Th, int.rrogatioii of several high-ranking German Naval Ofiic-ra on rv question as to why thoad failed to tak Malta,todly brought rof-renou to Kleld Marshall-looiLRUiGore-t aourc of Information and comment on that aubjoot. Th- Field Marshall very willingly, Jf with some degree of bitterness, talked on thatt to th Interrogator who requested his totatement. ortiataranslation of said statement which wos signed byioJ th, original.
Malta,aae for both- and air operations,initiv- signified,- for the aupply llne|sItaly and North Africa. Aocfrdlngly, Italy shouldprovided forininotlon of JUlta as her first military operational obj^etiv-. In th- laet analysis, tho loss of th- Italian colonics and ofaaa ond Italian *rmlca la to be oaorlbod to tax. ncgl-ct of thut provision.
'.'lth Italj's entry into tho war ond Germany's participation in th_ fighting in North *frlca, the Mediterranean Theater of "Jar nec-ssarilyajor Importance for Germany, also. If th- elimination of Gibraltar and tho exploitation of Blz.rta and Tunis for supply traffic to North Afrioo wore to be foregone,alta hsd to b. not ewr.ly subdued but -Tenover.
Germany regardedditorranean as on Italian Theater of far for readily understood reasons ond restrained herselflous interference Ineadershiphe more so as suchre viewed byin1 and the Italian ccanand more andss.
Thus is explained the fact that my firstiterronoan Theater was -the suppression of Maltasea and air base*. My ruquest to havo the- attack forof taking Molto follow %ni%
-ouia hot- beenfor this task.
Theaid (In th- boglnalnghich waaby the German oir fleet was eompUt-ly auooesaful
eliminated for two months the danger to supply routes in the Mediterranean. British reports oonflrmed this suooess. As was to be expected, not only was tbe domoge oaused by that raid cleaned up by the British In th- months following, but Malta was fitted outain base primarily for aiz operations.
At this time my recuwod proposal to take Maltasrofully planned attack roaohud trie Italian Supreme Command and the uKX Both oommaads agroud by this time. It waaor direotly booked up with my plan, that the. gonurol altuotloa la North Afrioa waa to bu quieted down by tho elimination of Tobrufc. Pro^arot^rysn^ beguna
the Italian tido it consisted of:
The prepnmtlon of the puraohuto rifloGeneral
The readying of too norueri-mood loading
TSSiai. of suitablo landicg craft nnd
Tho oquipping of Italian air transport groups ind airgroups.
Onrar. side It consisted adylngarntroopspeeded oonpletlcn of soaworthy anall crofton0 trtMport
ro worked out no WMt tho ott*c> could be enrried out scaotlc- betw-vr. the nlddle.he end of
The cttnck-entcrrrl^ "TobrvK" to
ptoooet the So.'toid and arAtfc.ng effect
eUAtiofl of the NorthCa-polgr. tCWd thO Slia. M t3 OC OXp-OtJd. the attack
up of thwHloidne Position. nlch tod
intended for Jclfj wer_viup, ina
by Mis unsuccessful offensive, so thnt, in rtvW of noeossnry
rGplnccncnt. and ratherew
this Isl'-nd 8 out of the qu.stlon before thi Spring
br that tine th- situation In Hortn Afrlcn had been
basically altered, since with th- advaaovauat of th- front to
?he daou Position, the supply routos wore further
nnd. ln spite of tho now supply linoidl Beroni.
boenso aoro and ir-ore conpllotcd.
:b Ron, jr.
AGGRADED CONFIDENTIAL ONWlnavio for release BY CORO AUTVlROriginal document.