African logistics, 1942

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CNE503
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African logistics, 1942

Post by CNE503 » 20 Dec 2019 14:59

Hello,

Could someone please tell me what were the main seaports of embarkation/disembarkation (SPOE/SPOD) and airports of embarkation/disembarktion (APOE/APOD) used to supply the Panzerarmee "Afrika" between July and October 1942?

For now, my research led me to think that most of the maritime supplies were sent from Naples towards Benghazi (even though ports like Brindisi and Tripoli were used too), while most of the air traffic was between Catania in Sicily towards Mersa Matruh.
Tobruk wasn't repaired as a seaport of disembarkation, and I don't think that Fuka airfield was used for the logistical traffic.

What do you think?
Thank you for your help.
Regards,
CNE503
"Sicut Aquila" / "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre" / "par l'exemple, le coeur et la raison" / "Labor Omnia Vincit"

CNE503
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by CNE503 » 21 Dec 2019 18:27

*up*

No Afrikakorps experts on this one? :wink:
"Sicut Aquila" / "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre" / "par l'exemple, le coeur et la raison" / "Labor Omnia Vincit"

Peter89
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by Peter89 » 24 Dec 2019 09:47

Originally, there were two routes from Italian ports capable to resupply NA (Naples, Taranto, Messina, Palermo):
- The western route, exiting from the Tyrrhenian Sea, passed between the Tunisian coast and Malta to reach Tripoli. It was the shortest path, but it was also the most exposed to attacks from Maltese bases.
- The eastern route, exiting from the Strait of Messina and the Ionian Sea, crossed the Central Mediterranean towards Cyrenaica’s shores, whence ships can prosecute to Benghazi and Tobruk or turn west to reach Tripoli. This route initially was not exposed to air attacks coming from Malta, but later, it became exposed like the western route.

The Italian convoy system was double: large merchant ships carried the transports between the homelandand the colony, while coastal transports delivered supplies and reinforcements nearby their destinations.

In 1938, a navy survey estimated that Tripoli was capable of loading and unloading nine ships at time, Benghazi and Tobruk five each one. But during the conflict efficiency was reduced by enemy attacks. By summer 1941, Tripoli capacity was reduced to 50%. Meanwhile Benghazi and Tobruk were often controlled by the enemy and only occasionally were capable of operating more than 700-800 tons a day.

The convoy logistics was complicated by the limited mobilization of the merchant navy for the war, which left ships and ports under the control of different offices from various ministries. Moreover, merchantmen availability was also dramatically reduced by Mussolini’s decision to accelerate the entering into the conflict that caught large part of the Italian merchant navy outside the Mediterranean. The consequences were disastrous: over 1.2 million tons of ships (out of a total 3.3 million) were lost inthe early weeks of the war. Thus Italy lost 30%+ of its merchant fleet, including most of the fast and modern types.

Tobruk was deemed unsuitable as a naval supply base on 4th October 1942. AFAIK the Axis used it as a port until then.

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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by Peter89 » 24 Dec 2019 10:24

For the airlift operations I have a very good source (sadly in Hungarian), but I try to sum it up.

The airborne supply option was only a very limited possibility up until the focus shifted to Tunisia after the Torch operation. The cost of the transport via air was tremendous, and consumed the very precious fuel. Also, the German air transport units suffered grevious losses at Crete, Demyansk, Stalingrad and on the Eastern front in general.

But as the sea routes became cut off by early 1943, the Axis tried to support its troops via air. Especially because the flight between Sicily and Tunis was a relatively short trip. But on April 22nd 1943 the Cape Bon Massacre happened, where the LW lost 16 fully loaded Me-323 Giants. Cumulative losses rose to a critical level as the LW lost 20+ Ju52s 4 days before.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Dec 2019 12:37

You want to ask Jeff Leser very nicely. He has been through the Italian records. His comments on this are scattered through the forum.

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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by ljadw » 24 Dec 2019 13:27

Axis convoy routes in the Mediterranean
Naples-Tripoli : length 502 miles.Transit time : 2 days 15 hours
Messina- Tripoli : length: 339 miles .Transit time : 1 day 19 hours
Tripoli -Benghazi :352 miles 1 day 20 hours
Brindisi-Benghazi :532 2 days 19 hours
Athens-Benghazi :400 miles 2 days 2 hours
Taranto-Tobruk 608 miles 3 days 4 hours
Athens -Tobruk 389 miles .2 days
Benghazi-Tobruk 255 miles 1 day 8 hours
Palermo-Bizerte 181 1 day
Palermo-Tunis 179 1 day
Benghazi-Tobruk was only used between June-November 1942
A big part of the convoys consisted of 2 or even one MV only .
Source : Richard Hammond :British Anti-Shipping Campaign in the Mediterranean 1940-1944 P 52

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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by ljadw » 24 Dec 2019 13:32

CNE503 wrote:
20 Dec 2019 14:59
Hello,

Could someone please tell me what were the main seaports of embarkation/disembarkation (SPOE/SPOD) and airports of embarkation/disembarktion (APOE/APOD) used to supply the Panzerarmee "Afrika" between July and October 1942?

