Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More about the British air effort in July 1942

When they were not supporting the army at El Alamein, the British air forces were engaged in a wide variety of operations. They hit distant targets with bombs, such as "Benghazi, Tobruk and Matruh", as well as Heraklion and Suda Bay. The types of operations included the strikes, providing air cover, and all types of reconnaissance (strategic, tactical, survey, and photography). The British air losses in July 1942 exceeded those of the German and Italian air forces. The British lost 113 aircraft "against about 80 German and 18 Italian".

Both Axis and British air forces and armies had difficulty in cooperating in July. The organizations that had been built up on the British side were all disrupted by the defeats and long retreat. Also, Auchinleck's HQ was separate from Air Marshal Conyngham's. The British were successful enough that the Axis forces were forced to disperse widely in the night. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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