Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

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glenn239
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by glenn239 » 20 Feb 2022 15:24

danebrog wrote:
20 Feb 2022 13:46
I still don't understand the point of the operation.
Even if you just want to neutralize Malta, you need good old-fashioned infantry to occupy the island. Harassing fire from a few heavy guns next door is not nearly enough.
But one should never underestimate the almost immoderately stubborn doggedness of the RN when it comes to matters of prestige.
The mere occupation of Gozo and the subsequent necessary supply would probably mean a Mediterranean Guadalcanal for the Axis powers
I think the thread has hashed out the dynamics of the proposal. Occupying Gozo would be feasible, but using Gozo as an artillery base, as the main means, to suppress Malta is not due to various factors. Any occupation would fizzle out into an evacuation with Torch.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 20 Feb 2022 21:46

glenn239 wrote:
20 Feb 2022 15:24
danebrog wrote:
20 Feb 2022 13:46
I still don't understand the point of the operation.
Even if you just want to neutralize Malta, you need good old-fashioned infantry to occupy the island. Harassing fire from a few heavy guns next door is not nearly enough.
But one should never underestimate the almost immoderately stubborn doggedness of the RN when it comes to matters of prestige.
The mere occupation of Gozo and the subsequent necessary supply would probably mean a Mediterranean Guadalcanal for the Axis powers
I think the thread has hashed out the dynamics of the proposal. Occupying Gozo would be feasible, but using Gozo as an artillery base, as the main means, to suppress Malta is not due to various factors. Any occupation would fizzle out into an evacuation with Torch.
In 1940, perhaps, if the Italians had developed an amphibious assault capacity worth a damn prewar and the British had ignored it; in 1941-42? Nope.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by T. A. Gardner » 20 Feb 2022 22:33

daveshoup2MD wrote:
20 Feb 2022 21:46
In 1940, perhaps, if the Italians had developed an amphibious assault capacity worth a damn prewar and the British had ignored it; in 1941-42? Nope.
I agree with that brief summary. The RN would reacted violently, and by 1942, the USN as well. Neither the Italian Navy nor the Italian and German air forces would have been capable of keeping the Allies from showing up and smashing the naval portion of such an invasion. The one window of opportunity the Axis had was in mid-1940 and that diminished with each week that passed.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Feb 2022 01:02

T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Feb 2022 22:33
daveshoup2MD wrote:
20 Feb 2022 21:46
In 1940, perhaps, if the Italians had developed an amphibious assault capacity worth a damn prewar and the British had ignored it; in 1941-42? Nope.
I agree with that brief summary. The RN would reacted violently, and by 1942, the USN as well. Neither the Italian Navy nor the Italian and German air forces would have been capable of keeping the Allies from showing up and smashing the naval portion of such an invasion. The one window of opportunity the Axis had was in mid-1940 and that diminished with each week that passed.
Concur. If the Axis had tried HERCULES/C3 in 1942, the R and USN together (and the RAF) had more than enough resources at hand. If the Italians had been building capability for such an operation in the prewar era, presumably the British would have recognized it; and if anything, at least the cadre of the MNBDO was organized in 1939, so presumably some sort of fortress/garrison unit could have been assembled for Gozo prior to 1940 - if, in fact, the RM was known to be creating something equivalent.
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 21 Feb 2022 04:10, edited 1 time in total.

histan
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by histan » 21 Feb 2022 03:12

Can someone please tell me what resources the RN had at hand to "react violently"?

By the end of April 1942 there were no surface ships or submarines based in Malta and the Mediterranean Fleet had no major warships.

27 April 1942
Paper by CinC Middle East
Briefly, the facts are these:
(a) Our sea forces are so weak as to make it doubtful whether they can stop the enemy gaining command at in the Eastern Mediterranean
(b) …….
(c) We are in grave doubt as to our ability to save Malta, and in consequence to prevent the enemy freely reinforcing Libya if he so wishes.

