Axis shipping in the Mediterranean

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RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 09 Dec 2006 18:51

Wargames wrote:You answered a question with a question. That's what Bronsky did. Please don't dissappoint me. If you don't know what the capacity of the other liners were, just say so. You won't dissappoint. I don't know it either.

You guessed. Right?

So did I.
No, I questioned a statement by yours that you believed the four liners carried 12,000, by answering that we don't know what they carried. And then gave my own estimate, based upon a number of ranges - the high was apprently about 2,500, then 1,900, and then two probably equal or smaller. I hardly think any of the smaller were carry more?

So I already answered the question and was simply asking why with a range of 2,500 and 1,900 you had developed an average of 3,000? So please don't "dissappoint" me either - could yyou answer the question? I've now answered your's twice and have yet to see you answer any of mine in return? :)
Contrary to what you and Bronsky want to believe, I don't edit a post in order to make a "correction" disappear. If you can show it, do so. Otherwise, it's the drugs. The "seven times" is still in the original post with no editing.
I see, so I missread the post the second time,and correctly remembered that you had stated that the liners could have carried "seven times" their peacetime capacity?
Most shipbuilders, particularly Japanese, had a tendency to copy British designs. This would also explain "familiar".
Form follows function,
I never said the Japanese relied upon anything. I said their TR's tended to carry 1,000 troops as per Guadalcanal and I believe that would be my point.
Thank you for clarifying that. They actually varied quite a bit, for instance the "High-Speed Convoy" of 13 October was six fast transports, carrying 4,500 men, a battery of 10cm guns, a battery of 15cm howitzers, a tank company, a battalion of light AA, and ammunition and rations. So roughly 850 men each. The problem though wasn't with the vessels, it was that they had to sail for a day exposed to the Canal, and they had no unloading facilities there, so everything had to be beached. In fact it made little differance if they were transports, DDs, ocean liners, or freighters.

I would have guessed it was out of print (I can't find it at Amazon) but it is fascinating to find someone who has found it and read it. Your dedication to your subject material goes incredibly beyond that of "Joe of average interest". I could hit ten libraries and walk away with 5% of what you know. I say this because what you've accumulated goes unnoticed and, in another 50 years, will probably be gone entirely, IMO. Current history doesn't give a rat's ass what was shipped when, or what weights loading decks were designed for. That someone out there has actually dug this up goes way beyond the expected or even hoped for.
US Government Printing Office, the technical service volumes are all available and in print, as are the camapign volumes, or you can order them as CD-ROM. They and most official histories are not hard to find and most can be gotten through interlibrary loan very easily if yout local library system doesn't have them.
Bronsky answered a question with a question. Guess what that tells me?
That you had missed that he had already given you the answer? :)
You're surprised? What convoys to Greece? What "rebuilding of 10th Panzer"? You take for granted that this is common knowledge. It isn't. What is common knowledge is that Winston Churchill wrote the history of the Mediterranean war. Getting past that isn't easy.
Yes, frankly I'm very surprised that you continue to argue on what is so evidently very shaky ground. If you don't know the significance of those points then I'm no longer sure that we can have a fruitful conversation until you fill in some background knowledge.
es - the required shipping effort of transferring 10th Panzer to North Africa would have been enormous, considering it would have had to be be done in addition to the already required shipping efforts to supply the Axis troops already there,. And you seem to have the required intelligence to recognize that 10th Panzer wasn't going to be transported by Italian DD's or submarines. For me, the required transport just for trucks, let alone tanks and troops, is greater than the other two combined.
You really need to discard your fixations and broaden your viewpoint. The effort to transport 10. Panzer would have been slightly greater than SONNENBLUME. Slightly more troops, but pretty much the same amount and types of equipment. But they weren't transported to the Alamein Front and weren't in gact even moved to Tunisia until the end of November. Instead, 164. le., Ramcke, and Folgore went to Alamein. Why?
By 1942 definitions, Rommel had reached , or exceeded, the limits of his Italian supply - but not the limits of his demands. I hardly think that the Folgore Division and Ramke Parachute brigades were all that was "available" as evidenced by the transfer of the Littorio division in March and the Centauro in Septemmber. I would say that "shipping" had reached its max and, if Rommel wanted more, that air transport would have to make up the difference. Hence, the already available and easily transported divisions for the canceled invasion of Malta became the logical choice for reinforcing Rommel, even if their desert warfare abilities were completely unrelated to his needs. If they had an Arctic "snowshow battalion" available designed for submarine transport, Rommel would have received it, complete with dogsleds.
Yes, I just gave you some "1942 definitions." :roll: Littorio, like much of the other reinforcements that went over January-March 1942, went while Malta was effectively suppressed and when the Panzerarmee was based at El Agheila, 400 miles from Tripoli. Shipping wasn't the problem, it was sustainement.
Toppe's arguments were, indeed, simplistic. His failure to write in chronological order indicates to me an editorial versus factual need. Yet the credentials for the piece (nine contributors) were undisputed and, therefore, in requirement of intelligent response.
I can only say....huh? How do "credentials" equal accuracy of analysis? And it's gotten the required intelligent response here, a while ago.

