Saturday, August 18, 2007
British air forces in western Cyrenaica in early 1942
The British positioned their air forces, in early 1942, for a planned advance into Tripolitania. The problem with that is that events beyond the Middle Eastern theater had made that plan obsolete. The air commander, Air Vice-Marshal Conyngham estimated that "ten single-engine and one twin-engine fighter, four day-bomber and two tactical reconnaissance squadrons" would be required. No.211 Group, a HQ, was brought forward to command the squadrons that were assembled for the coming offensive. At Antelat, there were four single-engined fighter squadrons. One each were at Tobruk, Benina, Derna, and El Adem. Day bomber squadrons were positioned at Gambut and Bu Amud. The air commander was located at Tmimi, as was his Senior Air Staff Officer. Another factor that would affect the situation was that the Germans almost immediately received substantial rearming and resupply. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.