Saturday, November 06, 2010

Operations in the air in August 1942

The shipping situation was so bad, due to losses of suitable ships, that the Germans were forced to send troops and what supplies could be carried. There were as many as 500 aircraft engaged in this effort to help German forces in North Africa. For some reason, the British had difficulty in stopping these flights. The British used long-range Beaufighters in the effort to stop them. They also used bombers against the bases in Crete. The air reconnaissance to support the effort was conducted by photo-reconnaissance Spitfires and Baltimores. Tactical reconnaissance was left to Tomahawk I's and Hurricane I and IIA aircraft. Administrators in the UK were not willing to risk valuable Spitfires for the low-altitude reconnaissance work, even though they would have cut losses in the operations. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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