To be honest, I gave no second thought of the possible outcome of the possible invasion, so I did not study the forces in detail except the transports. Mostly because I think it only would have been another massacre of irreplaceable resources for little to no practical reasons, just like at Crete, which again, ended very-very far from either party's plans.Richard Anderson wrote: ↑16 Mar 2021 16:48As I understand it, FJR 1. was complete and rebuilt from its Ostfront battles (including the former II./Luftland-Sturm-Regiment) by July 1942. FJR 2. though did not close in Germany from the Ostfront until the end of July and only had detachments in France training, consisting of personnel that had been on leave and convalescents.I don't think it would be ready. FJR 3. returned from the Ostfront in April, so may have been questionable for operations. FJR 4. was organizing and training and did not complete its II. Batallion until October, so again may have been questionable. FJR 5. was organized in May and arrived at Mourmelon to complete training in July.
It looks like it is possible that 11 battalions in four regiments would be ready for a July operation, but that may be a stretch.
186. Regiment consisted of four parachute battalions, 2., 4., 9., and 10. 187. Regiment consisted of three, 5., 6., and 7. The "saboteur" battalion was 8. “Guastatori”, which was an assault engineer battalion.The Folgore was also reinforced to 9 battalions, plus one saboteur battalion (whatever that means). La Spezia remained at 6.
The main problem that I see is the planned D-Day airborne assault is near suicidal given the drop zone locations and the state of the British defenses by July 1942. The only worser part of the plan is the idea of attempting an amphibious escalade of the Famagosta coast and a direct assault on Larnaca. The former would only work if it was perfectly timed with the airborne assault and if the airborne assault was not then butchered, the latter would only work in someone's imagination. From what I can see only the assault on Gozo would work.I am not sure how many waves and what time of the day did they plan, but IIRC they wanted to launch a major tactical air strike at daybreak, immediately followed by the FJs. Thus blind-flight and instrument-flight was a must, and I see many units would face problems with that, especially when towing gliders. Note that the airlift to NA before Tunesia rarely faced interdiction, thus they flew at broad daylight with easy peasy navigation. Even the experienced units' experience is in question, at least for me.
IMHO the operation against Malta would make sense only if it is already alone in a closed Med, without reinforcements and supply, or at the time of a hypothetical Italian entry into the war, as a semi-surprise attack.