Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Axis Air Transport
With the British having successfully interdicted the Axis supply lines by sea, the Germans and Italians resorted to using their transport aircraft to fly cargo to Libya. The Germans painted their Ju-52s green and black. The Official History says that made them difficult to see, when they flew low over the Mediterranean. The only suitable British fighters were the Beaufighters and there were not enough of them to really interfere with the traffic. The Axis High Command wanted to retain Benghazi and control of Western Cyrenaica. They agreed to withdraw to Gazala and to hold that position. The 90th Light Divsion was withdrawn to hold Agedabia, as that was a key place on the road, forward of El Agheila. Rommel was given command of all forces in Cyrenaica, as he had requested. There was no sense in having a divided command structure, especially when the Axis was in such dire straits. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.