Italy invading Malta in 1940

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Robert Rojas
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RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Robert Rojas » 07 Nov 2018 17:18

Greetings to both brother Wargames and the community as a whole. Howdy Wargames! Well sir, with no particular reference to any of this thread's previous entries, given the lack of realistic planning upon the part of the Italians, old yours truly does not hold out much hope for the success of any potential assault upon the Island of Malta on or about August 28, 1940. At this point in history, the Italian military establishment simply lacks both the practical airborne and amphibious warfare capabilities to execute such a technically complicated mission. Divine intervention notwithstanding, unless Benito Mussolini can convince Adolf Hitler to detach the Luftwaffe's Seventh Airborne Division AND the Twenty Second Air Landing Division from National Socialist Germany's projected invasion of Great Britain, I personally see little OR no chance of Fascist Italy wresting control of the Island of Malta from the British Commonwealth. The Italians will never force the British to relinquish control of the Island of Malta with aerial bombardment alone. With that said, I do have to concede that this thread is proving to be a rather colorful academic exercise into the NOT so WHAT IF. We all live and learn. Well, that's my latest two Yankee cents worth on this topic of what "MIGHT" have been - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day from sea to shining sea.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

Richard Anderson
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Re: RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Nov 2018 17:40

Wargames wrote:
07 Nov 2018 07:37
They weren't Italian ships.
That's nice. Whose were they then? Martians? And how do they get into Italian hands?
As for the vaporetto,
They are Venetian water buses, designed to sail a simple transportation route inside the lagoon of Venice. They are not seagoing vessels in any sense of the term. They have no cargo space, just a simple deck and weather cover. The oldest were coal-fired steamships, the newest were diesels, which makes the logistics of fueling the short-legged vessels interesting to say the least (it would take days to just shuttle them from Venice to a staging area on Sicily, likely Pozallo, Syracuse, and Licata). The larger vaporetto were typically 22 meters long and could carry 50 to 75 passengers (not armed and equipped troops). The first was put in service in 1881 and in 1955, after 74 years, the first since the war were built, numbers 66-73. So at most there were only 65 to work with, assuming the 19th century ones could still be put into service. As a troop transport they are even less useful than the peniche the Germans planned to use for SEELÖWE. The idea they were suitable for a minimum 100-kilometer sea voyage as a military assault transport is simply laughable.

There were also four larger passenger ferries capable of carrying 850 persons each...except they are even less useful, being large, slow targets that would require a dock for unloading.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Gooner1 » 07 Nov 2018 17:59

Wargames wrote:
06 Nov 2018 23:24

Look up "Mellieha bay photos" and "St. Paul's Bay photos".

I'll give you a hint. They're all resorts. :D
No sandy beaches in St. Paul's Bay that I can find.

Mistra Bay nearby has a small beach, as you can see viewing it from Fort Campbell

Image

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Re: RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Nov 2018 19:08

Gooner1 wrote:
07 Nov 2018 17:59
No sandy beaches in St. Paul's Bay that I can find.

Mistra Bay nearby has a small beach, as you can see viewing it from Fort Campbell
Indeed, whoever attempts a landing in Melleiha, Mistra, or St Paul's bays will have to first deal with the two 6" guns of Fort Campbell, as well as the two 9.2" guns at Fort Madliena, and the associated 6-inch howitzers and 18-pdr guns manned by the 26th Defence Regiment RA at the forts and on the Victoria Lines, and the 12-pdr battery on Marfa Ridge.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Robert Rojas
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RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Robert Rojas » 07 Nov 2018 22:18

Greetings to both brother Richard Anderson and the community as a whole. Howdy Richard! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Wednesday - November 07, 2018 - 10:08am, old yours truly cannot discount the credible threat that the heavy guns of Fort Campbell and Fort Madienna represent to a potential seaborne invasion force. However, given that these fortifications were ostensibly designed and constructed to address a purely seaborne threat from another era, how effective will such fortifications actually be in the age of air power? One cannot help but think of the fate of the gun and mortar emplacements on the Island of Corregidor when they were subjected to relentless air strikes from Japanese aviation. As with the fortifications of the Island of Malta, the fortifications on the Island of Corregidor were also designed and constructed to address a purely seaborne threat from another era. It's just some sobering food for thought. Well, that's my latest two Yankee cents worth on this topic on what "MIGHT" have been - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day up in your neck of the woods of the Evergreen State of Washington.


Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

Richard Anderson
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Re: RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Nov 2018 00:36

Robert Rojas wrote:
07 Nov 2018 22:18
Greetings to both brother Richard Anderson and the community as a whole. Howdy Richard! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Wednesday - November 07, 2018 - 10:08am, old yours truly cannot discount the credible threat that the heavy guns of Fort Campbell and Fort Madienna represent to a potential seaborne invasion force. However, given that these fortifications were ostensibly designed and constructed to address a purely seaborne threat from another era, how effective will such fortifications actually be in the age of air power? One cannot help but think of the fate of the gun and mortar emplacements on the Island of Corregidor when they were subjected to relentless air strikes from Japanese aviation. As with the fortifications of the Island of Malta, the fortifications on the Island of Corregidor were also designed and constructed to address a purely seaborne threat from another era. It's just some sobering food for thought. Well, that's my latest two Yankee cents worth on this topic on what "MIGHT" have been - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day up in your neck of the woods of the Evergreen State of Washington.


Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
Robert,

While your point would be taken were we discussing the IJNAF, IJAAF, or the Luftwaffe, the Regia Aeronautica was not capable of such accuracy. The RA had a limited level bombing capability in this period...and that was it. Further, the dispersed nature of the British defenses - at least two fixed batteries, a 12-pounder battery, a 6-inch battery, and a number of 18-pounder batteries, capable of bearing in the proposed landing beaches - means that such an air effort would need to be flexible and precise in order to effect the suppression required. I doubt the Italians were up to it. To that we can add the fixed positions of the 1st KOMR, whose companies were well disposed to cover the proposed beaches with Vickers, Bren, and rifle fire, supported by the 8th Manchester and 1st Cheshire (the latter as a MG Battalion was actually organized as MG teams attached to the infantry battalions, while about three-quarters of its personnel were armed as infantry).

However, thank you for your kindly observation and thank you for your best wishes. Indeed, this corner of the Evergreen State is quite a beautiful place to be.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Italy invading Malta in 1940

Post by pugsville » 08 Nov 2018 01:31

BDV wrote:
07 Nov 2018 16:02
pugsville wrote: Italian intelligence grossly over estimated the British garrison 15000, 100 AFVs , up to 300 odd aircraft or something.
It may be possible that Italian intelligence was that incompetent; I doubt it. Possibly it's the Italian intelligence trying to send a message to Benzino.

"Since British defenses were grossly over estimated eg. 15,00 Infantry, 100 armored vehicles and over 80 coastal defense guns when tehtrue figures were respectively about 5,000 , none (excluding Bren gun carriers) and 26"

"The Place of Malta in British Stratgeic Policy 1925-1943" Douglas Austin.
page 121
http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1317691/1/271101.pdf

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=id ... 40&f=false

Wargames
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Re: Italy invading Malta in 1940

Post by Wargames » 08 Nov 2018 03:21

BDV wrote:
07 Nov 2018 16:02
pugsville wrote: Italian intelligence grossly over estimated the British garrison 15000, 100 AFVs , up to 300 odd aircraft or something.
It may be possible that Italian intelligence was that incompetent; I doubt it. Possibly it's the Italian intelligence trying to send a message to Benzino.
He is correct. Italian intelligence estimated there were 15,000 British troops on the island. They had no intelligence assets on the island - None. They eventually tried to land a spy who got himself caught in hours.

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Robert Rojas
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RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Robert Rojas » 08 Nov 2018 03:59

Greetings to both brother Richard Anderson and the community as a whole. Howdy Richard! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Wednesday - November 07, 2018 - 3:336pm, old yours truly is never ceased to be amazed with the sheer magnitude of my own ignorance. Until the advent of this thread, old Uncle Bob was under the erroneous impression that the Regia Aeronautica was generally up to par with their counterparts in both the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe. I will assume (rightly OR wrongly), that Regia Aeronautica's sub par aerial skill sets had more to do with the state of their technology as opposed to the prowess of their air crews. And yes, like yourself, I could more than easily envision the British Commonwealth defenders making very quick work of those unfortunate Italian ground pounders who managed to stagger ashore upon Melleha Bay's beautiful beach. Chalk up another one for Il Duce's misbegotten adventurism. Well, that's my latest two Yankee cents worth on what "MIGHT" have been - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to convey my appreciation for your constructive input on this matter. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day up in your neck of the woods of the Evergreen State of Washington.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

