Discussions on WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean. Hosted by Andy H
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I was casually reading about italian air activity on eastern med, including bombings on Cyprus and launching spies and commandos on Lebanon and Palestine. Italian planes started always from Rhodes.
Do you have any detail more?
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Egeomil staged air raids from Rhodes against Alexandria and also against the British Petroleum refinery at Haïfa. From July to September 1940 six air raids were flown against the BP refineries, but there were not enough aircraft on the Dodocanese for the sustained bombing effort necessary to seriously disrupt oil output - just a handful of SM79s and a few SM81s. Interestingly enough, there was also a tiny long-range bombing raid flown by SM82s against British oil facilities in Bahrain in October 1940 but I am not sure if this mission started from Rhodes. At this time the RA was more interested in using its long-range aircraft for bombing Gibraltar, and later they were mostly used for airlift operations to North Africa.
Apparently Dodocanese infrastructure left something to be desired - I don't know if or to to which degree this was improved for Operation Merkur. After that operation Crete was probably a better air base for operations in the eastern Med than Rhodes and the rest of the Dodocanese were.