Maritime volumes of Mussolini's War series

Naval and military history books, recent releases, magazines, related documents, articles, etc.
Marek Sobski
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Maritime volumes of Mussolini's War series

Post by Marek Sobski »


I wanted to introduce myself and my book series.

“Mussolini's War” series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth. It will discuss in a substantive way the campaigns fought by the Italian forces on the ground, at sea and in the air during the reign of Benito Mussolini, the dictator. Reader-friendly language style, descriptions of previously neglected or unknown operations and actions, a lot of space devoted to the most important heroes of the events in question – the rank-and-file - all this makes these books dedicated to readers of all levels of historical knowledge and a guarantee of pleasant time spent reading. The painfully honest account of the weaknesses of the Italian military, in which however, we do not forget about the numerous examples of unprecedented heroism and endurance of the Italians, is based on references on the topic published worldwide, thanks to which we avoid mythologisation, which can often be noticed in other works. It is the first time that the subject is presented comprehensively in the English language.

Marek Sobski, a graduate of the University of Zielona Góra, is a historian. Author of several books (including some published in English like "Lictorian Fasces Over England. Regia Aeronautica In Action Against Britain 1940–1941" and the two-volume "Crickets Against Rats. Regia Aeronautica In The Spanish Civil War"), as well as articles in specialist magazines. Since late 2011, he has been a promoter of interest in the history of the Italian military in the first half of the 20th century, and his expertise has been made available to readers of the "Mussolini's War" blog and on social media.

The latest, fourth, volume of my series has just been published. It is the first volume treating the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina).

Translation: Tomek Basarabowicz (as in previous volumes)

This book describes the operations of a group of Italian submarines that took part in the Atlantic conflict during the World War Two. A total of 32 submarines flying the tricolour flag of the Regia Marina passed through the Betasom base, located at the French port of Bordeaux. Almost two hundred of their combat patrols are presented in detail, all victories and defeats being discussed. The work also covers the story of the base itself, the doctrine of Italian submarines, biographies of commanders, submarines and other factors influencing successes and failures. The Italians commenced their operations in the Atlantic badly, due to a lack of previous experience they turned out to be unprepared for the actions that awaited them, but with stubbornness and hard work, they managed to transform their Atlantic contingent into a very effective fighting machine. Thanks in large part due to the efforts of Betasom’s personnel, the Italian Navy can be proud of being the sixth most effective submarine fleet in the history of this type of weapon. A separate chapter presents the history of the Italian blockade runners, which, based in Bordeaux, were to break into the Far East, carrying in both directions material of strategic importance, urgently needed for the war-fighting of Italy, Germany and Japan.

The book is illustrated with 100 photos or drawings and 15 maps.

List of chapters:

I. Betasom Is Formed
II. Doctrine, Ships And Commanders
III. Road To Bordeaux
IV. The First Patrols From The Betasom Base
V. Hard Winter In The North Atlantic
VI. In The Waters Between The Azores And Gibraltar
VII. The Turn Of 1941/1942 In The South Atlantic
VIII. In American Waters
IX. Twilight Of The Gods
X. Italians In The Far East
XI. Bordeaux As Base For Italian Blockade Runners