think it's ace that the UK is actually proceding with 2 carriers and (eventually) and air wing.
  9. Well, the take-over of Albania, as absurd as it was (given they were already an inoffensive protectorate, de facto) might be justified from the innately expansionistic/militaristic Mussolinian viewpoint, but Greece was a stupid, costly gamble, given that the ports of entry in Albania could barely sustain an army smaller than the one they were attacking, in mountanous terrain. On top of that, the degree of cant required to call Greece, of all countries, an enemy of Italy was stupendous. Never mind the (militarily disappointing) stab in the back to France. By the time things kicked off agains
  10. Very valid point about italian production only going to 1943. In the specific instance of heavy weaponry, IIRC they were running up against raw material and other shortages actually, so a German-style (even in proportion ) ramp-up in 44-45 would not have been possible, IMO. Since all the factories were in the german-occupied North of Italy, some pieces were finished under their control after Sept. 8 and were used by the Germans here and there. Very interesting, by the way, the original post.
  11. WHile it seems common in the English-language bilbiography to rather criticise British arms production quality and (less so) quantity, the outpur of Britain (after all, a major industrial power) was tremendous. It is only in comparison to the breathtaking US ramp-up that it appears more modest. Just counting tanks and assault guns, wartime production was: USSR 120 k * USA 108 k Brit. Empire 48 k vs. Germany 67 k Italy 3 k ** Japan 4k * As is well known, Soviet vehicle production focused on AFVs. Overall
  12. FWIW, Friedman's take on the Fed is not inaccurate but somewhat simplistic. Facts have not been kind to unreformed monetarist ideas.
  13. By 1950s, per capita real GDP in each of the three main Axis powers was above 1939 levels. By 1960 it was 75% higher than the 1939 level. Though oveall GDP did benefit from population growth, it was mostly a productivity revolution. Even the US, which did not have the same 'catch-up' effects (it was one of the richest coutrneis if not the richest, pro-capita) was up 50% vs. 1940, by 1950 and up 77% by 1960. Thos are price-adjusted, per-capita figures.
  14. fascinating. In so many ways not too far from the WW ! army...
  15. I don't have a first-hand perspective, just what was written in the Italian defense media. it was considered a relatively cost-effective measure since local aero industry was already tooled up for F-104G. It doesn't seem as if anyone considered it a great plane. More controversial was the upgrade to F-104 ASA, with more advanced missiles, etc., at a time when the 104s were really becoming obsolete and rahter old machines and the rest of NATO had long re-equipped with more modern systems.
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