For now, my research led me to think that most of the maritime supplies were sent from Naples towards Benghazi (even though ports like Brindisi and Tripoli were used too), while most of the air traffic was between Catania in Sicily towards Mersa Matruh.
Tobruk wasn't repaired as a seaport of disembarkation, and I don't think that Fuka airfield was used for the logistical traffic.

What do you think?
Thank you for your help.
Regards,
CNE503
There were no convoys from Naples to Benghazi .

Dili
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by Dili » 27 Dec 2019 01:29

You mean German convoys?

ljadw
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by ljadw » 27 Dec 2019 09:06

Italian convoys ,as 99% of the Axis MV participating in the supplying of the Axis forces in NA were Italian MV,there were only a few German MV in the Mediterranean .
Something else : the capacity of the Italian and NA ports in 1940
Tripoli :5 cargo ships and 4 troop ships
Benghazi : 3 cargo ships and 2 troop ships (when it was operational )
Tobruk :3 cargo ships and 2 troop ships
Italian ports (total )
Naples : 14
Bari : 5
Brindisi : 5
Source : The Italian Navy in WWII (Sadkovich P 101 )
The African ports could absorp only 75% of the tonnage that Italian ports could ship .OTOH the Italian ports of the East coast had also to supply the Italian forces in the Balkans

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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by ljadw » 27 Dec 2019 09:40

In a discussion about the war in NA, people mostly forget that Italy was also fighting a second war which influenced the war in NA = the war in the Balkans
From Sadkovich P 343
From 1940-1943 Italy transported to the Balkans and the Greek Islands 981900 men ,of whom 900 were lost and 1,972,000 tons of supplies ( 7000 were lost ).To Libya were transported 137250 Italians (lost 10,250) with 1,590,000 tons of supplies (214000 were lost ) , to Tunisia 25900 Italians (2900 lost) and 170000 tons of supplies (23000 lost ) .
I presume that coastal shipping is not included .

CNE503
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by CNE503 » 04 Jan 2020 22:23

That's pretty excellent, exactly what I needed!
Thank you gents!
Regards,
CNE503
"Sicut Aquila" / "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre" / "par l'exemple, le coeur et la raison" / "Labor Omnia Vincit"

Dili
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by Dili » 08 Jan 2020 19:27

ljadw wrote:
27 Dec 2019 09:06
Italian convoys ,as 99% of the Axis MV participating in the supplying of the Axis forces in NA were Italian MV,there were only a few German MV in the Mediterranean .
Something else : the capacity of the Italian and NA ports in 1940
Tripoli :5 cargo ships and 4 troop ships
Benghazi : 3 cargo ships and 2 troop ships (when it was operational )
Tobruk :3 cargo ships and 2 troop ships
Italian ports (total )
Naples : 14
Bari : 5
Brindisi : 5
Source : The Italian Navy in WWII (Sadkovich P 101 )
The African ports could absorp only 75% of the tonnage that Italian ports could ship .OTOH the Italian ports of the East coast had also to supply the Italian forces in the Balkans
Then in that case you are wrong, There were Italian convoys from Napoli to Bengasi

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tigre
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by tigre » 12 Jan 2020 03:19

Hello to all :D; my two cents...................................

Axis Convoys - July 1942.

July 2-4, 1942. Ital. Convoy from Taranto to Benghazi with the transports Ankara, Nino Bixio and Monviso, escorted by the destroyers Da Verazzano, Turbine, Euro and the torpedo boats Antares, Polluce, Pegaso, Castore, San Martino; attacked several times by aircraft, as well as by the British HMSub Turbulent but it reached its destination without losses.

July 7-12, 1942. A first group transported with 4 ital barges (MZ 706, MZ 707, MZ 709, MZ 710) materials and light tanks from Brindisi to Marsa Matruh. The submarines Santarosa, Atropo, Narvalo, Zoea, Micca, Corridoni and Bragadin were also used to transport supplies to Tobruk. From July 12 to 14 the destroyers Da Recco and Da Verazzano transported 500 soldiers from Brindisi to Benghazi and Tobruk. From July 13 to 24 a second group with 6 landing craft (MZ 711, MZ 712, MZ 713, MZ 715, MZ 717, MZ 718), accompanied by the torpedo boat Partenope from Brindisi to Marsa Matruh. From July 18-19 a group with 6 barges from Suda to Tobruk.

