Sunday, June 25, 2006
The roles of the German and Italian air forces in the Mediterranean Theater
The German and Italian air forces were essentially two separate commands. While they obviously had joint interests and often cooperated, there was no unified command. The Official History suggests that if they had a unified command, that they might have been able to hurt the British quite badly, if they had made a determined effort to attack shipping in the Suez and the ports. Rommel's priority was immediate pressure on the supply line to Tobruk, so while that pressed the British Inshore Squadron to the limit, they did not succeed in starving Tobruk to the point of surrender. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.