Friday, June 23, 2006
The Italian air power
The Official History says that the Italian air force, at their entry to the war, consisted of 313 aircraft "in Libya and the Aegean" and "325 in East Africa". In the period we are presently considering, June to October 1941, the Italian air force had "73 bombers and 137 fighters" in Libya and "37 bombers and 46 fighters in the Aegean". The air force in East Africa was non-existant by this time. The Italian air force was commanded from Italy, so that the Libyan army commander had less control over operations than he would have liked. There was a liaison between the German and Italian air forces, but this was in Rome. The Official History points out that the German High Command still considered the North African war an Italian operation. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.