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Post by Jon G. » 10 Dec 2006 16:55

Just to flesh out the part of the discussion about warships delivering fuel and personnel to North Africa, Seekrieg makes reference to several convoys by Italian destroyers and light cruisers under its entries for November and December 1941.

I don't have all the tonnages of fuel delivered throughout, but drawing some examples from Sadkovich p 207, the destroyer Zeno delivered 86 tons of fuel to Benghazi on November 30th, and the Da Noli sailed 70 tons of fuel to Benghazi on November 28th. Further fuel transports by the destroyers Maestrale and Gioberti in December are also mentioned. No exact tonnages are specified, but Sadkovich states that these ships had to deliver their fuel (600* barrels of it) at Derna by simply dropping the fuel barrels into the sea and let the tide take care of the rest, just like the Vivaldi and the Pessagno had done in November. The Orsa delivered 50 tons of fuel by similar means to Derna on December 10th. This was in addition to fuel delivered by submarine to Derna.

It was both wasteful and dangerous to sail fuel aboard destroyers - Sadkovich mentions that the Da Noli burned 200 tons of fuel oil in order to deliver barely 1/3 of that to Benghazi on November 28th. This calculation is repeated by Greene & Massignani.

Light cruisers were also used regularly as transports in this period - the Cadorna delivered fuel to Benghazi on several occasions, for example on the 9th of December, when she shipped 273 tons of fuel and 100 troops to Benghazi. She returned with 900 POWs (920 according to Sadkovich) The Cadorna returned with fuel again already on the 11th.

Although the warship deliveries of fuel may be slight in the big picture it is worth remembering that November/December 1941 was one of the worst fuel crisis faced by the PAA; overall 25,634 and 5,732 tons of fuel were delivered in these two months respectively.

*Edit: at 42 gallons per barrel, the quantity delivered comes rather close to 70 metric tons. All but ten barrels were recovered.
Last edited by Jon G. on 10 Dec 2006 20:54, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Andy H » 10 Dec 2006 17:23

Whilst the following doesn't relate directly to this topic specifics, its generality of function and purpose do:-
The most pressing objective of the ports organization was to get ships unloaded and returned to sea. Ship discharge was the first link in the logistical chain, prerequisite to all others
that port operation was not simply a matter of removing cargo from ships' holds
while correct as absolute measurements of achievement on a given ship at a given time, are no more indicative of relative efficiency than are the more abstract figures of average turnaround time or average tons per ship day. Because of the differences in ships, cargoes, and other variable factors, neither absolute daily discharge tonnages per ship nor abstract averages are reliable indexes of efficiency, as they are not based upon comparable factors. The number as well as the competence of labor gangs, the weather, and .the nature of cargoes are too diverse to combine into comparable averages, and this is true in spite of the fact that operating officers found such averages, though abstract, to be useful day-to-day guides in estimating performance. For instance, the ship from which the record cargo was discharged at Bandar Shahpur carried a cargo of sugar in bags and possessed eight hatches instead of the usual five of Liberty ships. An unusual concentration of ships' gear, deck cranes, locomotive cranes on the dock, and the availability of an abnormally large working force all contributed to the record performance. An equally large labor party, using equal quantities of equipment in exactly similar weather, might, while working with equal skill and diligence, take twice as long to unload a ship whose cargo was diversified and cumbersome
all from http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/wwii/pers ... r18.htm#b3

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Bronsky
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Post by Bronsky » 11 Dec 2006 12:58

Jon G. wrote:Just to flesh out the part of the discussion about warships delivering fuel and personnel to North Africa, Seekrieg makes reference to several convoys by Italian destroyers and light cruisers under its entries for
In October, Da Noli + Zeno + Pessagno made two round trips, bringing 1,676 troops on the way in and 222 repatriated on the way back. Then add 3 submarine trips (337 tons of fuel + a little ammunition).

In November, the three musketeers had Zeno replaced by Vivaldi, 2 trips with 1,516 in and 217 plus an unknown number of prisoners out, then a 3rd with 170 tons of fuel. More submarine trips, then we have the Cadorna sailing with 103 RM personnel and 385 tons of fuel, foodstuffs and ammunition, returning with 323 passengers, including 82 POWs and their guards. Cadorna made another trip in early December with the same kind of load, though on the way back it had 920 POWs.

For December, there was another cruiser transport force, but it was jumped by Force K. Other than that, quite a few DD & SS trips.
Jon G. wrote:I don't have all the tonnages of fuel delivered throughout, but drawing some examples from Sadkovich p 207, the destroyer Zeno delivered 86 tons of fuel to Benghazi on November 30th, and the Da Noli sailed 70 tons of fuel to Benghazi on November 28th.
The RM history says the November 28 trip was actually November 29, with Da Noli going to Benghazi and the other two to Derna, no breakdown for the global figure mentioned above.

Zeno on the other hand is noted as transporting 120 tons for the other trip, I wonder if the difference means that some was lost en route, as they were being transported in drums and cans. Always interesting how different sources diverge.

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Post by Jon G. » 11 Dec 2006 13:24

Bronsky wrote:...The RM history says the November 28 trip was actually November 29, with Da Noli going to Benghazi and the other two to Derna, no breakdown for the global figure mentioned above.

