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Should the Axis have tried harder to take Malta?


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#251 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 09:41 AM

I personally think that we won´t agree, but VB is correct, that this is a very stimulating but very good debate.:S!
Regards, Ulrich

Horrido!

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#252 Volga Boatman

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 09:55 AM

I wonder if the memoirs of Johannes 'Macky' Steinhoff can shead yet more light on the axis attitude and prep for Malta. Steinhoff was operating out of Gerbini, and his book was called "The Straits of Messina". I used to have a copy of it, but alas, I cannot find it anywhere. I can only remember bits and pieces of the text, including an appalling story of a young and very promising fighter pilot in Steinhoff's squadron. He got his first kill with a masterly piece of flying to put himself on the tail of the allied fighter. This kid was very badly burnt in a crash a short time later, and I can still remember that terrible feeling, reading of Steinhoff bending over him, his hair was all 'gluggy' from the flames, and he couldn't talk.

War is such a bloody waste of talented people.
Llamas are bigger than frogs.:cool:

#253 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

My Dad has seen him often during his time with the Bundeswehr as he was Günther Rall´s driver. He said that both were great guys!
Regards, Ulrich

Horrido!

"We're surrounded. That simplifies our problem!" LtGen. Chesty Puller.

#254 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:28 AM

Not likely we will agree but it's fun. And it forces me to do some research, just picked up a copy of the Ufficio Storico della Marina's accounts of naval actions from 4/41 to 9/43 (and decided not to buy the companion 6/40 tp 3/41 volume and one on Italian convoys to Greece , Sicily and Sardina becouse of price. I know I will regret that, especially the one on the "secondary" convoys for which it's nearly impossible to find sources, contrary to the ones to NA). Let's see if there are some insights in there, there are usually lots copies of originals in those books.
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#255 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:40 AM

TOS, i like your postings to the RM! There is a lot to learn for me! Thanks for the efforts.
Regards, Ulrich

Horrido!

"We're surrounded. That simplifies our problem!" LtGen. Chesty Puller.

#256 phylo_roadking

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:35 PM

Marmat, thanks for your detailed post - I have a couple of further points, and a coupe,of questions arising!

Ultimately it can be said that most agree that the Middle East Defense Committee got more right than wrong.


In total, yes...but on a rolling basis, the picture at the time wouldn't have always looked so rosy :P

Gort pointed out to the CoS that he’d been sent to defend the Island, but command arrangements such as they were, had been set up for offense, London agreed and beyond Governor, he was made Commander in Chief of all armed forces on the Island.


Any idea of the date when this occured?

Armour?
Malta had 10-14 tanks, depending on the source; a mixed bag of Matilda IIs and Vickers Mk VICs if it’s 10, throw in some Crusaders if it’s 14.


Somewhere I have full details of what arrived where and when, their assignments etc. culled when I was researching the VICs on AHF and ww2talk, have to find it all again.

Malta was scored with small fields separated by short rock walls, all on an undulating surface of small hills and ridges, with a limited amount of soil. When the RAF attempted to set up ground control interception radar for night interception that required a 360 degree area level and free of obstruction for just a few hundred yards, they couldn’t find it. Even after 400 men toiled for 3 weeks to build a suitable site, the radar didn’t like it, and another area had to be sought. The only places to land an aircraft on the island without mishap, was on the runways, and even then there were problems. Because of the nature of the island surface, it had been difficult enough to find anywhere to build runways. Takali for example was built on what had been a small lake, when it rained for an extensive period of time, the aerodrome filled up with water and was unusable.


Have to agree wholeheartedly with this; and Luqa was only really cleared and made useable in the first place by trucking it's cut rock to Ti'Qali. See my previous comments about how narrow the flightline was there nevertheless, and having to use the road from Hal Far to Luqa as Luqa's apron!

the fact that 400 soldiers were permanently assigned to each aerodrome, trucks filled with earth and rock to repair damaged runways (or block them) were constantly on standby, and each pen was its own fort ringing the runways does not bode well for ANY unauthorised landing, much less an attacker.


It's worth noting that during the 1940 invasion scare period in the UK, two companies of infantry were considered enough for airfield defence!

Note the glider fields. As I stated earlier, the RAF discovered C3/Herkules preparations without the benefit of ULTRA enigma decripts, there weren't any.


