Romania was a more helpful ally to Nazi Germany than Italy during WWII.
As I am currently obsessed with the whole World War II time period, I decided that this would be an interesting, not to mention original, debate to create. The premise will be as followed: Romania was a more helpful ally to Nazi Germany during the entirety of World War II than Italy was. I will provide a few definition/clarifications just to be safe.
WWII = World War II
The Axis: The Faction headed by the Tripartite alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Members included Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Finland, Siam (Thailand), Manchukuo, and Bulgaria.
helpful: making it easier to do a job, deal with a problem, etc.
Therefore following this definition of helpful, I must show that Romania made the German war effort easier than Italy did. Since the BoP is shared in this debate, my opponent must try and prove that Italy made the German war effort easier than Romania did.
The debate structure will be generic, with the first round being for acceptance, second for arguments, and third for rebuttals. I am currently only having three rounds, however if my future opponent would like to have more or less rounds, I am open to suggestions.
On the matter of future opponents, I have made this debate impossible to accept. Therefore if you would like to debate me, please leave a comment or PM me to display interest.
First off, I would like to thank Oliark for accepting this debate with me. I am sure that he and I will make this both a fun and informative debate. For my opening argument I would like to present two subdivisions before handing the floor over to my opponent. These will be:
D1: Positive Impact of Romania During WWII.
D2: Detrimental/Neutral Influence of Italy During WWII.
Keep note, in order for me to win this debate, I must show that Romania made the German war effort easier than Italy did, and vice versa for my opponent. Anyways lets begin!
D1: Positive Impact of Romania During WWII.
D1.1. Romanian Military Role
It is often forgotten that Romania played a crucial role in Operation Barbarrossa (the Invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941). Generally it is assumed that Germany managed this invasion solely with the use of the Wermacht, however this is not the case. They heavily utilized their allies militaries to make the invasion possible, most particularly Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. Out of these four allies, Romania provided the most help during the entire span of Barbarrossa. In 1941 at the beginning of the invasion, Romania had 700,000 men in their army, most of which entered Russia that year since they had no other military obligations in their previously secluded part of Europe. By the Summer of 1944 Romania had about 1.25 million men in the Soviet Union, albeit mostly were forced to retreat . In that span, Romania provided the Wermacht enomromous amounts of support which his other allies, namely Italy and Hungary, simply could not provide. To put this in perspective, Romania had more troops in Russia than any of the Axis powers outside of Germany combined. Had Romania not provided this military support, Barbarossa would have been made nearly impossible while Operation Blue, the Summer offensive in 1942 would have been completely impossible. Let's give some context to these claims, shall we?
In 1941, the Wermacht along with its allies were pounding through Russia with surprising speed. Romania especially helped down in Southern Russia. For example, in the Summer of 1941, 160,000 Romanian troops under Ion Antonescu besieged the crucial port of Odessa for 73 days, eventually taking the city in October of that year . This allowed the German and Romanian armies to cross the Dneister River and continue on to Crimea. Speaking of Crimea, Romania played a crucial role in this theatre as well. Large portions of the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies were sent under the command of the brilliant German General Erich von Manstein. These troops under Manstein fought brilliantly and played an essential role in the Battle for Sevastopol, another essential Russian port. Von Manstein reported after the siege: "To Marshal Antonescu, I report the fall of Sevastopol. The Romanian divisions , which I had the honor to command, had fulfilled their duty. They had an essential contribution through the conquest of Bastion II, the attack through rough, wooded terrain against the Sapun Heights. Another Romanian division entered Sevastopol together with the German units. I think with profound gratitude to the sacrifices the Romanian Mountain Corps made for the final victory in Crimea. Marshal von Manstein." . The following map displays the Invasion of Crimea with Romanian help.
This displays that without the Romanian soldiers, the Crimean campaign would have been made much more difficult, even with the help of von Manstein. This also implies that the battle would have lasted longer, and given that the Germans were desperate to reach Moscow before the dreaded Russian winter struck, this would have been a huge blow. Also in 1941, the Romanian troops proved essential once again in the conquests of Anapa and Novorossiyk as the Axis marched on towards Stalingrad in the east.
