For those opposed to the idea of Axis attack on Malta seem to faver two themes, One; Any attack on Malta would be difficult and costly, Two; Controlling Malta would not aid Rommel at El Alamain. With respect I feel both arguments have flaws. If level of difficulty and cost were the final arbiter of whether a battle was fought or not then the history of WWII would be very much differently written. The American troops off Omaha Beach would have stayed on board their ships playing mumblypeg, Allied bomber crews would be down at the pub having a pint rather than fighting there way to Germany, and vitually none of the Pacific island invasions would have taken place. We also seem to think there was only one battle fought in North Africa, the 2nd Battle of El Alamain. There were a whole series of battles fought prior to Montgomery's masterstroke. Points at which the 8th Army was nearly destroyed well away from their own supply base. We forget that British offensives sputtered out for the same reason that Germany's did, too long a supply line, and at these moments the British troops were just as vunerable as Rommel was at El Alamain. T.A. and others are right to point out that supplies lost at sea were not the only problem for Rommel or even his greatest challenge. Still any supplies that get through that would otherwise be sitting at the bottom of the Med is a net plus no matter how you look at it. The figure of 15% is mentioned above as the lost rate, so lets accept that as our base figure. What does that mean in actual numbers, How many tanks, trucks, rounds of ammunition, how many gallons of fuel? Rommel acomplished a great deal with limited resouces, can we say with absolute conviction that even a dozen shiploads of supplies available at a critical moment in battle might not spell the difference between destroying the 8th Army well away from its supply base, or allowing to escape? Axis air and sea units operating from Malta would make Allied efforts to interdict supply convoys more difficult and costly to Allied cause. Thus fulfilling Hitler's objective of keeping the British busy while he pursued his other objectives. The argument is made is made the even if Rommel did capture Cairo and Alexandria so what, just more useless land to defend. The point being that the Allies would have to recapture the lost territory before they push Rommel out of Africa. All this takes time and material. The Allies have plenty of material, but time works in Germany's favor. The longer it takes to clear Africa and then resecure Malta then the later it will be for an attack on Italy proper. Which I believe was Hitler's intent all along.