"On 15 May a change was made in the Governor’s status, and Lord Gort was appointed ‘Supreme Commander of the Fighting Services and of the Civil Administration.’ He had represented that this was necessary now that Malta was fighting for survival, and as there were no longer any striking forces based there the main reason for placing the Service Commanders under their respective Commanders in Chief no longer applied. It was an obviously wise step if invasion were imminent." Official History

16 June 1942
Minister of State to Prime Minister
As I see it our problem, and the enemy’s, is primarily one of supply. We must get supplies to Malta. He must get supplies to North Africa. Whoever controls the sea holds the whiphand.
At present we have not got the ships to control the sea which is in the enemy’s hands. Not only can he prevent our ships getting to Malta, but he can pass his supplies across the Mediterranean with comparative immunity.


Just to set the scene from a British point of view, this is the transcript mentioned by Tom in an earlier post.
Malta 02.jpg
Malta 03.jpg
Malta 04.jpg
Malta 05.jpg
How had the military value of Gozo changed since September 1941 to such an extent that it was now worth committing major naval resources from outside the Mediterranean to respond to an invasion in mid-1942

Regards

John
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Feb 2022 04:23

histan wrote:
21 Feb 2022 03:12
Can someone please tell me what resources the RN had at hand to "react violently"?

By the end of April 1942 there were no surface ships or submarines based in Malta and the Mediterranean Fleet had no major warships.
April, 1942?

As demonstrated by MF5 in February, 1942 Force K was operating from Malta, and could be reinforced from both Gibraltar and Alexandria, which scotches the whole concept of the RM covering the movement of Axis troops by sea to Gozo, certainly in February, which is the beginning of the supposed widow for GOZOLION, according to its foremost advocate.

Five RN light cruisers and 22 destroyers (the escort and covering forces assigned to MF5) would, presumably, be of use when it comes to warding off the seaborne artillery this entire idea is built around ... at least in February. ;)

Of course, after February it just gets worse for the RM, since the Allies have no less than six capital ships (five of them fast), three fleet carriers, two escort carrier equivalents, and innumerable cruisers and destroyers available to the west, and at least four capital ships and two fast carriers to the east. As said...

Home Fleet/Western Med:
9-11 Feb: HMS Cleopatra and HMS Fortune reinforce Force K from Gibraltar;
27-28 Feb: Force H (Malaya, Argus, Eagle, CL, nine destroyers sail east from Gibraltar and return);
5-13 Mar.: PQ12/QP8 operations: Home Fleet covering forces (not escort) include (Victorious, King George V, Duke of York, Renown, a CL, 12 destroyers;
6-8 Mar.: Force H (Malaya, Argus, Eagle, a CL, nine destroyers reinforce Malta with 15 Spitfires;
20-30 Mar.: Force H (Malaya, Argus, Eagle, a CL, nine destroyers reinforce Malta with 16 Spitfires; Aurora and one DD transit west from Malta to Gibraltar);
23 Mar-22 April: USN (Washington, Wasp, 2 CA, 8 DDs) reinforce Home Fleet; RN, Force H+Illustrious and escorts cover troop convoys for IRONCLAD to South Africa and then Indian Ocean, elements of Force H return to Gibraltar);
24 Mar-9 Apr.: PQ13/QP9 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, Duke of York, Renown, CL, destroyers;
8-25 April: PQ14/QP10 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, King George V, Duke of York, two cruisers, eight DDs);
14-26 Apr: Operation CALENDAR: Wasp, Renown, 2 CLs, 6 DDs reinforce Malta with 46 Spitfires;
22 Apr-28 May: US Atlantic Fleet deployment to North Atlantic/Eastern Atlantic for covering force and aircraft ferry mission(s): Ranger, North Carolina, three cruisers, five DDs; on May 10, Ranger, escorted by CA and five DDs, delivered (fly off) 68 P-40s to Africa;
26 Apr-12 May: PQ15/QP.11 operations; Home Fleet covering force includes King George V, Duke of York, Washington, Victorious, three cruisers, eight destroyers;
3-15 May: Operation BOWERY: Renown, Wasp, Eagle, 1 CL, 13 destroyers reinforce Malta with 61 Spitfires;
(4 May: HERCULES/C3 approved by OKW);
17-20 May: Force H (Argus, Eagle, 1 CL, 7 DDs reinforce Malta with 17 Spitfires;

Eastern Med:
12-16 Feb. - Convoy MF.5 to Malta

Eastern Fleet:
26 Mar-11 Apr. Ceylon-area operations end with RN's Force B (battleships Resolution, Revenge, Ramillies, Royal Sovereign, 3 CLs, 7 DDs) retires to East Africa;
25 Apr-8 May: Operation IRONCLAD; covering force includes Illustrious, Indomitable, Ramillies, 2 cruisers, 11 destroyers;

As stated, sea power is a thing. The Allies had it, four times over; the Axis, other the wasting and geographically-limited resources of the IJN and Japanese MM, did not ... which kind of made the Axis war effort in a conflict defined by maritime warfare as abortive as it turned out to be.

