Scotoni Giorgio Renato, Candidate of historical sciences, associate professor, sub-department of Russian history, Voronezh State Pedagogical University (86 Lenina street, Voronezh, Russia), firstname.lastname@example.org
Background. In Italy the interaction beetween the Italian 8th army and the German command in 1942–1943 is a little-known topic of the war on the Soviet-German front. Today an increasing interest in history of the Second World War makes the study of various aspects of the German-Italian military cooperation undeniably urgent. The purpose of this work is the question of the ideological prejudices of the German command in assessment of the Italian allies on the Stalingrad theatre of operation in summer 1942.
Materials and methods. The research methodology was based on the crosscontrol of published literature, latest research and materials from the the Italian archives. The author describes the course of military operations in the so-called “First defensive battle on the Don” and, using unpublished documents, shares the experience of the German-Italian cooperation.
Results. The author raises the question of subordination of the 8th Army’s command in its relations with the Wehrmacht – that is the “hierarchy between allied” – in connection with the theory of national socialism. The author considers critical aspects of the cooperation with the German command – from racial factors to weakness of the Royal Army – and shows that the image of Italians in the opinion of a Wehrmacht’s “ideological warrior” was the first reason for a decline in the dynamics of co-operation between the 35th Italian Corps and the Army Group “B”.
Conclusions. By analyzing a large number of archival documents concerning the interactions between the chief of German Liasion group gen. Tippelskirch and the command of the 8th Army, the author describes what does it means to be a “satellite” in the real fight. The dependence of the 8th Army from the support of the Wehrmacht prevented equal relations in the German-Italian military cooperation, and only exacerbated the ideological prejudices of the allies.
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