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The Axis and the Intended Invasion of Malta in 1942: A Combined Planning Endeavor

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2013,22 May 2014

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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This monograph analyzes the Axis planning and preparations for intended invasion of Malta in 1942 from the perspective of a contemporary military planner of joint and coalition warfare, and seeks to identify relevant lessons for todays practice of operational art and the conduct of military planning in a multinational and inter-service context. After 70 years, the examination of the Axis combined planning for Esigenza C3 still provides key insights into the challenges of coalition warfare for military planners. The convergence of several factors operating at different levels of authority enhanced the effectiveness of the planning for Esigenza C3. First, at the strategic level, human interaction and individual characters had a major role in framing and negotiating ends, ways, and means for the Mediterranean strategy and the invasion of Malta, supplying for the absence of any common top-level consultation or decision-making process. Second, the Italian and German operational planners applied an innovative planning methodology, which enhanced collaboration, parallel planning, and information sharing, integrated lessons learned from previous combat experiences, and valued the contributions of subject matter experts. Finally, coherently and concurrently with planning, important decisions enabled the build-up of the force, its training and logistical preparation.

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