Zeno on the other hand is noted as transporting 120 tons for the other trip, I wonder if the difference means that some was lost en route, as they were being transported in drums and cans. Always interesting how different sources diverge.
I'm a little wary with the dates given by Seekrieg - for example, the Seekrieg site has the Luigi Cadorna delivering fuel to Benghazi on Dec. 9th-10th and returning again already on the 11th. That seems too short a timespan to me, especially because the weather for December is given as 'stormy', see below .It could be that the 9th-10th was the date the L. Cadorna first arrived at Benghazi and the 11th the time she departed Taranto with her second fuel shipment for the month.

Seekrieg also makes mention of stormy weather under its Dec. 1.-15th Mediterranean header, so it seems plausible that some barrels were washed overboard en route. I made 600 barrels=70 tons by using this calculator, although I don't know if 1941 Axis fuel drums contained the 42 gallons which are standard today. The crude converter is a related, highly useful tool.

Bronsky, do you have enough details for Dec 1941 that we can quantify exactly how much fuel was delivered by which means for that month? I am aware that this would be very demanding to calculate for the entire period, but for a single month the distribution of fuel delivered by which means may prove very illuminating.

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Post by Bronsky » 11 Dec 2006 17:14

Jon G. wrote:Seekrieg also makes mention of stormy weather under its Dec. 1.-15th Mediterranean header, so it seems plausible that some barrels were washed overboard en route. I made 600 barrels=70 tons by using [url=http://www.platts.com/Oil/Resources/Crude%20Converter/[/url], although I don't know if 1941 Axis fuel drums contained the 42 gallons which are standard today.
Cocchia says that the 3 DDs had between them 170 (metric) tons of fuel in drums, 70 tons (i.e. 63 metric tons) is only slightly over a third and not at all illogical. I don't think that drum size was a factor in Sadkovich's calculation, he must have found a separate source. He draws heavily from the transcripts of the Italian General Staff meetings, I have some of these but they're definitely not a quick reference so no way that I'm going to try and track that information down in it.

What I found more interesting was his listing 86 tons landed in a trip where the RM source said 120 tons transported. Even assuming they're all metric tons, this still means a third of the cargo was lost en route, that's a lot. To give you an idea, the worst months in terms of % of cargo lost on the route to North Africa were Nov 41 (62%), Dec 42 (53%), Oct 42 (44%), Aug 42 (33%) and September 41 (28%). And this is in a warship i.e. "special care" trip where the carrier didn't even come under attack. So I assume there's another explanation. Possible candidates are:
1. Either of Cocchia or Sadkovich is wrong
2. Cocchia lists fuel transported (from a Navy source) while Sadkovich found fuel received (from e.g. an Army source), the difference being fuel delivered to other recipients

Jon G. wrote:Bronsky, do you have enough details for Dec 1941 that we can quantify exactly how much fuel was delivered by which means for that month? I am aware that this would be very demanding to calculate for the entire period, but for a single month the distribution of fuel delivered by which means may prove very illuminating.
No, I don't. The general navy source lists ship voyagesbut usually doesn't mention cargo - like the Seekrieg one - except for the all-warship convoys. Then I have individual bits of data from Sadkovich, Bragadin and other such secondary sources, then I have monthly totals.

In addition, December 1941 would be a particularly poor choice as this was a time of crisis when all possible means of transport were used. Here's what I have, everything is in metric tons:
Total delivered: 7,133 tons
Freighter arrivals Italy - Libya: 7 Italian (plus one schooner) 3 German. One of the Italian ships from Tunisia.
Tanker arrivals Italy-Libya: 0 (1 sunk en route)
Warships (dates are arrival, ships not carrying fuel or failing to arrive are not listed):
SS Millo (2) 141t
CT Maestrale & Gioberti (2) 50t
SS Cagni (5) 120t
TP Procione (5) 60t
SS Caracciolo (10) 105t
TP Orsa (11) 50t
CL Cadorna (11) 127t
SS Saint Bon (11) 140
SS Mocenigo (15-17 Bardia-Benghazi) 60t
SS Menotti (16) 45t
CT Pigafetta (16) 50t
SS Saint Bon (17) 140t
SS Dandolo (18) 2t
SS Micca (18) 154t + 48 cans of gas oil
CT Da Verazzano (20) 250t
CT Bersagliere + Fuciliere (24) 100t
SS Bragadin (25) 40t
SS Emo (25) 20t
SS Dandolo (26) 20t

Total deliveries by warships: 1,547 tons.

Then add air transport, as well as French fuel deliveries which were taking place around that time as part of the Dankworth agreements. It total, the French sold something like 3,000 tons of fuel from their North African stocks and shipped another 3,500 tons of Italian oil to Tunisia from where it was railed and trucked to Tripoli. The contracts were signed in November 1941 and deliveries lasted until June 1942, but I need to look up the schedule of the deliveries.

As you can see, the best I can do for now isn't all that good, and this is one of the lowest months of the war for fuel deliveries.

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Post by RichTO90 » 11 Dec 2006 19:10

Just to add to the pot, here is so info I put together for Niklas Z a few years ago.