Marmat - having discovered preparations, do you happen to know if the RAF flew a retasked/increase photo recce against those fields?

Edited by phylo_roadking, 17 June 2012 - 02:42 PM.

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#257 phylo_roadking

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:41 PM

I've seen gliders land in the Aeolian islands and those vulcanic rocks are probably worse than Malta, they are terraced nearly to the top with the remainders of olive grooves and wines, you can land a glider in a very short space, landing speed is 100 km/h or less, doesn't take a lot to kill that velocity.


I would hesitate to compare modern one- or two-man sporting gliders with heavily-loaded WWII-era military gliders; looking again at the preparations for Eben Emael, one of the basic problems they had was stopping them within the required distance on the top of the fort. They tried everything from wrapping barbed wire round the skids to altering the design of the skids..at least one version proving inadequate...and a later version being incorported into the DFS...however, as I noted before, I'm not sure if such preparations for Western European clay-backed grass would have worked in a Maltese environment...left alone the hardpacked runways at Hal Far and Luqa!

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#258 scipio

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:54 PM

Landing speed of a Troop Carrying British Glider WW2 was about 90 miles per hour (150 KM p hr) and mass obviously far in excess of a modern light glider. Slow enough to be a sitting duck (but with a momentum that takes some stopping) and there are tales of the troops shooting the pilots as they try to land at Maleme . Unfortunately at Maleme there was no AA left when the gliders appeared but even so many of the gliders broke up on the dried up river bed.

#259 Marmat

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 09:25 PM

TOS, I’m only going to clarify issues in regards to what I recently posted, I’m not going forward with any “What-If” stuff involving seasonal daylight/night conditions, RN attack etc.


Re: Littorio,
Sources vary, Bragadin largely poo-poos the damage, Bagnasco & Grossman state “Time needed for repairs, … about 3 months”, but Garzke & Dulin provide more detail:

Re: Bomb damage, “a rangefinder hood was damaged as was the barbette, and several holes were punched in the forecastle deck from bomb splinters”

Torpedo damage, “the torpedo detonated near frame 194 on the starboard bow and tore a huge hole in the shell plating (photo similar to yours provided). About 1,600 metric tons of water flooded the double bottom and lower compartments in the bow. Some 350 tons of counterflooding aft helped to improve the trim and remove the list. … Repairs were completed by 27 August 1942, but the ship was destined to carry out no more combat missions.”

Littorio would still require post-repair sea trials, I don’t see her available in July, and I don’t see her participating in Herkules.

Re: 9.2” guns
I think you have faulty info, that comes from using naval sources (Navweapons perhaps?), for Army artillery. By “similar initial velocity on a shorter barrel”, could you be confusing the British/US 9.2” Howitzer, for the 9.2” 46.7 cal. Mk 10 Gun? They’re quite different.

Using sources for Army weapons, 9.2” coastal gun installation in Empire ports continued throughout the war, a Mk 15 being introduced as late as 1940; in 1944, 9.2’s were being readied for use against the Siegfried Line, but they were never sent. Of course Malta’s were still in operation in 1942, the scrap had been removed in the 20’s, modern guns, installations, and fire control left & sent in their stead. These 9.2’s featured upgrades like “wash-out” gear; a water jet built into the chamber squirted a stream of water after firing to eliminate fllash-back, and increase rate of fire. The “Twin 6’s” had a firing rate of up to 120 rounds/min., on that night in July 1941 when the Italians chose to test the defenses, they required a mere 28 rounds/gun/target destroyed, or 15 seconds firing per turret – pretty outstanding work. Don’t mistake the hundreds of hodge-podge guns of mere “anti-invasion artillery” Hitler set up to defend Europe’s Atlantic Coast, for Coastal Artillery, they were not.

Remember, “For make no mistake about it, the Coast gun was the master of the ship, and whenever the opportunity presented itself, this was proved beyond any doubt.”
– Ian “Gunner” Hogg


Lastly, I have to wonder what makes anyone think that any of these emplacements wouldn’t “survive bombardment and air attack once they open up”, related to C3/Herkules, when they were targeted and bombed and strafed repeatedly, and over, and over, and over again during Kesselring’s Blitz, and remained???

Re: Gliders
I’ve asked myself whether the Allies would’ve considered landing gliders
on small fields separated by short rock walls, on an undulating surface of small hills and ridges, with a very limited amount of soil hardened rock, much less on volcanic rocks, terraces with olive groves and vines, when preparing for Overlord. I’ve concluded, despite overcoming challenges of their own, not a chance.


