In discussing the assumption that the quality of armaments may result decisive for the outcome of a war or even at mere tactical level, the A. points out the complex factors underlying military success, beginning with the manifold elements that condition the efficacy of a weapon: from the sufficient quantity of the supply, involving the capacity of the productive system, to the due logistic support, to the availability of skilled personnel for its use, to end with the variable contingencies of a given battlefield. That being remarked, the A. examines the evolution of the armaments produced for the Italian land and air forces from the early Thirties up to World War II, in comparison with the parallel advances scored by the leading industrial powers. If the Italian armaments were not so dramatically inferior at the eve of the conflict, after 1940 there emerge clear signs of incapacity in keeping up with the changing requirements of the war and substantial absence of innovation, in their turn reflections of a more general reluctance of the national industry to mobilize its resources for the war. Neglectfulness of technological progress turns out to have been a far more decisive cause of the inferiority of Italian armaments than the often asserted shortage of raw materials.
Keywords: Industrial mobilization, war industry, technological progress, World War II, armaments, raw materials