Here is some additional information on logistics for North Africa. Note that Panzerarmee Afrika and the Deutsch-Italienischen Panzerarmee were the successive renaming of Rommel’s original Panzergruppe Afrika. Deliveries to those named forces did not include the forces established in Tunisia that eventually were named PzAOK 5. I have tried to be careful in distinguishing the two where possible, but occasionally the records are unclear as to whether or not they include all deliveries and forces in Afrika or just one of the two Panzerarmee.

From 24 Oct-23 Nov 42 the following were received by Panzerarmee Afrika:
2cm Flak 12
5cm Pak 12
7.5cm Pak 6
Pz-III 18
Pz-IV 17

A report of 18 Dec 42 gave the following situation for the D-I PzAOK vehicles (figures are for soll/ist):
DAK:
Kraeder 2162/211
PKW 1542/702
LKW 3666/2667
Sd.Kfz 303/79
Zgkw. 524/159
Tieflandenanghaenger (?) 18/2

90 le.Afr.Div.:
Kraeder 476/5
PKW 772/180
LKW 1089/584
Sd.Kfz. 92/18
Zgkw. 97/47

164 le.Afr.Div.: was reported as being completely outfitted with vehicles on the scale of a le.Afr.Div. (so the same as the Soll for 90 le.Afr.Div.?), but that “a large part of the weapons, vehicles and equipment of the division had not yet been delivered from Greece.

HARKO Afrika:
Kraeder 271/6
PKW 435/139
LKW 620/336
Zgkw. 105/29

Heerestruppen:
Kraeder 609/21
PKW 602/190
LKW 873/397
Sd.Kfz. 34/12
Zgkw. 209/20

Armee Versorgungstruppen:
PKW 593/442
LKW 1594/1236
Sonstige 298/111

For December 1942 the following were received by the D-I Panzerarmee:
7.5cm Pak 24
Panzers (no breakdown by type) 21
Artillery pieces (all types) 7
PKW & LKW 25
Zgkw. 23
Fuel 4,723 tons
Ammunition 1,916 tons
Food 522 tons
Other 337 tons
Total 7,498 tons
The following were lost en route to Afrika:
7.5cm Pak 20
Panzers 14
Artillery pieces 18
Fuel 6,972 tons
Ammunition 575 tons
Food 632 tons
Other 371 tons
Total 8,550 tons of supplies (note that if this is true then 53.3 percent of the 16,048 tons en route were lost)

For 20 Dec 42 to 18 Jan 43 the following were sent to PzArmee Afrika:
30 Pz-III
19 Pz-IV
56 PKW
31 LKW
4 Zgkw.
11 Anhaenger
21 Pz.Sphwg.
5 Sdkfz.
1 Operationswagen

A second interesting report is that of the discussion between the O.Qu.-Tunis and the O.Qu. der D-I Panzerarmee on 8 January 1943 at Sousse. They were discussing the requirements for bringing 5 PzAOK, Luftwaffe and Marine units (including Italians) up to a full-strength of 4 German and 2 Italian divisions, plus the supporting Luftwaffe and Marine units, a total of 90,000 men. The one-time requirement for this totaled an estimated 158,700 tons, broken down as:
Men and equipment for 4 German divisions plus LW and M (60,000 men) = 90,000
Men and equipment for 2 Italian divisions plus LW and M (30,000 men) = 45,000
Ammunition for German and Italian army units (3 Ausstattungen) = 9,600
Ammunition for German and Italian air units (1 month supply) = 500
Ammunition for German and Italian Flak units (4 Auss.) = 1,000
Food for 90,000 men for 21 days = 3,600
Clothing (for filling up Soll) = 100
Medical supplies = 300
Motor vehicle fuel (5 VS) = 3,100
Luftwaffe aviation fuel (2 months supply a daily expenditure of 100cbm) = 5,500

The ongoing supply requirements for Africa were calculated as:
Ammunition:
For PzAOK 5 including Italian troops (presumably including the requirements of the above reinforcements as well) 8 Auss. Per month = 38,400 tons
Luftwaffe = 1,000 tons
Flak = 1,000 tons
Weapons and Equipment:
Army including Italian troops = 800 tons
Luftwaffe = 500 tons
Food:
For 90,000 men = 6,000 tons
Clothing:
For 90,000 men = 150 tons
Medical supplies:
For 90,000 men = 30 tons
Vehicles of all types including panzers = 1,100 tons
Fuel:
All vehicle fuel assuming a daily use of 150cbm = 5,500 tons
Luftwaffe fuel = 3,500 tons
Italian Luftwaffe = 2,000 tons
Mail = 100 tons
Total monthly maintenance requirement = 60,080 tons

Monthly requirement for the economic sector in Tunis (including coal, construction material, industrial fuel and so forth) = 25,000 tons

Supplies for Rommel = 30,000 tons (implying that his effective strength including Italian forces was less than one-half of the 90,000-man force proposed for Tunis)

They then describe the current unloading capacity per day of the ports in Axis hands and the maximum capacity they could be improved to as:
Bizerta = 2,500 tons/3,000 tons
Tunis = 2,000 tons/2,500 tons
Sousse = 800 tons/1,500 tons
Total monthly = 159,000 tons/210,000 tons

The final analysis was that even with the maximum possible increase of the ports it was impossible to maintain the monthly requirements and simultaneously deliver the reinforcement (over the course of 4 weeks). The shortfall was calculated as 115,080+115,080-210,000 = a shortfall of 63,780 tons. Worse, they remarked that the total actual unloading for December was no more than 110,000 tons, insufficient to meet even the monthly maintenance requirements.

