Operation Pedestal: A Forgotten Battle Between Carriers, Submarines and Bombers That Determined the Fate of North Africa in World War II

May 9, 2020 Topic: History Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: World War IIMilitaryWarErwin Rommel

Operation Pedestal: A Forgotten Battle Between Carriers, Submarines and Bombers That Determined the Fate of North Africa in World War II

During World War II, the tiny British-controlled archipelago situated only 55 miles southeast of Sicily lay directly athwart the Axis supply lines. Malta-based submarines and warplanes reaped a fearsome toll on shipping, keeping General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps supplied and equipped.

Despite the loss of Eagle and other blows, destroyers and naval air power had successfully shielded the transports including the vital Ohio from massive Axis air and submarine attacks. 

But, as described in a companion article, the next few hours would see Operation Pedestal dissolve into a desperate fight for survival that would consign a dozen more ships to the Mediterranean sea floor, split the Ohio in two—and doom Rommel’s hopes for victory in North Africa.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.

Image: Wikipedia.