The Royal Navy and the Mediterranean Convoys
A Naval Staff History
Edited by Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones
Routledge – 2006 – 220 pages
Series: Naval Staff Histories
This book contains the Naval Staff History originally issued by the Admiralty in 1957 as a confidential book for use within the Royal Navy. It has since been declassified and is published here for the first time, along with an extended preface.
This volume describes the dangerous convoy operations in the Mediterranean which were necessary to relieve the garrison and people of Malta, covering the period from the beginning of 1941 until the end of 1942. These convoys had to be fought through against determined attack by German and Italian surface, submarine and, particularly, air forces. Although casualties were proportionately higher than in Atlantic convoys, Malta was successfully re-supplied and remained a considerable impediment to enemy’s attempts to supply their armies in North Africa. These operations reveal the dedication, courage and professionalism of the sailors (of both naval and merchant services) as well as the airmen who supported them. A new preface sets the scene for the Staff History.
The Royal Navy and the Mediterranean Convoys will be of great interest for students interested in the Mediterranean Convoys, Second World War and naval and military history.
Foreword Admiral Sir Jonathon Band. Preface Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones. Introduction Part 1: Convoys in 1941 (Battle Summary No. 18) 1. Operation “Excess”, January 1941 2. Operation “Substance”, July 1941 3. Operation “Halberd”, September 1941 Part 2: Convoys in 1942 4. Operation “M.G.1”, March 1942 5. Operation “Harpoon”, June 1942 6. Operation “Vigorous”, June 1942 7. Operation “Pedestal”, August 1942 8. Comments and Reflections. Epilogue. Appendices Appendix A: Operation “Excess”: Forces and Convoys Appendix B: Operation “Excess”: Particulars of Air Attacks Appendix C: Operation “Excess”: Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean’s, Remarks Appendix D: Operation “Substance”: Forces and Convoys Appendix E: Operation “Halberd”: Forces and Convoys Appendix F: Operation “Halberd”: Remarks Appendix G: Operations “Excess”, “Substance”, “Halberd”: Orders for Action against Surface attack Appendix H: Operations “Excess”, “Substance”, “Halberd”: Orders for Action during Air Attacks Appendix I: Operation “M.G.1”: Forces and Convoy Appendix J: Operation “Harpoon” and “Vigorous”: Forces and Convoys Appendix K: Operation “Pedestal”: Forces and Convoys Appendix L: Operation “Pedestal”: Extract from Report on Planning Appendix M: Operations, 1942: Analysis of Damage and Losses Appendix N: Operations, 1941-42: Strengths, and Numbers Sunk and Damaged Appendix O: Details of British Naval Aircraft Appendix P: Details of German and Italian Aircraft Appendix Q: Italian Surface Ships in 1942. Index
Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones served for 26 years in the Fleet Air Arm, subsequently completing his PhD at King’s College, London. He is a historian in the Naval Historical Branch, MoD. He regularly lectures and has published on many aspects of anti-submarine and joint warfare.