On 31 January the ration situation for the month (this appears to be for all German troops in Africa) was described as follows:
Strength of troops was 44,292 Heer and 20,366 Luftwaffe = 64,658
Stocked were 601 tons = 5 daily rations
Total deliveries from Italy during the month were 1,729 tons for D-I PzA and 918 tons for both army commands.
Total deliveries to troops in Tunisia were 1,813 tons, to troops in Libya were 348 tons.
An additional 66.6 tons were delivered by air from Italy.

On 5 February 1943 Commando Supremo reported that a total of 70,000 tons (including 12,000 tons of fuel in barrels) and possibly another 12,000 tons of fuel in tankers, could be shipped during the month. They assumed that 25 percent of the total would be lost en route. The same report also gave the following breakdown of requirements:
Monthly requirements:
For the southern sector (D-I PzAOK and Luftwaffe) = 27,500 tons
For the northern sector (PzAOK 5 and Luftwaffe) = 26,500 tons
Italian troops = 53,000 tons
Tunisian economy = 9,000 tons
Plus a non-recurring requirement for a combat reserve = 40,000 tons
It was noted that up to 7,500 vehicles could be included in the 156,000 tons total.
The average monthly deliveries for PzAOK Afrika/Panzergruppe Afrika/D-I PzAOK in 1942 were given as:
7,500 tons of fuel
2,500 tons of ammunition
3,550 tons of food
1,250 tons of other goods

On 4 March 1943 a summary report was made for the deliveries to the two armies in Tunisia. It was as follows:
Delivered in January:
46,079 tons
50 Panzer
2,037 other vehicles
214 artillery pieces
Delivered in February:
52,751 tons (out of an expected maximum 82,000 tons and minimum 61,500 tons – 7,500 tons less than the required minimum of supplies, which meant that actual deliveries were 16,249 tons less than the minimum requirement)
50 Panzer
1,293 other vehicles
123 artillery pieces

A more detailed list of February deliveries gives the following:
For PzAOK 5:
Fuel 5,947.1 tons
Ammunition 5,166.7 tons
Food 4,305.6 tons
Other 1,084.5 tons
46 Panzer (including 2 by air!)
10 7.5cm Pak
16 5cm Pak
93 guns over 5cm
4 guns under 5cm
217 vehicles
44 miscellaneous pieces of equipment
For ItAOK 1 (previously D-I PzAOK):
Fuel 4,049 tons
Aviation fuel 816.7 tons
Ammunition 3,776.7 tons
Food 3,134 tons
Other 790 tons
6 Panzer
51 vehicles

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Post by Jon G. » 11 Dec 2006 19:25

Bronsky wrote:Cocchia says that the 3 DDs had between them 170 (metric) tons of fuel in drums, 70 tons (i.e. 63 metric tons) is only slightly over a third and not at all illogical. I don't think that drum size was a factor in Sadkovich's calculation, he must have found a separate source. He draws heavily from the transcripts of the Italian General Staff meetings, I have some of these but they're definitely not a quick reference so no way that I'm going to try and track that information down in it.
I have no problem multiplying the 70 tons fuel figure of the Zeno by three, given that there were three destroyers sailing fuel at the time.

Sadkovich does not give a tonnage figure for the fuel delivered to Derna by the Maestrale and the Gioberti, but he does give the 600 barrel figure. I calculated backwards from 600 barrels to arrive at 70 metric tons. In this particular case, it is clear that Sadkovich relies on the figure for fuel sent.
What I found more interesting was his listing 86 tons landed in a trip where the RM source said 120 tons transported. Even assuming they're all metric tons, this still means a third of the cargo was lost en route, that's a lot. To give you an idea, the worst months in terms of % of cargo lost on the route to North Africa were Nov 41 (62%), Dec 42 (53%), Oct 42 (44%), Aug 42 (33%) and September 41 (28%). And this is in a warship i.e. "special care" trip where the carrier didn't even come under attack.
There is something fishy about the 86 tons figure given by Sadkovich. On p. 207 he writes '...On November 30, the Zeno carried 86 tons of fuel to Benghazi, but packing 4,380 jerry cans and 101 barrels into common rooms, corridors, and other free space made fumes such a serious problem that the crew had to wear gas masks(and here he inserts a footnote)'

The footnote reads: ' USMM, VII, 157, 160. Eighty-seven tons were carried in jerry cans, twenty-three in barrels.

In other words, what is given as 86 tons in the main text becomes 110 tons once you read the footnote. 23 tons of fuel would take up about 200 42-gallon barrels.

