In 1940, Mussolini coveted Italian domination of the Mediterranean. In his way stood the small, poorly defended, British-held island of Malta. Over the next two years, in four separate campaigns, the Axis powers attempted to win air supremacy over the island – either to pave the way for an invasion, or to neutralize the island as an offensive base.
When the Italians proved unable to subdue the island, the Luftwaffe sent X Fliegerkorps and later Luftflotte 2 to assist.
Researched from Italian and German sources, this book is an important new analysis of the Malta air war.
Ryan Noppen explains the technical and tactical capabilities of the air forces involved, and how the broader strategic context affected the Axis’ Malta campaigns. He charts how Italian and German pilots fought for two years to take Malta out of the war, why the Luftwaffe’s effort was so much more effective, and why, on the brink of success, the campaign finally stalled.