Hell, the USN Atlantic Fleet's "fleet" deployments in this this period in the Atlantic (USS Wasp, Ranger, North Carolina, Washington, Wichita, Tuscaloosa, Augusta, Ellyson, Emmons, Hambleton, Lang, Macomb, Madison, Mayrant, Plunkett, Rhind, Rodman, Rowan, Sterett, Wainwright, and Wilson), would have been enough to wipe the floor with the RM.

The RN, in turn and by itself, would have been capable of doing so as well.

Together? The RM may as well scuttle and get it over with.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by EwenS » 21 Feb 2022 13:00

You look at the numbers of ships but don't seem to appreciate the geography and where some of these ships will have to come from and therefore the delay in getting them there.

Gibraltar to Malta - 1100 miles (over 2 days sailing at 20 knots)
Alex to Malta -1000 miles
Scapa Flow to Gib - over 2000 by the time you allow for routing into the Atlantic.

Your US Atlantic Fleet is based between Norfolk and Argentia. 2600-3800 miles from Gib. TF99/39 with Washington & Wasp didn't leave western Atlantic waters until late March and didn't arrive at Scapa Flow until the beginning of April. Following Coral Sea on 8 May 1942, US plans saw the recall of Wasp. So after this, if this Gozo invasion is delayed, what takes priority for the US? The Pacific or Malta? Will the USN even be willing to risk its Wasp & Ranger in the central Med, given the pounding that they had seen Illustrious and Formidable take in 1941?

Most of the ships involved in the sorties into the Med from the west in early 1942 came from the Home Fleet for specific operations and then returned there.

The core of Force H at this time consisted of Malaya, Argus (4 Swordfish & 4 Fulmars when not ferrying aircraft to Malta), Eagle (from late Feb following her refit that completed at the end of Jan with 18 Swordfish and 4 Sea Hurricanes), 1 cruiser (Hermione to April when she was replaced by the 4.5" armed "Toothless Terror", Charybdis) and about 10 destroyers.

Force K had Penelope and a diminishing number of destroyers (8 reduced to 2 by the time it pulled out of Malta). The Med Fleet at Alexandria had 4 Dido and Carlisle (AA cruiser with 4" guns) plus 16+ destroyers. And about half of these destroyers are Hunts. Yes Force K can be reinforced but the reason it was withdrawn was the loss of and damage to the ships from bombing eg Kingston (4/42 lost in dry dock 4/42), Lance (4/42 bombed in dry dock), Legion (3/42), Maori (2/42). Not for nothing did the cruiser Penelope become known as HMS Pepperpot by the time she was withdrawn from Malta at the beginning of April.

As for strengthening the Med Fleet at the eastern end, that raises issues of priorities given Japanese threat to the IO v an invasion of Gozo. And if the Med does get priority, then any fleet has to fight its way across 1,000 miles of ocean while under air attack. Look at how many convoy operations from that end had to be abandoned in 1942 due to the strength of the aerial opposition and the number of ships being sunk.

So the question is how much advance warning do you get of an impending invasion to allow more ships to be sent, and particularly carriers (like the Formidable and Illustrious passing Gib in Feb / March and which are still working up on their journey to the Indian Ocean)?

So maybe the RM might stand a chance after all. The invasion could well be done and dusted before the RN/USN can turn up with adequate force to defeat them.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by danebrog » 21 Feb 2022 14:18

Guadalcanal was a protracted battle of attrition, with the Japanese resigning at some point because the effort - and losses - to supply the garrison could no longer be justified.