There are no prizes to Sadkovich for expressing himself clearly in his insanely expensive book.
So I assume there's another explanation. Possible candidates are:
1. Either of Cocchia or Sadkovich is wrong
2. Cocchia lists fuel transported (from a Navy source) while Sadkovich found fuel received (from e.g. an Army source), the difference being fuel delivered to other recipients.
Either seem likely. It would not seem implausible to me that Sadkovich has found the cargo sent (he writes 'carried', not 'delivered'), but he has perhaps failed to note that the cargo in question - 110 to 120 tons of fuel - was not delivered only by the Zeno. The Zeno's 14th flotilla sister the Malocello may have delivered the remaining 34/44 tons?
Jon G. wrote:Bronsky, do you have enough details for Dec 1941 that we can quantify exactly how much fuel was delivered by which means for that month? I am aware that this would be very demanding to calculate for the entire period, but for a single month the distribution of fuel delivered by which means may prove very illuminating.
No, I don't. The general navy source lists ship voyagesbut usually doesn't mention cargo - like the Seekrieg one - except for the all-warship convoys. Then I have individual bits of data from Sadkovich, Bragadin and other such secondary sources, then I have monthly totals.

In addition, December 1941 would be a particularly poor choice as this was a time of crisis when all possible means of transport were used. Here's what I have, everything is in metric tons:(snip!)
I am aware that December 1941 is far from a 'model month' for fuel delivered to North Africa. I just thought it would be interesting to measure how much fuel was delivered by other means (i.e. cargo ships and warships) during a month when the Axis supply effort was under maximum pressure from Malta-based British forces. Thank you for the numbers you posted. They are very useful in that regard.

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Post by Bronsky » 11 Dec 2006 20:47

Rich,

Thanks for the figures, very interesting.
Jon G wrote:There is something fishy about the 86 tons figure given by Sadkovich. On p. 207 he writes '...On November 30, the Zeno carried 86 tons of fuel to Benghazi, but packing 4,380 jerry cans and 101 barrels into common rooms, corridors, and other free space made fumes such a serious problem that the crew had to wear gas masks(and here he inserts a footnote)'

The footnote reads: ' USMM, VII, 157, 160. Eighty-seven tons were carried in jerry cans, twenty-three in barrels.
Thanks, this saves me from looking it up, much appreciated :-) Sadkovich has a lot of information that you have to fish for in the narrative, I like the 110 tons total much more than the 86 tons one. Ok, that clears it up, then.
Jon G. wrote:I am aware that December 1941 is far from a 'model month' for fuel delivered to North Africa. I just thought it would be interesting to measure how much fuel was delivered by other means (i.e. cargo ships and warships) during a month when the Axis supply effort was under maximum pressure from Malta-based British forces. Thank you for the numbers you posted. They are very useful in that regard.
Well, I could have saved myself the trouble of typing it all in if that's what you had been interested in :-) There are months with no tanker arrivals, so all the fuel deliveries were by cargo ships and warships. The figure I posted was the total amount of fuel delivered to Libya by sea, so possible air and French deliveries would be in addition to that total. There's a chance that I can find a monthly breakdown for French deliveries, but I'm nowhere near finding any such in the Regia Aeronautica histories that I know about.

RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 11 Dec 2006 21:09

Bronsky wrote:Rich,

Thanks for the figures, very interesting.
Good. I do have some more data on the Panzerarmee fuel receipts if you are interested, I just need to transcribe them. Unfortunately though most of it is only for German units I believe. Also unfortunately the season obligations kept me from transcribing the shipping reports for April 1942, I hope to get them done sometime this week. :(

Rich

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 11 Dec 2006 21:28

The steady attrition of Italian merchant shipping on the African routes had
forced the use of warships and submarines as transports during the autumn, and
the diversion of more aircraft to convoy duty relieved the pressure on the RAF
as it increased the strain on the RAI, which requested more control over the
convoys. By early October, it was also clear that the matériel needed to build
up Axis forces in Africa could not be delivered that month. Only twenty of
forty-six ships scheduled for Africa had made the trip in September, owing in
large part to a lack of merchantmen capable of speeds over eight knots
; the first
convoy in October was underloaded by half to assure buoyancy should a ship
be damaged and to avoid a serious loss should any given ship sink. As a
result, the four motorships and two steamers in the convoy carried only 1,046
troops, 828 vehicles, 359 tons of fuel and 14,913 of cargo. 1


The convoy should have made fourteen knots, but was slowed by the
German steamer Reichenfels forcing the Italian Rialto to the rear, where it was
sunk on October 5 with its cargo of 359 tons of fuel, 81 vehicles, 3,162 tons
of matériel, and 77 soldiers. The loss was again to torpedo bombers based on
Malta, despite a preventive air strike against the island the night of October 4-
5; and as usual, the RAF attacked after Axis air cover had left, at 01.25.
Although 145 of the 165 men aboard the Rialto were saved and the other ships
made Tripoli at 15.00 on the 5th, the loss of fuel was serious, especially since
Tripoli had unused storage capacity. But the loss should not be exaggerated.
Four other steamers, as well as the Amsterdam and Junak, made the trip to
Tripoli and Bengazi, the last without an escort
From Page 193 of Sadkovich. Emphasis is mine.

