A -Irrelevant, tell me a month were from Italy departed more than 5000t/day? Shipping was also no problem - up to late 42 when losses accumulated - but then came Vichy shipping windfall. The fact that several ships were left out of Med only has significance if the cargo to be sent surpasses remaining cargo shipping capacity. Which it didn't.
Why do I need to tell you that when I never said they did? However, nearly 4,800 tons on average were shipped in April 1941 with 99% arriving, which proved enough to jump start VENEZIA, leading to the fall of Tobruk and the pursuit to Alamein. It wasn't enough to win though.
So shipping was no problem? And yet in one day the Italian merchant marine lost 212 of its 786 vessels. That is rather a significant loss accumulation for one day. And then with 56 German vessels needed 59 days to move 40,532 Italian and German troops with their supplies, weapons, and equipment to Tunis. I would call that a "problem".
Nor was the Vichy shipping acquired in November 1942 a "windfall". It's bulk freight component was elderly, inefficient, and slow. It certainly made up some of the shortfall of the losses incurred, but that was about it. Meanwhile, before the "windfall" it had already been participating in cabotage shipments from Tunisia and Alegeria, which relieved part of the strain by bringing in non-military supplies to Italian North Africa.
A- You make good about RN submarines. But then how that denies the major importance of allied air superiority?
It doesn't...but then again I never denied the major importance of allied air superiority.
Land based air suppressed Malta in begin of 1942 - and if Italian RA attacked Malta properly (only 9% of their bomb effort) more could be achieved, Land based made heavy RN surface forces losses in Crete - that you have pointed out also - and made important surfaces losses to Italian Navy and merchants. Mediterranean it is a small place where everyone is near each other. If Italian had 200 Stuka equivalents in 1940 they would have shut the Med and sunk several major RN units right from start. Of course if they were willing, for example in whole August 1940 they just made 5 attacks against Malta with a cumulative 40 bombers...just 40t of bombs or less. Mussolini was still expecting a peace conference...
Land based air suppressed Tobruk. No unit at destroyer escort level or over of Italian fleet was ever based in Tobruk after 1940 ( 4 destroyers and 10 submarines) . Only MAS/MS boats. And Tobruk was the main naval base of RM at Libyan colony not Tripoli.
Um, no, it did not. Axis shipping losses January-October 1942 averaged 7.7 vessels per month and Malta averaged 3.9 of those. The "suppression" was arguably four months - April, May, June, and July. And was mostly a consequence of the withdrawal of submarines and the loss of Wanklyn in Upholder, as well as Usk and Undaunted.
Meanwhile, Germany had 205 "Stuka equivalents" in the Med in April 1942, but did not shut it. They did inflict heavy damage, but mostly due to the circumstances forced on the RN.