Let's move on to the unglamorous chapter "Supplying the fighting troops“:
The food requirements alone for the 10,000 men once mentioned here would have amounted to at least 20-30 tons a day.
I can't tell you what else is needed in terms of drinking water, medicines, clothing, fuel, fodder, other ammunition and supplies, but that's also part of it. If the civilian population was not evacuated, it would be added to the bill.
For the 17-cm guns let´s calculate about 20-30 rounds per barrel per day (see attachment), so that about every week about one freight car of ammunition per gun (for 15-cm guns one calculated 200 rounds per freight car).
A certain minimum of anti-aircraft protection (Including the neccessary amount of ammo) would probably also be desirable in this context.
I leave it to the arty nerds to roughly calculate what amount of ammo would be needed to neutralize Malta by artillery. By the way, after some time the barrels are used up and should be replaced....

All this has to be brought regularly by by sea from the mainland to Gozo, which requires transports and escorts - and they in turn all need fuel, personnel, a.s.o..
To what extent this can be handled with the existing - and hopefully undamaged - handling capacities of the landing sites on Gozo would also be interesting to know.....

In short:
This effort must be constantly maintained just to neutralize Malta. However, it increases by a factor X if the RN should be opposed to it for any reason
And all this leads me to believe that "GOZOLION" (truly ingenious title!) would have quite good prospects to develop into a Mediterranean Guadalcanal for the Axis
ARI.jpg
source: https://www.e-periodica.ch/cntmng?pid=a ... 9%3A%3A882
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glenn239
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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by glenn239 » 21 Feb 2022 16:25

danebrog wrote:
21 Feb 2022 14:18
Guadalcanal was a protracted battle of attrition, with the Japanese resigning at some point because the effort - and losses - to supply the garrison could no longer be justified.
That seems the trajectory for an occupation of Gozo, that when Torch lands Axis attention will rapidly switch to Tunisia.

Let's move on to the unglamorous chapter "Supplying the fighting troops“:
The food requirements alone for the 10,000 men once mentioned here would have amounted to at least 20-30 tons a day


The Axis supplied 1,000 to 2,000 tons per day into Tunisia per day, so the supply requirement was not the issue - this could be met. The problem is that artillery on Gozo could not disrupt Malta's capacity to act against Axis supply lines, and with Torch, Malta's status was no longer relevant to the outcome of the war in North Africa anyways. Any efforts directed at supporting Gozo would be useless to the struggle for Tunisia.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Feb 2022 17:37

EwenS wrote:
21 Feb 2022 13:00
You look at the numbers of ships but don't seem to appreciate the geography and where some of these ships will have to come from and therefore the delay in getting them there.

Gibraltar to Malta - 1100 miles (over 2 days sailing at 20 knots)
Alex to Malta -1000 miles
Scapa Flow to Gib - over 2000 by the time you allow for routing into the Atlantic.

Your US Atlantic Fleet is based between Norfolk and Argentia. 2600-3800 miles from Gib. TF99/39 with Washington & Wasp didn't leave western Atlantic waters until late March and didn't arrive at Scapa Flow until the beginning of April. Following Coral Sea on 8 May 1942, US plans saw the recall of Wasp. So after this, if this Gozo invasion is delayed, what takes priority for the US? The Pacific or Malta? Will the USN even be willing to risk its Wasp & Ranger in the central Med, given the pounding that they had seen Illustrious and Formidable take in 1941?

Most of the ships involved in the sorties into the Med from the west in early 1942 came from the Home Fleet for specific operations and then returned there.

The core of Force H at this time consisted of Malaya, Argus (4 Swordfish & 4 Fulmars when not ferrying aircraft to Malta), Eagle (from late Feb following her refit that completed at the end of Jan with 18 Swordfish and 4 Sea Hurricanes), 1 cruiser (Hermione to April when she was replaced by the 4.5" armed "Toothless Terror", Charybdis) and about 10 destroyers.

Force K had Penelope and a diminishing number of destroyers (8 reduced to 2 by the time it pulled out of Malta). The Med Fleet at Alexandria had 4 Dido and Carlisle (AA cruiser with 4" guns) plus 16+ destroyers. And about half of these destroyers are Hunts. Yes Force K can be reinforced but the reason it was withdrawn was the loss of and damage to the ships from bombing eg Kingston (4/42 lost in dry dock 4/42), Lance (4/42 bombed in dry dock), Legion (3/42), Maori (2/42). Not for nothing did the cruiser Penelope become known as HMS Pepperpot by the time she was withdrawn from Malta at the beginning of April.

