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  #16  
Old 01 Jan 15, 20:53
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How many aircraft could the Axis (Italy and Germany) operate out of Pantelleria? How many aircraft could they sustain operations from their with?

The answer to that tells us how useful that island was to the Axis.

It really makes no significant difference in terms of air operations to the Allies so that is a moot question.

So, Draco, how many aircraft could the Axis sustain operations with from Pantelleria?
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  #17  
Old 01 Jan 15, 21:24
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The island allowed the axis to sink ships beyond Pantelleria, refuel there and fly back to Sicily or Sardinia. A huge advantage, even if no planes were based there. They didn't need to base them there because they had huge Sicily close by. However, the allies had Malta about 1,500 km from either Gibraltar or Alexandria and shipping supplying Malta and Alexandria was extremely exposed to axis aviation, PT boats, etc, in the Narrows of Tunisia. As Keyes pointed out, Pantelleria dominated the Narrows and was a stepping stone for planes flying to Malta.
Pantelleria, an airfield in Gozo, Sardinia and Crete and Spitfires (instead of keeping all of them in Britain until 1942, while Hurricanes fall like flies in Malta) in 1940 or 41 allow air domination of the route to Alexandria, Iran & India-Burma and even to Australia before the Japanese attack.

Italian PT boats from Pantelleria caused damage to ships from Pedestal, etc, and RN DDs and subs from Malta cause damage to shipping to Tripoli, so besides being an airbase, Pantelleria could serve for PT boats, subs and DDs.

Last edited by Draco; 01 Jan 15 at 21:42..
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  #18  
Old 01 Jan 15, 22:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The island allowed the axis to sink ships beyond Pantelleria, refuel there and fly back to Sicily or Sardinia. A huge advantage, even if no planes were based there. They didn't need to base them there because they had huge Sicily close by. However, the allies had Malta about 1,500 km from either Gibraltar or Alexandria and shipping supplying Malta and Alexandria was extremely exposed to axis aviation, PT boats, etc, in the Narrows of Tunisia. As Keyes pointed out, Pantelleria dominated the Narrows and was a stepping stone for planes flying to Malta.
Pantelleria, an airfield in Gozo, Sardinia and Crete and Spitfires (instead of keeping all of them in Britain until 1942, while Hurricanes fall like flies in Malta) in 1940 or 41 allow air domination of the route to Alexandria, Iran & India-Burma and even to Australia before the Japanese attack.

Italian PT boats from Pantelleria caused damage to ships from Pedestal, etc, and RN DDs and subs from Malta cause damage to shipping to Tripoli, so besides being an airbase, Pantelleria could serve for PT boats, subs and DDs.
Nice try. But, a red herring response isn't a response. How many aircraft could the Axis operate on a sustained basis from Pantelleria? That question requires an answer that is in the form of a number
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  #19  
Old 02 Jan 15, 02:56
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  #20  
Old 02 Jan 15, 04:48
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North Africa seemed like the better choice. Simply because it was great way to bloody the US force and it ends up freeing the commonwealth forces. There is zero need to waist resources on a bunch of islands. They can be bypassed.
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  #21  
Old 02 Jan 15, 11:44
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Originally Posted by andrewza View Post
North Africa seemed like the better choice. Simply because it was great way to bloody the US force and it ends up freeing the commonwealth forces. There is zero need to waist resources on a bunch of islands. They can be bypassed.
The allies wasted huge resources shipping supplies to Alexandria, Aden, Iran, India-Burma, etc, around South Africa and fighting in North Africa, Madagascar, Sicily, the Dodecanese and Italy and bombing Ploesty from Africa. Stupidly fighting the axis' strong forces where they could withdraw in Sicily and Italy, instead of attacking the crucial and poorly defended Pantelleria, Sardinia and Crete. Taking Crete would have provided experience fighting the Germans, as would France. It would be much better to gain experience gaining territory close to the French ore mines that fed Germany than in Kasserine Pass, gaining completely irrelevant territory. It made a lot more sense to land initially in the Med in 1942 than to attempt a raid in Dieppe or to land in the lousy beaches and weather of Normandy (where the operation was almost cancelled, where storms stopped supplies for a while and where the Bocage caused heavy losses and a lot of valuable time).

It made a lot more sense to use the Marines in Europe and only to capture a few crucial islands in the Indian Ocean and to use the army in Burma, China, Thailand, etc, Than to waste the Marines capturing myriad useless islands thousands of km from Japan and even use the army to capture some islands.

Had Cunningham not sabotaged Keyes' plan and invaded Pantelleria in Nov 1940, Rommel's force would not have arrived in Africa, shipping and fighters would have reached Malta almost intact. Had the British then held on to Crete thanks to having a few fighter squadrons there, Ploesti would have been razed in 1941 and shipping to Iran for the USSR and to India, etc, would have been much more efficient. It is incredible that Britain lost so many ships off Crete and lost the crucial island, for lack of fighters there (land or carrier).

Last edited by Draco; 02 Jan 15 at 12:08..
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  #22  
Old 02 Jan 15, 13:02
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TAG I said no axis planes operated from Pantelleria, which obviously means zero and I also said that that was because they had huge Sicily nearby, so they used it only to refuel.

The rather poor and over streched Japanese operated even Betties and kept 2,750 men in tiny Marcus Island (which they supplied by submarine for years). I am sure the British could operate several RAF squadrons in a much larger island at a much lower cost in order to defeat Rommel than ferrying planes to Ghana and then flying them to Egypt.

