Anlushac11The Italians in the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa fought very well and the technology disparity was not near as bad since the Soviets had mostly BT's and T-26's which the M13/40 could handle. One Italian General fought well enough to be awarded a Knights Cross by the Germans for bravery. For those that think the Italians only had crap you are gonna be screaming bloody murder when your tanks get toasted by a Semovente 75/18 firing a effetto pronto warhead or your T-34/76 gets toasted by a Italian 90mm L/53 gun.
Its not that they didn't have some success that can be pointed out, and I will agree that for the middle late 30s both there tanks and aircraft were pretty decent- but they just did not keep up. It doesn't change that they will be great to have in FH, but there is a big difference between average perfomance and peak performance- both true in strategy and eqipment.
I think their Navy and Air Force was good and they seemed to do well with their artillery, but they never developed a good reliable medium tank.
The best armored vehicle they ever made was the Semovente 75/18.
There navy was very problematic, and the airforce was decent early war but was hamstrung by low-output engines as the war progressed. Artillery I have not read about particullary. There armor shortcomings go beyong just not having a decent medium tank though(a mid war medium that is). Again, they made there armor like its was 1936 all over again. The M13/40 series was a decent medium tank for 5 year before but, as it was, it ended up being troubled light tank. By the time its bugs were ironed out it was utterly outclassed as a mbt. They P.40 program took FAR to long.. and there was no fall back either. The sevomente 75/18s yes, I would say were decent (more so the ones based on the later models chassis with more desert related bugs worked out, M14,M15 chassis etc). I still think they get to much attention then they deserve, as they were too lightly armored for my tastes with that type of vehicle. For the desert, I generally prefer the ab 41, but of course a good scout cars can only offer so much to a war... Don't get the wrong Idea here though, I am a big fan of the italian weapons, especially many of there aircraft and other assorted items both for there highs and lows. The redone tobruk with the 202 and italian stuka isl no doubt the dawn of a lot fh 'fantastico'.