Le Bismarck & Supermarina. LOS! Nº42

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.

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Re: Le Bismarck & Supermarina. LOS! Nº42

Post by jabeque » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:41 pm

RF wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:09 am

With a full war plan, the Italians could have attacked Malta with a surprise attack, destroy the ships of the Mediteranean Fleet that were in Valleta harbour, take the island and then follow up with seaborne landings around Alexandria to facilitate speedy capture of the Suez Canal. The focus can then move (once the rest of Egypt is occupied) to East Africa where the Italian Navy can be passed into the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Kenya can be invaded, posing a major threat to the British and South African interests further south. As part of the naval strategy Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Bismarck in 1941 could have been routed to the Indian Ocean instead of the Biscay ports and join up with the Italian Fleet - with the prospect of Japanese collaboration as well.....
No oil, no party.

I think that without Middle East oil that strategic plan were impossible. And probably British would destroy the oil wells first, and USA would go to war

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Re: Le Bismarck & Supermarina. LOS! Nº42

Post by wadinga » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:04 pm

Hello Jabeque,

Thanks for bringing up the original material.

Although not wishing to drag this thread further away from the original subject, there is an interesting article here:


The Oil Fuel Issue

By Andrea Piccinotti
After several studies, some well-known historians pointed out several discrepancies between the fuel status reports the Regia Marina was sending to the Germans and the quantity reported by the historical bureau of the Italian Navy. The most evident of these discrepancies was noted in the meeting of Merano, in February 1941, where the head of the Navy, Admiral Riccardi, stated that the Navy had only 610,000 tons left when in fact, reserves amounted to over 1 million tons. One can easily assume that the Navy had created a sort of black fund of oil fuel to be used as a last resource with the double scope of obtaining more of the now available German fuel and, in relative security, to coordinate naval operations.
The author goes on to describe the constraints on Italian Naval operations caused by the loss of Rumanian imports later in 1941. It is unclear how much oil supply constraints limited Italian participation in the German invasion of Crete in May 1941, causing the latter to rely almost exclusively on aerial invasion.

Alberto is perfectly correct about Il Duce turning up to a free lunch, his entry ticket being a few thousand dead Italians (actually only hundreds as it turned out):
On 5 June, Mussolini told Badoglio, "I only need a few thousand dead so that I can sit at the peace conference as a man who has fought".
Wikipedia: Italian invasion of France

Rather than any imagined Italian offensive naval action against Malta or wherever, French cruisers bombarded industrial sites near Genoa on 14th June 1940 and battleship Lorraine with British escorts, Bardia on 21st June. Italian naval resistance was a few torpedo boats.

Mussolini made his own separate Armistice demands of the French and it was signed in Rome on the 24th June. The demands made by Mussolini were quite limited because this was a separate agreement after the failure of the initial Italian assault in the Alps and theoretically, having concluded an Armistice with the Germans, the French could have turned all their remaining forces again him.

As I noted above, through the rest of 1940 and early 1941 there was integrated operation in the Battle of the Atlantic with the Germans U-Boat force, necessitating a free exchange of intelligence, so it is not surprising Supermarina might send some relevant decrypts to B-Dienst. Their observers would certainly have notified the Germans of the departure of Force H into the Atlantic.

All the best

"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Le Bismarck & Supermarina. LOS! Nº42

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:38 pm

Hello everybody,

Mr.Wadinga is right above. Just one clarification: the RM entered war with a reserve of 1,800,000 tons fuel. The quantity of fuel needed for the operations of the RM was estimated at that time at 200,000 tons per month. Therefore the difference "declared" by Ricciardi was the need for 2 months operations.

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Le Bismarck & Supermarina. LOS! Nº42

Post by José M. Rico » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:35 pm

Note from the administrator:
This thread has just been purged of all the recent disruptive messages which were beginning to hijack the debate.

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