Wargames
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Re: Italy invading Malta in 1940

Post by Wargames » 08 Nov 2018 05:01

MarkN wrote:
07 Nov 2018 10:34
Wargames wrote:
06 Nov 2018 23:31
I'm stuck with Mussolini's opinion. It was his opinion and not mine.
No, you are ignoring his opinion. An invasion of Malta is predicated on Mussolini's choices not being followed.
Please read the section you're in. It's for "What if" scenarios. Please explain why I cannot posit a "what if" scenario where just one of Mussolini's choices wasn't followed and which he was advised to do by all? Even Germany's Admiral Raeder supported it and Hitler immediately reamed Mussolini for invading Greece and not Malta. If you have a problem with my doing this take it up with the moderators.

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Re: RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Wargames » 08 Nov 2018 05:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Nov 2018 19:08
Gooner1 wrote:
07 Nov 2018 17:59
No sandy beaches in St. Paul's Bay that I can find.

Mistra Bay nearby has a small beach, as you can see viewing it from Fort Campbell
Indeed, whoever attempts a landing in Melleiha, Mistra, or St Paul's bays will have to first deal with the two 6" guns of Fort Campbell, as well as the two 9.2" guns at Fort Madliena, and the associated 6-inch howitzers and 18-pdr guns manned by the 26th Defence Regiment RA at the forts and on the Victoria Lines, and the 12-pdr battery on Marfa Ridge.
You mean the two 9.2" guns facing seaward at Fort Madeliena that were removed in 1913?
And which direction did the Marfa Ridge battery face?

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Re: Italy invading Malta in 1940

Post by MLW » 08 Nov 2018 05:27

The reality is that the Italian military could not pull-off a joint operation with its army, navy, and air force and therefore could not successfully conduct a seaborne invasion against a determined defender such as British-held Malta.

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Re: RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Wargames » 08 Nov 2018 05:30

Gooner1 wrote:
07 Nov 2018 17:59
Wargames wrote:
06 Nov 2018 23:24

Look up "Mellieha bay photos" and "St. Paul's Bay photos".

I'll give you a hint. They're all resorts. :D
No sandy beaches in St. Paul's Bay that I can find.

Mistra Bay nearby has a small beach, as you can see viewing it from Fort Campbell

Image
I guess you missed this:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPho ... Malta.html

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Re: Italy invading Malta in 1940

Post by Wargames » 08 Nov 2018 05:35

So I'm still waiting. What does Somerville do? And what time does he do it?

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Re: RE: Italy Invading Malta In 1940.

Post by Wargames » 08 Nov 2018 05:40

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Nov 2018 17:40
Wargames wrote:
07 Nov 2018 07:37
As for the vaporetto,
They are Venetian water buses, designed to sail a simple transportation route inside the lagoon of Venice. They are not seagoing vessels in any sense of the term. They have no cargo space, just a simple deck and weather cover. The oldest were coal-fired steamships, the newest were diesels, which makes the logistics of fueling the short-legged vessels interesting to say the least (it would take days to just shuttle them from Venice to a staging area on Sicily, likely Pozallo, Syracuse, and Licata). The larger vaporetto were typically 22 meters long and could carry 50 to 75 passengers (not armed and equipped troops). The first was put in service in 1881 and in 1955, after 74 years, the first since the war were built, numbers 66-73. So at most there were only 65 to work with, assuming the 19th century ones could still be put into service. As a troop transport they are even less useful than the peniche the Germans planned to use for SEELÖWE. The idea they were suitable for a minimum 100-kilometer sea voyage as a military assault transport is simply laughable.

There were also four larger passenger ferries capable of carrying 850 persons each...except they are even less useful, being large, slow targets that would require a dock for unloading.
Please quote where I said they were Vaporetto's?

Because I can can quote where I didn't, and it it follows the very words you quoted "As for the vaporettos..." I'm wondering how you missed that?

Nice try.

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