Saturday, February 02, 2008
British naval operations in May 1942
After the destruction of three of four of Captain Poland's destroyers, no further surface operaations could be mounted from Alexandria in May 1942. The destroyer division had been attacked by several waves of aircraft, mostly Ju-88 divebombers, but also some He-111's. The Ju-88's were based at Heraklion and had just completed training in anti-shipping operations. In mid-May, the Italians had mounted another "human torpedo" attack, but this one was ineffective. Meanwhile, submarine operations continued unabated, but submarine losses rose on both sides. The submarine ace Lt-Commander Wanklyn and the Upholder were lost in May to an Italian torpedo boat. One factor would ease the dire British naval situation. The Germans were forced to shift combat aircraft to Russia in increasing numbers. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.