As for strengthening the Med Fleet at the eastern end, that raises issues of priorities given Japanese threat to the IO v an invasion of Gozo. And if the Med does get priority, then any fleet has to fight its way across 1,000 miles of ocean while under air attack. Look at how many convoy operations from that end had to be abandoned in 1942 due to the strength of the aerial opposition and the number of ships being sunk.

So the question is how much advance warning do you get of an impending invasion to allow more ships to be sent, and particularly carriers (like the Formidable and Illustrious passing Gib in Feb / March and which are still working up on their journey to the Indian Ocean)?

So maybe the RM might stand a chance after all. The invasion could well be done and dusted before the RN/USN can turn up with adequate force to defeat them.
The point is that because of the availability of Allied seapower, even as limited as the historical deployments to the western Med were in this period, the RAF in Malta could be reinforced to the point (historically) in March-May, 1942 where the Axis gave up on HERCULES/C3 the same month they approved the operation, essentially; given the availability of USN and RN warships for deployment in the eastern Atlantic/Med after Dec. 10, 1941, wherever needed, any significant Axis amphibious operations in the these same theaters was moot - especially after the German surface forces based in France in 1941-42 retreated back to Germany. The ability of the RM to mount any operation of the complexity of HERCULES/C3 during WW II was never demonstrated, much less their ability to even maintain operational security about any operation of similar complexity.

The Allies, of course, did so routinely.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Feb 2022 17:50

danebrog wrote:
21 Feb 2022 14:18
Guadalcanal was a protracted battle of attrition, with the Japanese resigning at some point because the effort - and losses - to supply the garrison could no longer be justified.
In short:
This effort must be constantly maintained just to neutralize Malta. However, it increases by a factor X if the RN should be opposed to it for any reason
And all this leads me to believe that "GOZOLION" (truly ingenious title!) would have quite good prospects to develop into a Mediterranean Guadalcanal for the Axis

ARI.jpg
source: https://www.e-periodica.ch/cntmng?pid=a ... 9%3A%3A882
Thanks; one aims to please. ;)

The other possibility is, of course, that GOZOLION turns into larger and bloodier (for the Axis) Mediterranean equivalent of 1st Wake or Milne Bay; defeated - essentially - at the water's edge.

HERCULES/C3, even GOZOLION, are more complex by orders of magnitude than any operations the European Axis ever mounted, including Crete/MERCURY, because of the demands of coalition warfare (from the Axis perspective), the strength of the garrison on Malta for HERCULES/C3 and the garrison on Gozo and proximity to Malta for GOZOLION, and the availability of the USN to replace the RN in the eastern Atlantic - or even operate in the Med itself.

It is worth noting that the Axis power with the strongest (by far) navy, naval aviation component, merchant marine, and amphibious doctrine not once but twice suffered significant defeats in such operations; the RM and KM, which did not compared in any way to the IJN, never attempted anything comparable.

The USN and RN, of course, did so repeatedly, and successfully, from 1942 onwards, although there were certainly "near-run things" - and from forces that had been planning and carrying out amphibious operations essentially from their (respective) founding dates.

The Allies made such operations look "simple,"; the Axis never managed to do so, in any theater.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Feb 2022 17:52

glenn239 wrote:
21 Feb 2022 16:25
danebrog wrote:
21 Feb 2022 14:18
Guadalcanal was a protracted battle of attrition, with the Japanese resigning at some point because the effort - and losses - to supply the garrison could no longer be justified.
That seems the trajectory for an occupation of Gozo, that when Torch lands Axis attention will rapidly switch to Tunisia.

Let's move on to the unglamorous chapter "Supplying the fighting troops“:
The food requirements alone for the 10,000 men once mentioned here would have amounted to at least 20-30 tons a day


The Axis supplied 1,000 to 2,000 tons per day into Tunisia per day, so the supply requirement was not the issue - this could be met. The problem is that artillery on Gozo could not disrupt Malta's capacity to act against Axis supply lines, and with Torch, Malta's status was no longer relevant to the outcome of the war in North Africa anyways. Any efforts directed at supporting Gozo would be useless to the struggle for Tunisia.
Any Axis efforts directed at Gozo would be useless to the struggle for Libya, which was the point in the February-to-May window the GOZOLION advocates have suggested throughout this little thought exercise...

