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Protection Of Airbases?

#1 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:57 PM

We know that Regia Aeronautica had 10 guns in Africa in 10 June 1940 6 in Cirenaica, 4 in Tripolitania. Also later some army or militia batteries of 88mm went to defend Castelbenito. But what about protection from land forces? i saw some photos of L3 tankettes protecting airbases , was there any specific units for that?
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#2 User is offline   david 

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:49 PM

Hi Dili.

I can't answer that, but too am interested in the answer.

What were the ten R.A guns you mention by the way? Are they at Tripoli & Tobruk?

Thanks,
David.
Cheers; Dave.

#3 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 10:15 AM

Do not know. In Cirenaica i would say El Adem - Blenheim bombing in 11 June had some down because of AA, but could also be some army Autocannone CK there and the gus which i think are 20mm Breda could have been elsewhere. In Tripolitania i would say Castelbenito. But this is just a guess.
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#4 User is offline   david 

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:16 PM

Thanks for that.

I wonder what size of land unit would defend an airbase? I suppose it would depend on the size of the airbase.
Cheers; Dave.

#5 User is offline   diciassette2000 

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 02:07 PM

View PostDili, on 06 May 2017 - 10:15 AM, said:

Do not know. In Cirenaica i would say El Adem - Blenheim bombing in 11 June had some down because of AA, but could also be some army Autocannone CK there and the gus which i think are 20mm Breda could have been elsewhere. In Tripolitania i would say Castelbenito. But this is just a guess.


This it's an other difficult matter.....at 10/6/1940 the Regia Aereonautica dont have AA batteries in North Africa, Regio esercito only a Tripoli and MACA without a battery....some AA batteries of divisional units are send on airbase for AA service......(very hard to find them???) . Only at July 1940 some AA units went to AS (MACA batteries armed with 20mm AA and AA regio esercito Groups for 2.o reggimento antiaereo regio esercito)....but Regia Aereonautica was without AA units. Since the Afrika Korps went to AS many AA units (Regio Esercito and MACA) turned of Airbase garrison but very very hard to find these turns......When the Afrika Korps went many AA units of this Korp went to AA duty and the Regio esercito units were retired to these garrisons. The only AA units of Regia Aereonautica were some SCotti 20mm coys that went to AS in 1942. For the field garrisons Regia aereonautica have some light guns and some tankette that are grouped in "ad hoc" units for the garrison of some Airbase like Bengasi and Tripoli but with no official Toe......
All the best
maurizio
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#6 User is offline   david 

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 06:10 PM

Thanks Maurizio.
Cheers; Dave.

#7 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 08:08 PM

maurizio

Allegato nš4 1 June 1940

lists 4 guns for Regia Aeronautica in Tripolitania and 6 guns in Cirenaica.
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#8 User is offline   diciassette2000 

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 06:54 AM

View PostDili, on 14 May 2017 - 08:08 PM, said:

maurizio

Allegato nš4 1 June 1940

lists 4 guns for Regia Aeronautica in Tripolitania and 6 guns in Cirenaica.


are field guns for airfield defense
all the best
maurizio
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#9 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:07 PM

I have in my notes that Regia Aeronautica at start had in all places(Italy, colonies) 50 20mm Breda guns and 590 Fiat 8mm(converted from 6.5mm) machine guns for defense of airbases. If this information is true then those 10 guns can only be 20mm.
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#10 User is offline   diciassette2000 

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:25 PM

View PostDili, on 15 May 2017 - 03:07 PM, said:

I have in my notes that Regia Aeronautica at start had in all places(Italy, colonies) 50 20mm Breda guns and 590 Fiat 8mm(converted from 6.5mm) machine guns for defense of airbases. If this information is true then those 10 guns can only be 20mm.


Like I have many time writhe the only 20mm for the airbase defense were the CCNN 20mm coys went from Italy after june 1940.........
All the best
Maurizio
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#11 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:38 PM

So what model are those 10 guns?
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#12 User is offline   diciassette2000 

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:47 AM

View PostDili, on 15 May 2017 - 09:38 PM, said:

So what model are those 10 guns?

no i dont know but I have the AA situation of Regia Aereonautica at 1/9/1939 that was of 18 cannoncini da 20mm and 230 8mm MG (ex Fiat 1914)...in all Regia Aereonautica!!!!!
All the best
maurizio
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#13 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:46 PM

Well as i posted before for June 1940: 50 20mm and 590 8mm Fiat.
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#14 User is offline   Wargames 

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:32 AM

View PostDili, on 04 May 2017 - 03:57 PM, said:

We know that Regia Aeronautica had 10 guns in Africa in 10 June 1940 6 in Cirenaica, 4 in Tripolitania. Also later some army or militia batteries of 88mm went to defend Castelbenito. But what about protection from land forces? i saw some photos of L3 tankettes protecting airbases , was there any specific units for that?


Short answer: No.

Tables of Organization (TOO) show no such anti-aircraft (A/A) battalions existed. Given the answers by others of fifty 20mm guns that would equip only four standard battalions for the entire Regia Aereonautica. That's the same as zero.

Although the Army could assign A/A guns to an airfield, if one looks at Italian Army and Corps TOO's one finds no A/A battalions for them to assign. But you can find L3's. Hence, your photo.

It was common practice at the time for all armies (except Japan) to not assign divisional assets to airfields. It had to come from corps or army HQ. Divisional assets remained with the division. Thus, there was no standard airfield ground attack defense (Although they did exist, they did not exist as Regia Aereonautica units.). The famous British "Desert Rats" raid of a German airfield encountered some ground units but it was pretty minimal.

The reason for minimal ground attack defense is because airfields used distance and other airfields as their primary defense to any attack be it ground or air. Most fighter airfields were 45-50 miles behind their lines (or more). When front line observers saw either an enemy ground breakthrough or approaching enemy aircraft they notified the airfield behind them. This sent off the famous "air raid sirens" heard on WWII fighter pilot movies and where everybody at the airfield runs for their plane. They had about ten minutes warning if an air attack or two hours if a ground attack.

That first airfield back behind the lines was always entirely composed of fighter planes. There were two reasons for this. First it shortened their Combat Air Patrol (CAP) missions to just 50 miles. Second, the next airfield behind them was (primarily) the bombers. Any air attack against the bomber airfields had to first fly through the fighter CAP and then, on its way back, fly through the fighter CAP again. Not fun! This made bombing prepared airfields very unpopular and seldom carried out (Half the targets were gone, those that remained hard to hit, and you had fighters in your face.). The bombers also had their sirens go off (though not always) in order to get in the air before the enemy arrived. Thus, when British troops reached an Italian airfield it was always empty of all operational aircraft except those aircraft not in service and which were left behind (Which could be half the planes on the field.). Referred to as an "airfield overrun" it produced more aircraft losses than any actual attack on the airfield, the losses occurring via evacuation and not to bombs or bullets. Supply depots were the much more popular target as they were closer to the front lines and so you might avoid the CAP interception. Those here with North Africa bomber mission records should be able to either add or subtract to this reply as I'm referring to protecting WWII airfields in general and not specifically to North Africa.
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#15 User is offline   david 

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:38 PM

Thanks
Cheers; Dave.

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