Phy, the RAF routinely sent Marylands & Baltimores to recon Sicily and points beyond to search for a variety of things, such as ports staging ships attempting to resupply Rommel, escorting warships, and Luftwaffe bases; anywhere as required, or directed. Gort's status was changed from Gov. to CiC on the 15th of May, 1942.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Marmat, 17 June 2012 - 09:41 PM.

"Where is the hunter when the reindeer has its hoof in a pool of lava?" - Russian Proverb, Bartalamyeh Fyodorevitch


#260 lwd

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:17 PM

...The most often quoted figure for the Doria guns is 29.000 meters (not yards) and 42.000m for the Littorio I have dispersal figures for them but not at that range, the British gun positions are practically unarmoured and (according to NavWeaps) apparentlty cannot penetrate even the weak 250mm armour of the Doria above 3000m. Are any details available on the Malta guns, there seems that the 9.2" marks differed widely in performance. IMO they are not going to hold back anything larger than a cruiser.

I see several points of contention of the utility of the 9.2" guns vs the Dorias.
1) You continue to ignore the threat they represent to the decks of the Dorias at something over 25,000 yards.
2) The fire control advantages of the guns.
a) They have a very wide baseline as they don't have to be mounted on a ship. So much better resolution especially at long range.
B) At least some sources imply radar rangeing was available.
c) Both tie into a well equipped and hardened fire direction center.
3) The accuracy advantage of the 9.2" guns over the 12.6" guns of the Dorias.
4) Gun emplacements proved particualarly hard to take out by either naval gun fire or bombing from what I've read. Indeed Normandy was one of the few areas were I remember a ship winning such an exchange and it had edges the Italians wouldn't in this scenario.
5) The performance data we both started using was for the older 9.2" design with only 15 degrees of elevation and no supercharges. I think Maramt's data includes the performance with the newer 35 degree elevation mounts and possibly with the supercharges.

I'm also somewhat sceptical of the viability of a slow battleship steering straight line courses just outside an opposing submarine base.

#261 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:59 PM

What sort of 9.2" are were acrually at Malta? the info I have, but it's third hand, talks about Mk.X naval guns not field pieces though they were manned by the army. The Mk XI was 50 calibers had a muzzle velocity of 881mps and was reported having excessive dispersal due to the high velocity sacrificing accuracy for range. the Mk X was 47 calibers and muzzle velocity with standard charge was 838mps but with supercharge it rises to 872mps that is very similar to the MK XI.

AFAIK There is no single instance in ww2 of naval guns causing more than a temporary setback to a determined attack, Wake and Oslo are probably the biggest successes but the attack nonetheless was successful. IMO their immobility dooms them unless a relieving force arrives. Wake, Corregidor, the Japanese island fotresses, the Atlantic wall all ultimately failed, IIRC one French battleship won a duel against a german battery equippen with guns salvaged by the Germans from one of her sisters duiring the inavsion of southern France. Possibly one success was at Tobruk in 1942 but it was a raid, not a landing, and IIRC while the coastal batteries chased away Zulu and Sikh the actual landing force was repulsed by a group of MZ not shore batteries.
I think the definitive source on the Littorios is Bagnasco's book, (that's where that drawing comes from), the bomb damage was apparently minor. The report on the torpedo damage details mostly agrees with you source, flooding was 1950t (including the 250 voluntary) the fllodoed comparments between "ordinate" 181 and 199 contained foodstores, (mostly flour) and the ship's brig, so nothing that needs extensive repairs besides replacing the plates, there were no personnel losses and the repairs, that lasted two months, were condubùcted in a rather leisurely way, they only docked her after Mussolini's visit and could probably have been hurried in case of need.

Edited by TiredOldSoldier, 19 June 2012 - 12:09 AM.

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#262 Marmat

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:59 AM

TOS, I’ll expand on what I stated earlier, the standard and most used British Army Coastal heavy/medium artillery piece used in WWII was the Mk 10 9.2/46.7cal., barrel length 442.35”, on Mounting Mk 7, which could rotate 360 degrees, elevate -5 to +35 degrees, muzzle velocity 2,700 ft/sc., good for 36,700 yards. They were Army guns, not naval cast offs. As far as Mks. go, the earlier Mk 8 was shorter and 40 cal, and had been replaced, there were only a few Mk 9s built before the design was upgraded to Mk 10, the definitive Army Mk. The Army did not use the Mk 11 9.2”/50.