July 11-22, 1942. RAF bombers damaged (11.7.) in Tobruk the troop transport Delos (2589 BRT) and sank in the port of Mersa Matruh the Brook (1225 BRT). The Delos was towed out of the harbor and put on the beach near the coast.

British destroyers Beaufort, Dulverton, Eridge and Hurworth bombed on the night of 12.7. Marsa Matruh and sank the transport Sturla (former Danish Estrid, 1397 BRT). This was followed by more attacks on convoys supplying the Axis powers by British destroyers. On the night of 20.7. British cruisers Dido, Euryalus along with destroyers Jervis, Javelin, Pakenham and Paladin bombarded Marsa Matruh. The Ital. transport Città di Agrigento (2,480 BRT) was hit and caught fire, the ship was declared a total loss (Navi Perdute). The destroyers Aldenham and Dulverton rejected an attack by the speedboats S 33, S 55 and S 60, damaging the S 60. The attacks on Tobruk significantly interfered with the transport of supplies from the Axis powers.

July 21 - 31, 1942. A fourth group of 8 Ital. landing craft transported (between July 21 and 30) supplies from Brindisi to Tobruk, escorted by the torpedo boat Castore. From July 25 to 31 It was followed by a fifth group with 9 landing craft, escorted by the torpedo boat Lupo. The submarines Zoea, Atropo, Sciesa, Micca, Narvalo, Toti in turn were used as transports.

July 24-27, 1942. After a successful attack by HMSub Unbeaten (LtCdr. Woodward) British torpedo planes sank in Argostoli the Italian transport Vettor Pisani (6339 TRB) under escort of the torpedo boats Antares, Orsa and Calliope. - July 25. A convoy with the transports Milano and Aventino from Bari first sail to Piraeus, escorted by the destroyers Riboty, Lampo and the torpedero boat Mosto, continued to Suda, escorted by the torpedo boats Sagittario and Lince, and finally under the escort of the destroyers Bersagliere, Saetta and the torpedo boats Sagittario and Lince to Benghazi. The Aventino was damaged in an air strike, but could reach Benghazi. July 27. From Brindisi sailed the transport Monvisio under the escort of the destroyer Freccia and the torpedo boat Calliope bound for Benghazi. The next day, the convoy was attacked by a torpedo plane. The Monviso was damaged, towed to Navarino and repaired there provisionally. July 26. HMSub Thrasher was attacked by mistake in front of Port Said by Swordfish aircraft and was damaged; subsequently she remained out of service for 4 weeks for repairs.

Source: http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/42-07.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

In Spanish https://elgrancapitan.org/foro/viewtopi ... 24#p887162
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tigre
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by tigre » 26 Jan 2020 22:55

Hello to all :D; my two cents...................................

Axis Convoys - August 1942.

August 03 to 08, 1942. Off the coast of Libya, the British submarine Thorn (Lt Cdr. Norfolk) on 3.8. sank Ital. transport Monvisio (5322 ton) escorted by the destroyers Alpino and Corazziere. After two failed attacks on a return convoy escorted by the destroyers Turbine and Grecale to the tanker Rondine and the transport Città di Savona el Thorn was chased and sunk by the torpedo boat Pegasus 7.8. south-west of Crete.

In the Aegean the British submarine Proteus (Lt. Alexander) sank 4.8. in the Gulf of Nafplio two motor sailboats and on 6.8. another in front of Rhodes. 5.8. an unidentified freighter was torpedoed by the Greek submarine Nereo (LtCdr. Rallis). 6.8. missed the Wachtfels (8467 ton) in front of Milos. 7.8. Proteus intercepted a convoy with two freighters to the northwest of Milos, probably the second attack on the aforementioned return convoy with the tanker Rondine and the Città di Savona. 7 and 8.8. Proteus sank three other sailboats with the gun, including the Greek Marigoula (367 ton).

5.8. the British submarine Turbulent (Cdr. Linton) sailed from Beirut and on 8.8. picked up an agent in Cabo Krios (Crete) and on the night of 12.8 landed two agents in Navarino. Even the Greek submarine Papanikolis (Lt-Cdr.Roussen) on 5.8. embarked 22 soldiers in Crete to take them to a safe place. At the height of Cape Bon the Ital. destroyer Strale grounded there since 21.6. was declared a total loss after an attempted recovery that proved impossible. (The times specified for the Turbulent are not correct).

August 10-15, 1942. Operation "pedestal":

August 12, 1942. The Ital. destroyer Malocello (CF Tona) in front of Cap Bon layed the "St.1" minefield with 104 mines in two barriers. She was escorted by the torpedo boat Climene. The Malocello met with the British Force "Y" sailing from Malta to Gibraltar. Force Y, Matchless and Badsworth destroyers, Troilo and Orari transports. Both sides believe that these are Vichy-French forces.

