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Fliegerkorps X

Commanded by General Geissler this unit was a top notch outfit which learned the art of bombing shipping in the Norwegian campaign & later raids on the UK. They were specially trained in attacks on shipping. The unit comprised 150 x Ju 87 (Stuka dive bomber)& 150 x Ju 88 (twin engined bomber).
This unit was the spearhead for a further 350 other Heinkel 111 & Junker's bombers along with 50 x Messerschmitt 109 fighters plus some reconnaissance aircraft.
They were moved to Sicily December 1940.
The main priority for this unit was to sink HMS Illustrious which was a modern steel decked aircraft carrier which had been damaged on convoy duty & was under emergency repairs in Grand Harbour, Malta.

To counter this force Malta had 2 old Gladiators & 15 Hurricane's.