Warring sides Italian propaganda, German professionalism and Allied industrialization
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The Italian Army, the Regio Esercito Italiano (REI); consisted of 1,600,000 men and comprised 73 divisions, including three armored, 43 infantry and 17 “self-transportable” infantry divisions. They were, however, mere “binary” divisions with two rather than three regiments, a pretentious change that Mussolini had ordered in 1938 because it enabled him to claim that Italy had almost doubled its number of divisions. In reality the change caused enormous disorganization just as war was looming and dissipated each division’s strength, while doubling the number of generals.