August 12-21, 1942. The British submarine Porpoise (Lt. Bennington) on 12.8. layed a minefield in Ras el Tin in which on 22.8. the Italian torpedo boat Cantore was lost. On the same day the Porpoise attacked a convoy sailing between Benghazi and Tripoli with the freighter Ogaden and escorted by the torpedo boat Montanari. The Ogaden (4553 ton) was sunk with one torpedo. 15.8. the Porpoise attacked a supply convoy to Benghazi with the freighters Lerici, Ravello and the destroyers Mitragliere, Bersagliere and torpedo boats Calliope and Castore as escorts, the transport Lerici (6070 ton), sank the next day after the unsuccessful towing attempt by the Mitragliere. On 19.8. Porpoise attacked the freighter Iseo between Tobruk and Benghazi and was chased by torpedo boats Lince and Sagittario with deep charges, resulted in serious damage and was taken to Port Said. The British submarine Turbulent (Cdr. Linton) on 17.8. torpedoed the transport Nino Bixio (7137 ton, with 2,800 prisoners on board, killing 326 due to the detonation of the torpedo) in front of Kithera as member of a convoy returning from Benghazi to Piraeus, escorted by the destroyers Da Recco, Saetta, and torpedo boats Castore , Orione, Polluce and lost the Sestiere. In front of the Ionian Islands, operated the P. 43 / Unison (Lt. Halliday) on 17.8. in front of Levkas missed the transport Chisone. In Pantelleria, the P.44 / United (Lt. Barlow) sank on the night of 17 / 18.8. the Rosolino Pilo (8,326 ton) part of a supply convoy to Tripoli with the destroyers Maestrale and Gioberti. The transport of ammunition, which had previously been damaged by a torpedo plane from Malta, disintegrated due to the explosions, part of the remains damaged the submarine. In front of Sardinia the P.211 / Safari (Cdr. Bryant), damaged with artillery on 16.8. the Coast Guard Giovannino (158 ton) and sank on 17.8. the sailboat Ausonia (218 ton). The 18.8. the Safari sank, after two attempts, the transport Perseus (4857 ton) and missed the U boat Bronzo.

August 27-31, 1942. In Cabo Spada the British submarine P.35 / Umbra (LtCdr. Maydon) sank the transport Manfredo Campiero (5463 ton) on navigation to Tobruk, escorted by the destroyer Da Recco and the torpedo boats Climene and Polluce. In a convoy from Suda to Tobruk, escorted by the destroyer ZG 3 / Hermes and two torpedo boats, RAF airplanes sank steamers Dielpi (1527 ton) and Istria (5416 ton). 27.8. the ital. Paolina (4894 ton) sank due to a mine at Cape Bon, 30.8. British bombers sank the freighter Sanandrea (5077 ton) in Santa Maria di Leuca. El Rorqual (LtCdr Napier) on 30.8. layed mines in Corfu and in Paxos torpedoed the Italian ship Monstella (5311 ton). The ship will be towed to the port of Corfu, 31.8 arrived there, but it was considered a total loss. 31.8. A convoy with 2 freighters and 3 torpedo boats sailed from Suda to Tobruk. Attacked by the RAF, the tanker Abruzzi (2315 ton) was grounded on the beach (the cargo was saved) on 01.9., the tanker Picci Fassio (2261 ton) was destroyed by an aerial torpedo.

Source: http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/42-07.htm

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: African logistics, 1942

Post by jwsleser » 08 Feb 2020 16:33

I just discovered this thread. I don't normally find logistical discussions in the FJ folder.

Data from La difesa del traffico con l'Africa settentrionale (vols. VII e VIII)

Convoy routes July-Oct 42.

Greek Ports

Patrasso (Patra)-Bengasi (Benghasi)
Suda-Tobruk e Bengasi
Argostolio-Bengasi
Pireo (Piraeus)-Tobruk e Bengasi
Istmia (Corinth)-Bengasi
Navarino-Bengasi e Tobruk
Salonicco (Thessaloniki)-Tobruk
Cofù-Bengasi
Heracleion (Heraklion)-Tobruk

Italian Ports

Taranto-Bengasi e Tobruk
Brindisi-Tobruk e Bengasi
Napoli-Tripoli, Bengasi e Tobruk
Trapani-Tripoli
Bari-Bengasi
Palermo-Tripoli
Messina-Bengasi
Cagliari-Tripoli

Tunisia Ports

Tunisi-Tripoli
Susa (Sousse)-Tripoli
Sfax-Napoli
Peter89 wrote:
24 Dec 2019 09:47
Tobruk was deemed unsuitable as a naval supply base on 4th October 1942. AFAIK the Axis used it as a port until then.
Yes, the last ship to arrive at Tobruk was the Mn. Francesco Morosini on 4 ott. 1942.

Pista!
Last edited by jwsleser on 08 Feb 2020 16:44, edited 2 times in total.
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