Regards

Andy H

Jon G.
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Post by Jon G. » 12 Dec 2006 10:02

Bronsky wrote:Rich,

Thanks for the figures, very interesting.
I second that. I feel a little handicapped trying to participate when I only have secondary sources myself. I find the primary sources you quote numbers from quite illuminating for the discussion.
.Thanks, this saves me from looking it up, much appreciated :-) Sadkovich has a lot of information that you have to fish for in the narrative, I like the 110 tons total much more than the 86 tons one. Ok, that clears it up, then.
Yes, it clears it up quite a bit (the 10 tons could easily have been lost at sea), but frankly it does not make Sadkovich' text any clearer. It is unsatisfying that you can find two different figures for the same shipment on the same page. If anything, Sadkovich' bias is clearly pro-Regia Marina, so he 'should' be more likely to exaggerate the fuel delivered by the Zeno instead of understating it. In other passages he is careful to distinguish between Italian fuel and German fuel. That could explain the 86/110 tons discrepancy.
Jon G. wrote:I am aware that December 1941 is far from a 'model month' for fuel delivered to North Africa. I just thought it would be interesting to measure how much fuel was delivered by other means (i.e. cargo ships and warships) during a month when the Axis supply effort was under maximum pressure from Malta-based British forces. Thank you for the numbers you posted. They are very useful in that regard.
Well, I could have saved myself the trouble of typing it all in if that's what you had been interested in :-) There are months with no tanker arrivals, so all the fuel deliveries were by cargo ships and warships.
Well, okay :) I wanted to try and quantify the means by which December's fuel was delivered in the absence of tankers - i.e. so-and-so many tons on destroyers, so-and-so many tons by cargo ship, submarines, etc. I suspect that December 1941 was the month in which the largest quantity of fuel (in absolute numbers) for the whole period was delivered by warships.
The figure I posted was the total amount of fuel delivered to Libya by sea, so possible air and French deliveries would be in addition to that total. There's a chance that I can find a monthly breakdown for French deliveries, but I'm nowhere near finding any such in the Regia Aeronautica histories that I know about.
Regarding the numbers you posted above, Sadkovich has the Luigi Cadorna delivering 273 tons of fuel to Benghazi on December 9th, not 127 tons on December 11th. Seekrieg may come to the rescue, though, for that site has the L. Cadorna delivering unspecified amounts of fuel to Benghazi on both the 9-10th and the 11th of December.

The 273 tons could be Sadkovich putting two shipments on one boat. It just seems a very rapid turnaround to have the same CL delivering fuel to the same destination only two days apart.

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Post by Huszar » 27 Dec 2006 19:33

Hy, people,

My first post, and probably also one of my last, since I really to lasy to write in English - German suits more better....

So, I spent most of the evening reading this thread, and I want to congratulate the most of the posters.
Why I registered here, and write this post, is, that I try to explain some things to wargames - things you probably have missed, or simply tired to explain.


1, The "combat ready brigades and Divisions" of yours simply do not exsits on a transport run. Neither on sea, nor on the land. I do not know ANY means to transport a combat ready division of 17.000-odd people, 200+ guns, hundreds of vehicles, and so forth.
In terms of a division, you CAN transport individual squads, guns, vehicles, and so forth, but not a whole division.
For example a German Infantry Division, 1st Wave, 1939 onwards:
17.734 Man
4842 horses
919 horse-drawn vehicles
394 cars
615 lorries
527 motorcycles
3 armoured cars
3700 pistols
13.000 rifles
312 SMG
545 mashine guns
12 2cm-FLAK
84 5cm-mortars
54 8cm-mortars
75 AT-guns
20 light infaryguns
6 heavy infantryguns
36 light howitzers
12 heavy howitzers.

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Zus ... vision.htm

The point in transportig a unit - whatever size - is not HOW to transport it, but TO tranport it. It virtually makes no matter, if the troop is transported on a rowboat 4 man each or by the Queen Mary, the point is, that the troop has to arrive where it should arrive, and if possible, when it has to arrive. If you need to transport ANY quantity of troop FAST, and as secure, as possible, right now and right here, you will put as many as possible on a FAST, armed vessel, and send it. Should it been 300 man with their rifles, a pair LMGs, a mortar and some ammo. If it is urgent, than it has to do with that.

No one said, everything have to be transported at once. If a division not fit into a ship (and it wont!), there will be several runs with regiments. If a regiment not fit into a ship, there will be several runs with one battalion each. If a battalion not fit into a ship, or there is some problem bringing that ship to somewhere, there will be several runs with one company each. And so forth, till you have that particular grunt with his rifle, helmet an 90 bullets...

Besides of amphibious landings with LSTs and LCTs and all the stuff, you won't be able to get combat ready units on some beach. Even the big ones can not carry more, that an understrenght regiment...