In 1942, Romania continued to provide Germany with much needed troops. In Operation Blue, the Romanian's deployed two full armies (the 3rd and the 4th). To put this into context, the Germans only used four armies (the 6th, 4th Panzer, 1st Panzer, and 17th) for the crucial summer offensive. The Romanian role, however, had changed from that from the 1941 offensive. Now the armies were spread out thinly throughout the entire front line, because the Wermacht was to low on soldiers to mantain these lines. Once again, had the Romanian's not provided their armies for this task, the Soviet counter-offensives would have succeeded and the Axis would have been forced out of Russia that very same year, as opposed to in 1945.
D1. 2. Romanian Industrial Role
I remain adamant in the belief that military victory does not come from battles, yet from the industry. In order to build a powerful military, one must mantain a powerful and efficient industry. In order to mantain a powerful and efficient industry, one must have the essential resources. For Germany, their major flaw was lack of oil reserves. Given that Germany did not have any natural oil supplies, and that they did not have any African or Middle Eastern colonies at the time, it is understandable that this is the case. However, in order for the Reich to achieve its highly ambitious goals, they would need to acquire a significant amount of oil to supply their Mechanized and Panzer divisions. Luckily for Germany, and unfortunately for everyone else, Romania was there to provide Germany with this much needed oil. In 1937, before Romania joined the Axis, Romania produced 7.2 million tons of oil, ranking second in Europe and seventh in the world in this category . Keep note that this is an incredible statistic given that many of the European powers had multiple colonies all over the world to provide their oil. Since Romania had no colonies, this shows how oil rich the Eastern European nation was. During Operation Barbarrossa, Germany realized how essential these Romanian oil fields were to the Axis. In fact, 35% of all oil used by the entire Axis originated from Romania. Also, by 1942 75% of the oil found in German tanks was from Romania as well . In fact, Romania was so important that the US sent 177 B-24 bombers to strategically bomb the Romanian oil fields. While operation was not fully succesful, it does show how defeating Romania was the key to beating Germany.
D2: Detrimental/Neutral Influence of Italy During WWII.
D2.1 Invasion of France
Italy refrained from declaring war on the Allies until the 10th of June, 1940 . By then the Germans had already crossed the Maginot Line and advanced into France. Therefore the Italian influence was absolutely useless. Despite this, however, Italy occuppied a large portion of Vichy France from the Germans, as shown in the following map .
D2.2 North African Campaign
In the summer of 1940, Italy invaded British Egypt. On paper it seems that Italy should have steamed through Egypt, as they had 14 divisions (170,000) in North Africa and 280,000 in Ethiopia while the British only had 50,000. In fact, Marshal Graziani's offensive in Africa originally seemed like it was going to be a success (as it should have) given that they had already defeated the army in British Somalia and succesfully invaded Sudan and Egypt proper . However, the Italian government failed the army as they were unable to provide their armies with enough supplies to win a Desert campaign. The following map displays Graziani's failed invasion.
Therefore, Mussolini pleaded to Hitler to supply him with a German expiditionary force. Out of Hitler's odd sympathy towards Mussolini, he ordered the Wermacht to construct the Africa Korps, headed by the famous German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and send them to Africa. This was detrimental to the Germans on many regards. For one, the Italians took away Germany's arguably greatest General. Second, the Italians still were unable to defeat now British and US troops.
D2.3 Invasion of Greece
In an attempt to emmulate his favorite Fascist Dictator, Mussolini ordered his army based in Albania to invade the neutral Greece. This should have been a fairly easy invasion, given that the Greeks were literally armed with rifles from the beginning of the 20th century, however once again the Italians fell short. In 1941 their was a stalemate in the war, and again the Germans had to send in their own troops to finish the job.
D2.4 Invasions of Sicily and Italy
Following the Allied surprising victory in North Africa, they made the move to invade Italy proper. They started with an invasion of Sicily, which was enormously easy given that the Italians didn't have the help of the far superior German army. Then the Allies moved on from Messina onto the main body (or boot) of Italy. Desperate, Mussolini once again asked for German help and once again Hitler complied. He again sent his best and favorite General Erwin Rommel under the command of Army Group B in Northern Italy while Albert Kesserling commanded Army Command South in Southern Italy . The Axis was doomed to fail, yet Italy continued to pull German resources for their own cause while the German war effor overall suffered.
Romanian military and industrial efforts provided Germany with a highly effective ally which was essential in the Invasion of the Soviet Unionl. On the contrary, Italy provided Germany a largely incompetent army who constantly required Germany's help. Since I'm out of characters, back over to you, Con!
 http://us.macmillan.com... (BOOK)
I thank Pro for his arguments. I strongly disagree with some of his claims, but I will leave rebuttals for the next round.
