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GOVERNOR STRUGGLING TO RECRUIT FOR ARTILLERY
Eight heavy and ten light anti-aircraft guns are on their way to Malta, with more heavy guns to follow. All will be accompanied by supplies of ammunition. Welcoming the news, the Governor and Commander in Chief informed the War Office that there is significant doubt whether the Island will have sufficient servicemen to man the guns.
In a telegram sent today, he reports that the rate of recruitment is slowing considerably in Malta, due to the limit of the local population and requirements of other units on the Island. As a result it has been impossible to build up any reserve forces and no reinforcements are in place to man the new guns. Without additional Royal Artillery or signals personnel from the Middle East, the all-important artillery will sit idle.
MALTA SHOULD LAUNCH AIR OFFENSIVES
Malta should be a base for striking and general reconnaissance air forces, says the Air Officer Commanding Mediterranean. In a message to the Air Ministry in London, the AOC said the forces should be brought to the Island as a matter of urgency. He believes that much of the sea reconnaissance currently undertaken by Sunderlands operating out of Alexandria could be operated successfully from Malta.
The only attacking aircraft at Malta are Swordfish of the Fleet Air Arm and offensive operations from Malta are therefore limited. The AOC proposes that one complete squadron of 15 aircraft would produce results out of all proportion to its size and recommends they be despatched as soon as other commitments allow.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 1 AUGUST TO DAWN 2 AUGUST 1940
Weather Fine and warm.
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS THURSDAY 1 AUGUST 1940
ROYAL NAVY Aircraft patrol reported one destroyer, two tankers, one large merchant vessel and many smaller ones in Cagliari Harbour, and three submarines leaving harbour.
HARBOUR FIRE COMMAND 1000 hrs Two 4.7” naval guns were installed at F Verandah, Marsa, and manned by 3rd Heavy Battery, Royal Malta Artillery. These guns are known as ‘Barker Section’.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT Strength of Battalion 25 Officers, 743 Other Ranks.
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