Two Italian heavy cruisers serving as escort to the convoys traveling to Libya.
An Italian destroyer in the Mediterranean while escorting a convoy in route towards North Africa. The device attached to a davit
is a paravane, a sort of "water kite" which towed by the ship allows to sweep enemy mines, among other tasks.
View towards the prow of the Italian battleship Andrea Doria. This ship and her twin Caio Duilio had been built originally as
dreadnought battleships and extensively modernized at the beginning of the Second World War. The Caio Duilio was damaged by
British torpedo planes during the fatidical attack against the Italian fleet anchored at Taranto, which caused the loss of about
half of its strength in a single night.
British ground personnel installing a torpedo on a Fairey Swordfish prior to the attack against the Italian fleet near Cape Matapan.
Ambushed by very superior forces, on this another fateful event the Italian fleet lost several ships, destroyers and cruisers, as
well as thousands of mariners, many of whom froze to death on the waters.
Once the beachhead had been consolidated in the coasts of Crete, the Germans emplaced observation points to counter any threat
coming from the sea. They took Crete from the British only by paying an expensive price, particularly on the heavy losses suffered
by highly trained paratroops. Because of this Hitler named the island as "the tomb of paratroopers" and refused any subsequent
utilization of airborne troops during the rest of the war.
An Italian cargo ship belonging to a convoy escorted by the Regia Marina loads German armament that has to be transported to Libya.
The British naval supremacy on the sea was a major problem for these convoys and because of this the capture of Malta, where the
enemy fleet had a key base, was imperative.
A British convoy photographed in the Mediterranean. The crisis of the Italian Navy rendered these routes safer for the British.
Albeit the Fascist regime had put special attention into the aerial weapon, Italian fighters, like the Fiat G 50 shown on this
photograph, resulted generally inferior to foreign counterparts.
An Italian twin-engine seaplane Fiat RS 14. This type of aircraft was generally used for maritime reconnaissance.
Two Italian aviators rescued by a Heinkel seaplane near Malta. The Italian aviation bombed without much determination
the British facilities located on this strategic island, because Mussolini preferred to attack the very weakened France instead.
So it was neglected the only objective that could have ensured the success of the war in the Mediterranean.
A heavy fighter Me Bf 110 of the 10th Corpo Aereo Tedesco based on Sicily on the flight for an offensive on the island of Malta.
An Italian expeditionary army supported by paratroopers was trained during months for a landing on Malta, but the operation was
cancelled because of the excessive confidence of Rommel for an easy victory in Egypt and the desire of Hitler to avoid an assault
on which he feared the loss of valuable troops as it had happened in the assault of Crete.
An octuple anti-aircraft mounting aboard a British warship. The British naval superiority on the Mediterranean, supported by the
strategic base in Malta, was a nightmare for the Italian war fleet and cargo convoys. The negligence of Hitler regarding an assault
into Malta has been considered one of the biggest mistakes made by Germany during the war, one which allowed the Royal Navy to
continue sinking the Italian convoys with increasing rate, which would eventually lead to the collapse of the entire war effort
in Africa and the disaster at El Alamein, one of the most critical events of the whole conflict.
Remainings of a British freighter that was hit by two torpedoes from an Italian submarine when navigating near Libya, and then dragged by
the marine current towards the coast of Cyrenaica.
Heavy fighters Me Bf 110 flying over the Gulf of Palermo. The German aviation collaborated with the Regia Aeronautica in the
War of Convoys.
Two German heavy fighters Me Bf 110 flying at low altitude over the waters of the Aegean sea.