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Feb 2022 23:57

EwenS wrote:
21 Feb 2022 13:00
You look at the numbers of ships but don't seem to appreciate the geography and where some of these ships will have to come from and therefore the delay in getting them there.

Gibraltar to Malta - 1100 miles (over 2 days sailing at 20 knots)
Alex to Malta -1000 miles
Scapa Flow to Gib - over 2000 by the time you allow for routing into the Atlantic.

Your US Atlantic Fleet is based between Norfolk and Argentia. 2600-3800 miles from Gib. TF99/39 with Washington & Wasp didn't leave western Atlantic waters until late March and didn't arrive at Scapa Flow until the beginning of April. Following Coral Sea on 8 May 1942, US plans saw the recall of Wasp. So after this, if this Gozo invasion is delayed, what takes priority for the US? The Pacific or Malta? Will the USN even be willing to risk its Wasp & Ranger in the central Med, given the pounding that they had seen Illustrious and Formidable take in 1941?

Most of the ships involved in the sorties into the Med from the west in early 1942 came from the Home Fleet for specific operations and then returned there.

The core of Force H at this time consisted of Malaya, Argus (4 Swordfish & 4 Fulmars when not ferrying aircraft to Malta), Eagle (from late Feb following her refit that completed at the end of Jan with 18 Swordfish and 4 Sea Hurricanes), 1 cruiser (Hermione to April when she was replaced by the 4.5" armed "Toothless Terror", Charybdis) and about 10 destroyers.

Force K had Penelope and a diminishing number of destroyers (8 reduced to 2 by the time it pulled out of Malta). The Med Fleet at Alexandria had 4 Dido and Carlisle (AA cruiser with 4" guns) plus 16+ destroyers. And about half of these destroyers are Hunts. Yes Force K can be reinforced but the reason it was withdrawn was the loss of and damage to the ships from bombing eg Kingston (4/42 lost in dry dock 4/42), Lance (4/42 bombed in dry dock), Legion (3/42), Maori (2/42). Not for nothing did the cruiser Penelope become known as HMS Pepperpot by the time she was withdrawn from Malta at the beginning of April.

As for strengthening the Med Fleet at the eastern end, that raises issues of priorities given Japanese threat to the IO v an invasion of Gozo. And if the Med does get priority, then any fleet has to fight its way across 1,000 miles of ocean while under air attack. Look at how many convoy operations from that end had to be abandoned in 1942 due to the strength of the aerial opposition and the number of ships being sunk.

So the question is how much advance warning do you get of an impending invasion to allow more ships to be sent, and particularly carriers (like the Formidable and Illustrious passing Gib in Feb / March and which are still working up on their journey to the Indian Ocean)?

So maybe the RM might stand a chance after all. The invasion could well be done and dusted before the RN/USN can turn up with adequate force to defeat them.
The problem with this is it doesn't address the entirety of the issue. The invasion isn't the only naval requirement the Axis has. They also have to continuously supply their garrison on Gozo by sea--at least until they can build an airfield requiring likely months to complete. This means even if the initial landings are unopposed by Allied naval units and succeed in taking the island within the first few days, the need to land successive reinforcements, like the heavy artillery, would require additional convoys be run in, even if limited to just a few cargo ships.
The need to bring supplies on a regular basis would necessitate more convoys, and with each comes the chance for the Allies to attack those disrupting supply of the island.
The question that is really on the table here is, How much tonnage in merchant shipping and warships can the Axis afford to lose to retain a significant presence on Gozo?
Now, remember, any use of naval forces and merchant shipping for this purpose will also detract from tonnage and escorts available to move supplies to North Africa itself.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Feb 2022 00:03

daveshoup2MD wrote:
21 Feb 2022 17:50
The Allies made such operations look "simple,"; the Axis never managed to do so, in any theater.
Well, they did succeed in landing on Jersey & Gurensey :P That looked really easy.

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Re: Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules

Post by glenn239 » 22 Feb 2022 18:01

daveshoup2MD wrote:
21 Feb 2022 17:52
Any Axis efforts directed at Gozo would be useless to the struggle for Libya, which was the point in the February-to-May window the GOZOLION advocates have suggested throughout this little thought exercise...
Agreed, it seems unlikely that artillery on Gozo in the 1st half of 1942 have that much effect at El Alamein in the 2nd half.

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