Italian submarines were operative in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Red, and Black seas, and even the Indian Ocean. Their success rate was similar to its German U-Boats counterpart.
"Out of 173 documented attacks, Italian submarines sank 129 merchant ships totaling 668,311 tons. They also sank 13 warships totaling 24,554 tons." 
"On December 11, 1942 the Soviet 63rd Army, backed by T-34 tanks and fighter-bombers, first attacked the weakest Italian sector. This sector was held on the right by the Ravenna and Cosseria infantry divisions. Indeed from the Soviet bridgehead at Mamon, 15 divisions—supported by at least 100 tanks—attacked the Italian Cosseria and Ravenna Divisions, and although outnumbered 9 to 1, the Italians resisted until 19 December, when ARMIR headquarters finally ordered the battered divisions to withdraw." 
This is an outstanding example of how Italians fought with bravery holding the line for 8 days although heavily outnumbered.
III. Raw Materials and Industry
On average Italy raw material production (Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Coal, Iron Ore, Bauxite etc… but excluding oil) was about 1,43% of world production (1937 figures)
This figure is weak compared to Britisth Empire and US over 20%, Germany 7,7% or USSR 9,1%
So If you tell me that Italy does not deserve to be considered a major power I couldn’t agree more with you! But we are not comparing Italy to major powers, we are comparing Italy and Romania. Romanian share of raw materials (oil excluded) world production was about 0,01%. 
I already showed Italy’s superiority to Romania in both Air and Sea in part I and II. Let’s look at some numbers for some land equipment Italy produced 3368 tanks, 83000 military vehicles, 7200 pieces of artillery and 22000 mortars during the war.  This is not much compared to Germany, however it looks quite similar to Japanese figures and I would like you to give figures for Romania to show how exactly Romanian infantry was backed.
IV. Romanian direct actions against Germany
Romanian inflicted great losses to the German and their Hungarian allies in the Battles of Turda and Paulis
And heavily supported the Red Army in their final struggle against the Wehrmacht. 
When Italy surrendered to the Allies in September 1943, Italian army was disbanded and did not fought on either side. German were able to organize a new fascist Italian army in Northern Italy of about 200.000 men which fought with the Nazi. Germans also seized most of Italian military equipment without any resistance. 
On absolute terms Italian contribution to the total Axis war effort was superior than Romanian. The fact that Italy underperformed when compared to its full potential is irrelevant. Romania may have been more efficient compared to its size. However if the German had to choose between Italy and Romania absolute data and results still show that Italy was worth much more !
 http://www.agienergia.it... IN ITALIAN
I'd first like to thank Oliark for his well written opening arguments. This debate will be more difficult that I originally perceived!
I. Comparison of Italian and Romanian military assets
I.1 Naval Warfare
I acknowledge the fact that the Italian Royal Navy (Regina Marina) was much larger and superior to the Romanian Navy. This is understandable as Italy had much more resources and manpower to build such a navy, while Romania barely even had enough coast line to maintain a large navy. However, the fact is that Romania was never expected to provide Germany with a significant naval help, while Italy was supposed to be able to hold off the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean, and probably even defeat them. However, once again we see that Italy fails in this regard. True, they managed a few early victories, as displayed by my opponent, however in the end they failed miserably. This could be pegged on the shere size of both the Royal Navy and the US Navy, however even that isn't enough to justify the Italians defeat. Considering that they had naval bases dotted all over the Mediterranean (such as in Tobruk, Tripoli, Benghazi, Dodecadense, Sicily, Cagliari, etc.) while the Allies, after the fall of France, could only base their ships in the bases Gibraltar, Cyprus, Tell Aviv, and El Iskanderyia, it would seem that Italy had a significant advantage. However, as we can see based on the result, this is not the case.
The Italian naval failure is mostly due to their own short comings. None of the Italian ships had any version of radar whatsoever, so they were essentially sailing blind the entire time . Another issue was the fact that the Regina Marina did not have appropriate air cover for their vessels. The sole carrier in the entire fleet, the Aquilla, was never fully completed and as a result the Italian ships were almost always decimated in the air by the Allied naval air force . However, the primary issue was the lack of fuel. Italy was infamous for having a lack of supplies for their armies (such as in North Africa and in Greece), and their navies were no exception. There simply was not enough fuel to supply the massive Italian Navy and they suffered tremendously as a result. Mussolini decided that the fuel was better used in the navy than on land however, so 75% of all of the limited Italian fuel went towards destroyers and torpedo boats carrying out escort missions, and not towards the tanks on land or even the warships fighting the Allies .