The most ironic thing about expensive American and British equipment and supplies travelling around South Africa for Ritchie is that they served Rommel extremely well, allowing him to survive. Had Ritchie not received anything and withdrawn to El Alamein, instead fo remaining in Gazala, Rommel could hardly have arrived in el Alamein, especially if Pantelleria fell.

Last edited by Draco; 02 Jan 15 at 13:10..
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  #23  
Old 02 Jan 15, 14:01
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I find it fascinating that Churchill got his away with such absurd operations as Dakar, Dieppe, Greece, Kantelorozo, Madagascar, a carrier raid in 24 hr day light against German bases in Arctic Finland and Norway, sending two fast BBs to Malaya, sending troops to doomed Hong Kong, again the Dodecanese and even a landing to liberate prisoners from Tobruk (against coastal and field artillery, planes, a large garrison, etc,), all of which cost dearly and achieved nothing, but he did not get away with the easiest and most useful operation: Keyes plan for Pantelleria in 1940, only because of Cunningham's grudge.

Last edited by Draco; 02 Jan 15 at 19:27..
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  #24  
Old 02 Jan 15, 14:41
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Draconian the allied forces had huge amount of resources to waist. They fought the enemy where he was strongest to force him to waist resources he could not afford to waist. So fighting I. Africa was smart. It let the allied forces destroy massive numbers of axis forces. Invading Italy drew German defenders there that could not fight in France or Russia. The allies where fighting a war of attrition a war they knew they could not loose.
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  #25  
Old 02 Jan 15, 15:49
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The enemy was strongest in France and China. Yet the allies farted around everywhere, except there for years.

Massive enemy forces were destroyed by Russia and China, while the western allies fooled for years with a couple of German divisions in Africa and small Japanese garrisons in useless islands.
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  #26  
Old 03 Jan 15, 17:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The enemy was strongest in France and China. Yet the allies farted around everywhere, except there for years.

Massive enemy forces were destroyed by Russia and China, while the western allies fooled for years with a couple of German divisions in Africa and small Japanese garrisons in useless islands.
Oh good grief!
Words elude me!

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Old 03 Jan 15, 17:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The enemy was strongest in France and China. Yet the allies farted around everywhere, except there for years.

Massive enemy forces were destroyed by Russia and China, while the western allies fooled for years with a couple of German divisions in Africa and small Japanese garrisons in useless islands.
Quote:
Oh good grief!
Words elude me!
Not me. What a load of crappola. The German military was numerically "strongest" in Russia not France. Japan was strongest at sea in the Pacific not China.

Warfare consists of both land and sea warfare. Ignoring one is a huge mistake. Wars are won not just on land but at sea as well.

For example in the Pacific War what were the major causes to the decline and wrecking of the Japanese economy?

1. Land warfare in China?
2. The Soviet invasion of Manchukuo?
3. Aerial bombardment of Japanese cities and infrastructure?
4. Sinking of their merchant fleet?
5. Conquest of areas that resources that supplied Japan?

As you can see you argument, once again, ignores larger issues and uses narrow minded selective use of information to achieve a wrong conclusion.
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  #28  
Old 05 Jan 15, 14:48
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I did say that by far most German troops were lost in the USSR and most Japanese troops in the continent.

The allies were not going to fight in the USSR. France was their only option to strike a trong position. Although it had much fewer forces than the USSR, the allies balked for years from attacking it, preferring to attack weak forces in useless Africa, Madagascar, the Dodecanese, Sicily and Italy.

Liberating Burma, Penang, Sumatra and the Isthmus of Krain 1942 and China in 43 would have wiped out Japanese shipping and Industry much more rapidly than using a few subs based in Perth and PH attacking with faulty tropedoes thousands of km away
The Japanese lost over 1,500,000 toops in Burma, China (including Manchuria) and Korea and about 650,000 in the Pacific and exploited the continent for years, while they receive nothing from the Pacific and spent a lot spplying remote garrisons.

It is incredible that the allies wasted huge shipping around South Africa and lost impressive amounts of warships, planes, men, cargo, etc, supplying Malta instead of taking Pantelleria in 1940.

It is just as incredible that they wasted shocking resources building the Burma road, airlifting thousands of tons over the hump at great cost (only to have to destroy most of them and to lose the expensive B-29 bases because of a Japanese counteroffensive in 1944) and to bomb Japan from the Marianas years after they could have razed it from China at a much lower cost with cheaper, more reliable and abundant bombers.

American subs operating from the east coast of Kra and Sumatra in 1942 would have been an order of magnitude more effective than from PH and Perth. P-38s, Corsairs, B-17s, 24s, 25s & 26s, Bauforts, Beaufighters, etc, operating from Penang, Sumatra, Kra and Burma in 1942 would have been infinitely more useful than in Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, California, Guadalcanal, etc,

The only time the British attacked France, it seems as though they did everything in their power to fail. They intended a useless raid, instead of establishing an invaluable beachhead, they did not use their excellent landing ships, they provided ridiculous naval artillery, they did not wipe out the LW in the area or bomb heavily the port in advance, they used heavy, slow tanks (much less useful and clumsier for a raid than light tanks). It would appear that Winnie wanted to fail abyssmally, in order to justify to Stalin doing absolutely nothing in France for years.

Last edited by Draco; 05 Jan 15 at 15:07..
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