The military that gifted the Axis Krete and Singapore, and got pushed by the same italian infantry with its backs to Alexandria. Twice.
No - the same military that held Tobruk, took the war TO the Italians in the Western Desert in the summer of 1940, destroyed the FJ as an airborne/airlanding force
on Crete....oh,. and the same military that put 250,000 Italians in the bag at the end of 1940....as well ats the military that invaded Syria/Lebanon etc., etc.
I'd think it significantly cheaper. If Regia Marina takes a big trimdown, at least Italians would stop wasting money on upkeeping the WWII version of HochSeeFlotte (i.e. iron scrap that's worse than useless - being that it antagonizes Great Britain). You gotta think RM would get a few licks in, and RAeronautica a few lucky bombs. So the MedFleet would need some time to lick its wounds too
A few lucky bombs? See back up the thread for how many lucky bombs they managed to hit.....or not....Cunningham's fleet with at Calabria in this timeframe. As for the RN having wounds to lick? So what???
Once the RM is incapacitated off Malta...exactly who ELSE is there for Cunningham to fight in the Med?
if the fleet has taken considerable damage may completely unhinge their position in Africa. Sure RN is likely to take some damage but they can shift units in from elsewhere if they need them.
Exactly; and even though the RN in the Med was significantly weakened by mid-1941 - I don't see the Italians historically
being willing or able to advantage of that weakness
So why should they be able to/be willing to ATL with even fewer
surviving assets as a result of the Battle of Malta???
The biplanes, although obviously outclassed if faced with say Hurricanes, would still have matched 1940 bombers, so they could have defended the mainland and Libya.
my main point is that IF RN will seriously affect the outcome of an Italian landing at Malta, RN must operate in the waters between Malta and Sicily. And has to that before Italian ground force build up at Malta will reach a level where the Italians are unstoppable.
John - did you actually READ the earlier pages of this thread? That's a serious question.
Because if you had you'd have seen that Cunningham is only 36 hours away - while his carrier air group can attack the RM off Malta in only 24
There's no way - landing by ships' boats etc., and climbing up coastal or cliff paths - that the Italians can reinforce AND
supply the bridgehead ENOUGH in that short a time.
RN did Raid Rhodes "one week", Bengazi the "second" and then sent four cruisers up the Ionina sea as a feint during Taranto night. And that kind of "Nelsonian" freedom to choose where to show Initiative would not be given if you had to support Malta.
John - Cunningham doesn't NEED "Nelsonian freedom"....for the RM gathered off Malta gifts him with the ability to engage the RM in the
decisive gun action of the Mediterranean war. After that - the RM has no "fleet in being" presence to cast, the RN is even freer to operate than it was historically.
to quote you:
John, I would counsel you to avoid making the same mistake that so many other posters in the WI section make....that whereas they posit THE most amazing PODS on behalf of one party....they demand that the other side hold rigid to the historical, OTL circumstances!
John - that's exactly my point; several posters here through this thread have assumed that ALL this can be prepared without the British getting either HUMINT or ELINT about any/all of the preparations...and even if they do, that they'll disregard the threat to Malta! Historicall
y the British made the assumption that the greater threat was to the Delta - and so it turned out to be in 1940; do you honestly think that if they detected preparations for an amphibious attack, or for basing increased numbers of aircraft in Sicily rather than in Libya, for example.....that their decision, their judgement call on the potential threat - would remain the same???
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