Thursday, February 21, 2008
Rommel decides against attacking Malta
Back in March 1942, Rommel still thought that taking Malta soon should be a priority. He changed his mind, along with everyone else in authority on the Axis side. Field Marshal Kesselring had wanted to attack Malta early because he knew that the German air strength would be greatly reduced to meet other needs. The Italians knew that they would not be ready for an amphibious attack before July, so they opposed an early attack. By April, Rommel realized that he would need to attack in the desert before the British, who were planning to attack in May. Taking Tobruk was now the top priority for the Axis side. While the focus shifted to the western desert, a joint staff with Germans and Italians continued to plan for a later attack on Malta. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.