Since you prefer the Navy, this is from navweaps.com

Britain
9.2"/50 (23.4 cm) Mark XI

“Used as secondary armament on Pre-dreadnought battleships and as the main guns on Armored Cruisers. When these ships were scrapped following World War I, some of their guns and mountings were retained for possible use on small monitors. However, all of the mountings were scrapped in 1938. When World War II broke out, the remaining guns were offered to the Army, but it was determined that they were not easily adaptable to the existing coastal artillery mountings for the 9.2" (23.4 cm) Mark X. The guns were then scrapped in 1943-44.”

And considering the Mk 10 and Troubridge:

"Of built-up construction and wire-wound. Suffered from "steel choke" and too large a propellant grain. In Army guns a smaller grain propellant was eventually adopted and a tapered inner "A" tube was gradually introduced, thus bringing them up to modern standards. A total of 112 guns were made for the Navy of which 12 were later transferred to land service and a further 170 guns were built for the Army. Actual bore length of all guns was 46.66 calibers."

I don’t know what else to tell you, these were very good guns. As for the rest, I'm not sure what you're saying???

Ian Hogg, Master Gunner is quite clear; as seaborne vs. coastal gun battle goes, the latter has a great many advantages, immobility, stable fire control and knowing the bearings and ranges for its complete firing zone is one of them. Dakar was one example, Malta another, there would've been many more except attacking forces either bypased them, or assaulted them from a landward or blind side to silence them to prevent their repelling amphibous assaults. Anything else and I'd say take it up with Hogg, but he died fairly recently. I used Lt. Cmdr. Bagnasco when I said 3 months the 1st time up.

"Where is the hunter when the reindeer has its hoof in a pool of lava?" - Russian Proverb, Bartalamyeh Fyodorevitch


#263 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:59 AM

Bagnasco states the ship was dry docked on June 26 and refloated on August 26, by his description the repairs were rather simple, a dent in the hull caused by a second bomb that was a near miss was discovered in the dock but not fixed completely as it would have entailed excessive work. According the Bergoni and Gay the bomb casualties were due to the armoured cover of the rangefinder being left open allowing some bomb fragments to enter the turret, but I couldn't find this detail in the later Bagnasco book.
With all respect to Ian Hogg, my point is that WW2 costal artillery didn't usually prove enough to stop a determined opponent that had control of the air and was not in a hurry, the coastal batteries were disabled by raids, bypassed or eventually overwhelmed by big guns of the ships, not being able to move offset all their other advantages in a protracted engagement. IMHO they usually worked better as a deterrent than in practice.
Apart from the very brief engagement during the channel dash, where no hits were scored, where there other engagements involving the Mk.X ? AFAIK the night raid on Malta was repulsed by the 6lb and by the fall of the St.Elmo bridge that obstructed the entrance to the following boats, it's possible the 9.2" fired on RN Diana and the two MAS, no hits were reported,but as the attackers were 1 man 4 meter long boats filled with explosives the 9.2" were definetly not the right tool.
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#264 lwd

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:35 PM

Just remembered this:

... Plunging fire that hits decks require high elevation shooting, this is required for long range but AFAIK no naval guns were ever designed to shoot at high angles/reduced charge in the hope of getting a deck hit,...

US and Japanese doctrine during WWII was to engage at long range specifically for this purpose. Indeed the US "Super Heavy" shells were designed with deck penetration in mind. Indeed USA 16"/50 (40.6 cm) Mark 7 states

Like the Mark 5, the Mark 8 projectiles were designed to be used in long-range gun actions against Japanese ships ("Plan Orange") and for that reason they were to be fired at relatively low muzzle velocities and high gun elevations. These conditions would result in a steeper angle of fall in order to enhance their deck armor penetration capabilities. .... The Mod 6 had an even blunter, rounded AP body nose (with no point) to further enhance penetration against deck armor at high obliquity.

Battleships: United States Battleships, 1935-1992 - William H. Garzke, Robert O. Dulin - Google Books
also talks about reduce propellant charges to increase the probability of deck penetration as does the first reference. The implication is that the effect was well known and understood. The British should also have a pretty good idea of what the armor was on the old Italian battleships and Hood had demostrated rather graphically how spectacular deck penetrations could be.

