Sunday, December 07, 2008
The air forces in late May 1942
The British waited for the coming Axis offensive in a distinctly inferior position in the air. They were both at a numeric and a qualitative disadvantage. There were 312 Italian and 392 German aircraft in North Africa, "of which 497 were servicable". The British only had 320 aircraft in the "Desert Air Force", but they only had about 190 servicable aircraft of that number. Admittedly, in the entire Middle East, the British had 739 servicable aircraft, but the Axis had about 1000 aircraft. Besides, the British did not have a fighter that could compete with the Bf-109f.