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29 July 1940: Malta is ‘Most Bombed Spot in the Empire’

29 Jul

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INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT VISITS MALTA SHELTERS

3000 people living in single shelter (NWMA)

3000 people living in single shelter (NWMA)

Malta is the most bombed spot in the British Empire, according to the overseas press.  A correspondent of the Daily Mail who has just returned from Malta described his visit to the Island’s ancient cellars and tunnels, where 10000 homeless or evacuated islanders are now living. 

The biggest shelter has become almost the permanent home of 3000 people.  According to the press, the Knights of Malta who honeycombed Valetta with a vast system of underground chambers did the present inhabitants a good turn, as those chambers have become ready-made shelters impenetrable to the heaviest bomb.

Some who have shut up their shops carry on trade nearby, he reports.  One woman, selling eggs from her own hens, was ready to retreat to the shelter.  When the alarm sirens sound, mothers collect their children and cooking pots, and file to safety.

Malta has been bombed on an average twice daily but residents say that it is not as bad as they expected, and that Mussolini cannot bomb them into submission.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 29 JULY TO DAWN 30 JULY 1940

Weather  Fine and warm. 

0952-1027 hrs  Air raid alert for nine enemy fighters and two bomber swhich approach from the north in two formations.  Malta fighters are scrambled but do not engage.  Ack Ack guns at Tigne, San Giacomo, San Pietru, Marsa, Spinola, Manoel and HMS Terror engage the raiders.  No bombs are dropped.       

1000-1027 hrs  Air raid alert for two formations of five enemy fighters which cross the Island.  No bombs are dropped.    

Military casualties  Private John Foote, 2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment                                         

OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 29 JULY 1940

AIR HQ  Departures  2 Sunderland.    

KALAFRANA  Two Sunderlands 230 Squadron left for Alexandria.

2nd Bn DEVONSHIRE REGIMENT  A Regimental memorial chapel at Christchurch Pembroke Church was dedicated this morning by the Army Chaplain General Mediterranean, Rev D B L Foster.  The Governor and C in C Lt Gen Dobbie unveiled the badge of the Regiment, dedication plate and memorial tablets to the men who died during the service of the Regiment on the Island.  16 officers and 215 Other Ranks attended the ceremony. 

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Work began on new RAF barrack blocks.

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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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