#265 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:23 PM

That a reduced charges at higher elevation will get you the same range, and that for a given charge you achieve maximum range at 45 degrees elevation, is basic balistics but low velocity was not usually considered an advantage as the longer flight times reduce the chances to score a hit on a moving target and the biggest problem of naval gunnery is hitting. The US evidently had a lot of confidence in their FC systems but he introduction of supercharges for the British 9.2" seems to indicate they were going for high velocity flat trajectories not plunging fire. AFAIK British naval doctrine was to engage between 15.000 and 20.000 yards, firing beyond that was considered ineffective, but don't know if army coastal batteries had a different doctrine.
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#266 phylo_roadking

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:55 PM

AFAIK There is no single instance in ww2 of naval guns causing more than a temporary setback to a determined attack, Wake and Oslo are probably the biggest successes but the attack nonetheless was successful.


"Oslo" isn't a great example; the German attack was not successful...as the action in Drobak Sound delayed the Germans' attempted "coup de main" decapitation strike long enough for the King and government to leave Oslo. It also wasn't a "typical" shore battery action in that Oscarborg's 28cm Krupps only had the chance to fire two rounds, one each....although they DID both hit the Blucher and did considerable damage! The fortress' 15cm and 57mm secondar and tertiary batteries ALSO did considerable damage to her...

...but of course it was two torpedoes from it's undersea tubes that finally sank the Blucher!

Edited by phylo_roadking, 20 June 2012 - 12:50 AM.

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#267 Marmat

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:39 AM

At the risk of adding insult to injury, the 25 pdr's of course featured gradient type charges, and the 9.2's actually could be used against soft targets, such as landing craft; a shrapnel shell had been produced, filled with a couple of thousand lead balls - nasty stuff.

"Where is the hunter when the reindeer has its hoof in a pool of lava?" - Russian Proverb, Bartalamyeh Fyodorevitch


#268 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:15 AM

I knew Blucher was sunk by torpedoes, and it was far from a typical engagement as initial range was very short, but it was one of the very few instances coastal defences achieved a positive result in WW2 even if the final result was still a German victory, IMO the last major victory for coastal defences was the Dardanelles, in most WW2 instances they where either bypassed or overwhelmed by massed naval firepower, there were a lot more successful landings than coastal defences success.

I would expect the 9.2" to have HE or other anti landing craft shells, preventing a landing was the reason they were there in the first place and 9.2" AP is definetly overkill for a landing craft even assuming the thin plates would trigger a fuse that is designed to explode after punching throug armour. AFAIK standard shrapnell is good against troops in the open, once armour, or even mild steel plates, come into play it's effectiveness is much reduced and HE is better, but if the shell was designed specifically to counter landing crafts it would probably take that into account (or the idea was to use it against the exposed troops on the beaches not the landing craft). Most guns have multiple charges, for mountain warfare high angle fire is a big requirement as you often have to hit targets immediately behind a crest.

But what we were discussing is naval guns deliberately going for high angle shots sacrificing accuracy for the chance of a hit on the less well protected decks and the chances of the 9.2" surviving unsuppressed long enough to actually fire at the landing craft. I still see no reason to believe the 9.2" would do better than the German guns in Normandy that were probaly a lot better protected if the 9.2" were emplaced for 360 degrees fire.

Still a bit confused about the Mk.X, there seems to be a lot of variation under that designation besides all being wire wound 9.2/47, some variations is expected, "same model" Italian guns of OTO and Ansaldo manufacture often were quite different, so something similar may be happening here especially as we have two different armed forces as customers but it makes me wary about being too specific about what they could do.

I think we are discussing on insufficient data, half the fun of what ifs is researching and there is a lot of important data that should be out there we haven't found yet, do we have any pics or maps of the guns? IIRC there is an Osprey on Malta forts thay should reasonably have some, does anyone have that book? What info did the Italians actually have on the gun positions? What damage, if any, had the guns suffered from the previous bombing?, What was British doctrine and/or what orders did the guns have? What was the actual plan timetable? from what I know the naval landing would come after the para drop but without a map of the gun positions we don't know what chances the paras have of capturing or suppressing them.