I.2 Aerial Warfare
My opponent is under the impression that mass production of obsolete military vehicles is not necessarily a bad thing given the shere size of vehicles produced. This is an incorrect assumption, as wars are never won by numbers, but through industry and technology. At the end of 1939 the RAI had over 3,300 aircraft, however only about 2,000 were even operational and most of which were obsolete . While it is true that the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) was an efficient bomber, the RAI's major flaw was its lack of a successful fighter. In 1940 the RAI only had 166 modern fighters. In comparison to the 3,300 aircraft at the time, this is ridiculously small. In comparison, of the 621 strong Romanian air force during WWII hundreds were efficient fighters. Many of the fighters in Romania's small air force were foreign models such as the Bf 110's, Ju-52's, Do 112's, and even the American B-24 Liberator. However the one indigenous Romanian fighter was the IAR-80 which was "...an outstanding technical achievement of the Brasov works, especially considering the scarce resources at hand. The construction utilized rear fuselage and tail from the licence-built PZL P.24 and the wing of SM 79 bomber reduced in size to 50%. It proved a successful an modern design. In 1940, it was a good match for the Bf 109E, being only about 20 km/h slower and equal in climb and manoeuvrability. During the entire war, Romanian IAR-80s in all variants scored over 500 aerial victories" .
II.1 Eastern Front
Arguing that the Italians played a more influential role in the Eastern front than Romania did is absurd. Yes, they sent over 200,000 men to fight in Russia, yet in comparison to the million or so Romanian soldiers this number is futile. While the Italian defense of Operation Little Saturn was impressive, there are several aspects in which the Italians had clear advantages. For one, they had the Don River as a crucial natural boundary separating them from the Russians. Another is that General von Manstein (mentioned earlier) sent the 6th Panzer Division, a far superior fighting force, to aid the Italians in their struggle. It is understandable based on these facts that the Italians could have held off the Soviet offensive 
II.2 North Africa
Operation Sealion was solely the plan for the invasion of the British Isles, not of all of the British Empire. The statement that Graziani's failures were justified because of this political reason is incorrect. This is due to the fact that thee invasion of Egypt occurred during the planning of Operation Sealion (on the 9th of September, 1940). This implies that the African armies had no relation to the operation, as would make the most amount of sense.
My opponent then goes on to argue that the Italians fought much better after the arrival of the Afrika Korps. While this is true, it still does not help your argument. This solely implies that the Italians had especially week commanders and technology and that they required the services of the Germans in order to win the war.
II.3 The Balkans
Once again, my opponent's argument is actually detrimental to his case. He claims that the Italians had nearly defeated the Greeks, yet not fully. They required the assistance once again of the Wermacht to finish the job. This is especially embarrassing considering that, as I mentioned earlier, the Greeks were literally equipped with rifles from WWI. This once again diverges Germany's attention away from the Soviet Union towards a more futile cause. Had Italy succeeded earlier, Operation Barbarossa would have commenced earlier, and the Germans would have likely reached Moscow before December.
III. Raw Materials and Industry
While it is certainly true that the Italians had more natural resources than the Romanians did, it is how they used them what truly matters. We see that the Italians had a large sum of bauxite, yet the aircraft that they created with it were mostly obsolete and entirely useless. Also, we see that Italy generally drained from the German resources, rather than supplement them. This is due to the German intervention in Africa, Greece, and Sicily. As the premise of the debate is which country was more helpful to Germany, this is a huge detriment to Italy's case. On the other hand, Romania never pulled from the German resources as they were ironically far more competent than the Italians were. They also produced enough oil to run the entire Axis, as I displayed in R2. This is far superior to anything that Italy managed to do.
IV. Romanian direct actions against Germany
It is hard to consider the post-1944 Romania as the same Romania that joined the Axis in 1940. Mainly because they were basically an extension of the Soviet Union. The only reason that Northern Italy did not fight against the Germans is because the Wermacht had enough troops stationed there to force them to remain in the Axis while the 50,000 in Romania were not enough to do so.
Back over to you, Con!
 Mollo, Andrew (1981). The Armed Forces of World War II. New York: Crown.
 Sadkovich, James (1994). The Italian Navy in World War II. Greenwood Press, Westport
Oliark forfeited this round.
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