Friday, July 29, 2005
The Italian airforce in western Cyrenaica in January 1941
Both the RAF and the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Airforce) were stretched thin in Western Cyrenaica in late January 1941. The Regia Aeronautica was down to about 46 bombers and 34 fighters. Almost none of its ground attack planes were flyable. The RAF was partly suffering from the British success and being at the far end of a long supply line. The RAF was fortunate to have captured large stocks of Italian bombs and aviation gas. Two RAF fighter squadrons were brought forward to Gazala to support the offensive. The Army Cooperation squadrons, usually equipped with Lysanders, were moved to Tmimi. The RAF also carried out a bombing campaign against Italian airfields, and this helped to reduce the Italian airforce to impotence.