We are also moving far from the OP that was "should there be an attack" to "would it be succesful", IMO a 1942 attack was too late to change things.
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#269 lwd

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:27 PM

... but the introduction of supercharges for the British 9.2" seems to indicate they were going for high velocity flat trajectories not plunging fire.

My reading was that they wanted increased range. Note the use of both howitzers and mortars as coastal defence guns.

... in most WW2 instances they where either bypassed or overwhelmed by massed naval firepower, there were a lot more successful landings than coastal defences success.

That depends on what you consider a success. There's no question that such guns were considered a signifcant threat by naval planners and most chose not to challenge them unless they were sure they could be overwhelmed.

... But what we were discussing is naval guns deliberately going for high angle shots sacrificing accuracy for the chance of a hit on the less well protected decks

As stated it was US and IJN naval doctrine and the prevalance of low velocity high angle coastal defence guns in US service makes it pretty clear that the US army also considered it practicle. I would be very much surprised if the British army didn't but It's possible.

and the chances of the 9.2" surviving unsuppressed long enough to actually fire at the landing craft. I still see no reason to believe the 9.2" would do better than the German guns in Normandy that were probaly a lot better protected if the 9.2" were emplaced for 360 degrees fire.

Well the Axis hadn't succeeded in knocking them out historically and had given up dive bombing due to the losses being sustained. Without dive bombing planes aren't likely to take out those guns and the Italians didn't have near the firepower supperiority at Malta that the allies had at Normandy.

Still a bit confused about the Mk.X, there seems to be a lot of variation under that designation besides all being wire wound 9.2/47, some variations is expected, "same model" Italian guns of OTO and Ansaldo manufacture often were quite different, so something similar may be happening here especially as we have two different armed forces as customers but it makes me wary about being too specific about what they could do.

Part of the problem seems to be that the guns and/or their mounts were upgraded and super charges added many of the data sources don't seem to have kept very good track of just what variants they were discussing or if they did they didn't make it clear to their readers.

I think we are discussing on insufficient data, half the fun of what ifs is researching and there is a lot of important data that should be out there we haven't found yet,

Indeed that's what justifies them on some boards, they can actually result in a better knowledge and understanding of what happened historically.

do we have any pics or maps of the guns?

I did run across some while looking for information. Here's what I got in a quick google search:
Fort St. Elmo; Valletta, Malta | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Victorian Forts and Artillery:Artillery Gallery 1 (only one on this page from Malta and it's a 100lber but potential links to more)
http://www.avalanche...s_for_malta.php (no 9.2's again but several types of gun on Malta)
Avalanche Press (This one has a picture of a large coast defence gun on Malta but I don't know what it is)
This thread has a number of links to coast defence guns but not many on Malta: Coastal Defence Guns - World Naval Ships Forums
This one has a nice picture of a 9.2" gun on Gibralter in 1942 BL 9.2 inch gun Mk IX
Project Gaia - integrated coastal zone management some drawings and pictures of Malta's fortifications
Here's someone elses analysis of the issue we're discussing (I haven't read it all yet)
The Levant and the Balkans WWII: HERKULES: MILITARY CHRONICLES COUNTERFACTUAL ARTICLE
Bunch of pictures here but most don't tell where or what Coastal gun Stock Photo Images. 156 coastal gun royalty free images and photography available to buy from over 100 stock photo companies.
This one also concentrates on the 100 ton guns but lots of detailed pictures Military Architecture of the 100-ton Gun Batteries | Architectural History
From contents 1 the following issues might be relevant:
a review of British Military Architecture in Malta, by S. C. Spiteri - 84 in CDSG Journal Volume 11, Issue 4, November 1997
Italian Boat Raid on Malta, 1942 - 78 CD Journal Volume 17, Issue 2, May 2003
The Fortifications of Malta: 1530-1945, by Charles Stephenson - 93 CD Journal Volume 19, Issue 1, February 2005
http://www.123rf.com...al_defense.html (100+ images not sure if any are on Malta.

http://www.fsgfort.c...Artillery P.pdf Some 9.2" pictures but not on Malta
THE BRITISH ARMY ON MALTA 1942 | Imperial War Museums a 4.5" AA gun firing (Malta 1942)


We are also moving far from the OP that was "should there be an attack" to "would it be succesful", IMO a 1942 attack was too late to change things.

I think you are correct on both counts but I'm still learning things so unless there are strenous objections lets continue.

