Concept

Operation Herkules

Summary
Operation Herkules (Unternehmen Herkules; Operazione C3) was the German code-name given to an abortive plan for the invasion of Malta during the Second World War. Through air and sea landings, the Italians and Germans hoped to eliminate Malta as a British air and naval base and secure an uninterrupted flow of supplies across the Mediterranean Sea to Axis forces in Libya and Egypt. Extensive preparations were made for the invasion but the success of other Axis operations – including the Battle of Gazala (26 May to 21 June 1942), the Axis capture of Tobruk on 21 June and Operation Aïda, the pursuit of the Allies into Egypt – led to Herkules being postponed and then cancelled in November 1942. Origins The Axis plan to invade Malta had its origin in Italian military studies conducted during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in the mid-1930s. By 1938, Comando Supremo, the Italian army general staff, had estimated the amount of sea transport it would require to move military forces
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