The Major Air Commands and Commanders

Below is some information on the major air commands and commanders on both sides during the CRUSADER period regarding the structure and personages of the air war in late 1941 in the Mediterranean.

Axis Italian

  • Superaereo (Rome) – General Pricoli (from end of November General Fougier) – High command of Italian air force
  • Air Command Sicily – Attacks on Malta, shipping protection
  • Air Command Aegean- Shipping protection, shipping attacks, reconnaissance
  • 5th Air Squadron (Castel Benito outside Tripoli) – High command of Italian air force in North Africa
  • Sector West (Castel Benito) – Convoy protection, air defense
  • Sector Centre (Bengasi) – Convoy protection, air defense
  • Sector East (Derna) – Close support of ground operations

German

  • X. Fliegerkorps (Athens) – Escort of convoys, reconnaissance, attack of enemy shipping, air offensive against Egypt
  • Fliegerführer Afrika (Derna) – General Osterkamp/Colonel Fröhlich – Close support of ground operations in Africa, escort of convoys, reconnaissance
  • From December 41: Luftflotte 2 (Frascati/Catania?) – Field Marshal Kesselring – High Command for the Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean
  • II. Fliegerkorps (Sicily) – Suppression of Malta

Commonwealth

  • RAF Middle East Command (Cairo) – Air Marshal Arthur Tedder – High command of the RAF in eastern Mediterranean
  • No. 204 Group (from 21 Oct. Desert Air Force) – Air Marshal Arthur Coningham – Ground support, air superiority battle in North Africa
  • RAF Mediterranean (La Valletta, Malta – from 26 December AHQ Malta) – Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Loyd – Reconnaissance, shipping attacks, shipping protection

Coningham

Air Marshal Coningham during a visit to No. 112 Squadron RAF. IWM

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