#270 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:07 AM

Nice links, the 4.5" if it's truly a 4.5 and not a 4.7 , is interesting I didn't know any were based on coastal intallations, AFAIK the caliber was selected after the 4.7 fixed round proved too heavy for manhandling and was initially deployed only on carriers and some rebuilt battleships tough it became the standard destroyer gun post war.
The 100t is definetly not WW2 but seems to be the most popular on the net, I also ran into it a lot in my searches, but pictures of the Malta 9.2" are a lot harder to find. do you have the avalanche press game and does it have a bibliography?.
I have lots of data on the Itallian raid, but it seems the big guns didn't engage Diana, wonder why, Mussolini's yacht should be a high prestige target.
The 9.2" of the Gibraltar pic certainly doesn't look capable of 35 degrees elevation !
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#271 scipio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:57 AM

http://maltagc70.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/17-may-1942-stealth-e-boat-attack-repulsed/



Just stumbled on this site "Malta War Diary" - its an absolute gold mine (I can't see that anyone has mentioned this before) and signed up for membership. Each day is detailed with what looks like a summary of the various war diaries with an enormous amount on the RAF.

Flicked through March, April and May 1942 and noticed this one reference to the coastal guns in action. Otherwise it seems pretty obvious that the AA is very effective and is only being marginally damaged and no damage to the tanks or 25 pounders.

However the April Luftwaffe attacks and cock-up of the 46 Spitfires delivered on 9th April denie the defenders any respite and reduce supplies to the point where further resistance is near impossible.


#272 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:36 PM

You have an Italian account of the air action of same day here with some additional info but no mention of boats. It's likely the "diver" is in fact Carmelo Borg Pisani a Maltese born Italian simpathizer that was later hanged by the authorities.
http://www.avia-it.c...Maggio_1942.pdf

and a istituto luce propaganda clip here
Giornale Luce - Duelli aerei (Bombardamento di Malta) - 1942 - YouTube
interesting mostly for what it shows on visibility over the island.
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#273 phylo_roadking

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:54 PM

I knew Blucher was sunk by torpedoes, and it was far from a typical engagement as initial range was very short, but it was one of the very few instances coastal defences achieved a positive result in WW2 even if the final result was still a German victory, IMO the last major victory for coastal defences was the Dardanelles, in most WW2 instances they where either bypassed or overwhelmed by massed naval firepower, there were a lot more successful landings than coastal defences success.


Courtesy of the Mythory Channel this morning, I discovered at least one successful shore battery action against naval vessels...and in looking for more detail turned up ANOTHER! Both during the Winter War...

In addition to its navy, Finland had its coastal artillery batteries defending important harbours and naval bases along its coast. Most batteries were leftovers from the Russian period, the 152 mm (6.0 in) gun being the most numerous, but Finland had modernized its old guns and installed a number of new batteries, the largest a 305 mm (12.0 in) gun battery originally intended to block the Gulf of Finland to Soviet ships with the help of batteries on the Estonian side.
The first naval battle took place near the island of Russaro five kilometers south of Hanko. On 1 December 1939, there were fair weather conditions and visibility was excellent. The Finns spotted the Soviet cruiser Kirov and two destroyers. After the convoy was at a range of 24 km (13 nmi; 15 mi), the Finns opened fire with 234 mm coastal guns. After five short minutes firing by four coastal guns, the cruiser was damaged by near misses and retreated. The destroyers remained undamaged and Kirov was repaired in the naval base, but it lost 17 men and about 30 wounded. The Soviets knew the locations of the Finnish coastal batteries, but it became surprise that a fire range was much longer than expected. The coastal artillery was old-fashioned, but the Finns managed to modernize and improve it.

Soviet destroyers (Gnevny and Grozyashtchi) attacked Finnish lighthouse and fort at Uto on 14 December. Finnish coastal artillery battery opened fire and after short fight Soviet destroyers withdrew with the help of smoke screen. Poor visibility and seen thick smoke initially convinced the Finns that one of the destroyers would have been sunk by the coastal artillery fire.


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#274 scipio

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:02 PM

17 May 1942: Stealth E-Boat Attack Repulsed « Malta: War Diary

http://maltagc70.wor...-invasion-plot/
Spy mentioned in British report

Sorry if link did not work

Edited by scipio, 21 June 2012 - 10:08 PM.





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