2, Transportig stuff with subs:
Need rules economic transport. If you need ANY quantities of ammo, right here, and right now, with NO delay, you will be gratefull for even one bullet, not to speak from 50 tons with a sub. Or 100 tons of gas with a destroyer.
If every tons, that is delivered FAST and to the SPOT, you won't be messing with not-training torpedoe-mounts, or cramped ships, or ten times of oil burned to get that one ton, or whatever. Probably that 100 ton of fuel will save the day of a regiment, or so?
Naturaly, in the whole % this runs are very little, but they are right there, and right when needed. Transporting stuff on warships is not exactly, what they made for, but - as said above - need rules economy...

3, Ships in ww2:
Generaly, because of ww1 - and the enourmos demand for freighters - there wher PLENTY of old ships steaming around the world even in 1942. Ships build 1914-1918 where much of common, and even older ships - pre-1914 - where not rare. Exept for Germany - which had to build most of its freighters new - most merchant navies had to sail with these old ones. So the Italians.
Speed was in the old days much lower, than today, or even in ww2! If you had a steamer, capable of 10-12 knots+, you were happy.
And even by ww2-standards: Germany picked some of the fastest ships to be converted to AMCs, and even this "fast" ships could only make some 15-16 Knots...

To the Italian liners: besides the most modern, and big liners - which were way to expansive (and big) to send them to NA - the most where pre-1925-ships, mostly for cruises to Lybia, the Balkans, and so forth, and were not designed, to make a try for the Blue Band (don't know how its called in English). For this purpuoses, some 1000-2000 places and about 15 Knots were more, than enough...

4, Definitions and shortforms for ship-classes:
before beginning a discussion with someone, one should make sure to know and correctly apply this.
In short:
- MTB: means Motor Torpedoe Boat. Thats a small, very fast craft, designed to put a torpedoe into bigger ships. At far under 100 tons, they are not intended to sail on the open seas, hunt subs, or even escort ships, exepct for coastal waters.
- Torpedoe Boat: a turbine-driven, relatively fast craft under 1000 tons, armed primaly with torpedoes - as the name suggests - are primaly designed to escort warships into the fight, and put that cigarrs into other ships. AA and ASW-capability is usually not very big
- Destroyers: a turbine-driven, relatively fast craft of 1000+ tons, with heavy torpedoe and artillery-outfit, designed to escort warships, hunt down smaller craft, which try to attack the own warships (cruisers and battleships), with not very heavy AA and ASW-armament.
- Frigattes/sloops and korvettes: childs of ww2, around and below 1000 tons, and 20 Knots, are prupose-built escorts to merchantmen. Mostly without torpedoes, and with light artillery, they carry much in the way of AA and ASW weapons
- DE, or Destroyer, Escort (US-named :D ), childs of ww2, above 1000 tons, and 20 knots, are prupose-built escorts to merchantmen. Mostly without torpedoes, and with light artillery, they carry much in the way of AA and ASW weapons

If someone write "no destroyer escort availlable" it means:
no ships availlable, which can protect merchantmen from being attacked by air, surface craft or submarines. This includes T-boats, destroyers and frigattes/korvettes. If we speak about DE, you should forget any Navy accept for the USN and the RN (and to some expent the IJN), because no other navy could allow to have such crafts.

For the matter of Italy:
Destroyers: Mirabello, Leone, Sella, Sauro, Turbine, Navigatori, Freccia, Folgore, Maestrale, Oriani, Soldati classes
T-boats: Indomito, Pilo, Audace, Acerbi, La Masa, Palestro, Generale, Curtatone, Spica, Perseo, Aldebaran, Pegaso, Alcione, Ariete classes
Escort T-boats: Aliseo class
korvettes: Gabbiano class

5, you should read a bit more, and play a bit less. After reading (and understanding) about a ton of books (no internet counts not), then you probably will not ask questions, like "What convoys to greece".

BR

alex

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Bronsky
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Post by Bronsky » 30 Dec 2006 21:44

Huszar wrote:Generaly, because of ww1 - and the enourmos demand for freighters - there wher PLENTY of old ships steaming around the world even in 1942. Ships build 1914-1918 where much of common, and even older ships - pre-1914 - where not rare. Exept for Germany - which had to build most of its freighters new - most merchant navies had to sail with these old ones. So the Italians.
Speed was in the old days much lower, than today, or even in ww2! If you had a steamer, capable of 10-12 knots+, you were happy.
Average convoy speeds with old steamers could be as low as 7 knots, 8-9 knots being common. This also applied to Britain, whose stock of shipping was admitedly rather old.

Another advantage of using steamers was that they burned coal, not oil. For the fuel-starved Italians this was particularly important, though it did imply relying on older ships.

Some of Italy's best liners spent the war in port, probably because they would have been far too great a loss if sunk, but their being fuel-guzzling monsters also played a part (see how often the Japanese used Yamato and Musashi).

Huszar
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Post by Huszar » 31 Dec 2006 10:09

Sure thing.

It should be also noted, that maximum speed is not equvalent to cruising speed. As soon as you sail faster, than your economic speed, the fuelconsumption rises terriblic.

I have here the book about the Kormoran. Max speed was about 15 Knots, economic speed about 9.


btw:
has anybody data about how much stuff was shipped to NA February-July 1942? Number of ships, tonnage of delivered things?
What I have:
February: 33 started, 3 sunk
March: 37 sailed, 2 sunk

br

alex

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