Thursday, March 12, 2015

Regia Aeronautica – Northern Africa and Malta I

The Regia Aeronautica did not adequately support the Regia Marina. Their aircraft were ineffective against the Royal Air Force. Malta was normally bombed, but according to the old air doctrine “Direttive per l’impiego dell’Armata aerea” (Directive for the Employment of the Air Force), Italian aircraft did not conduct massive bombing raids. Results were clearly poor, and continued in this manner until the German X Fliegerkorps was deployed in Sicily. But by the time German aircraft arrived, it was too late to seize Malta. The feasibility of a landing was studied. Operation C 3—a landing in Malta—foresaw sea and air operations using paratroopers. By the time the new paratroopers of Division “Folgore” were ready, the desperate need for men in the Sahara led Italian headquarters to deploy them in that theater as an infantry division.

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