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MALTA DEFENCE FORCE MUST BE REGULATED
The Malta Volunteer Defence Force must be subject to military law, the War Office said today. Responding to the Governor and C in C’s proposals for the new Force, military chiefs in London stressed that the Defence Force should form part of Armed Forces of the Crown. As such Defence Volunteers must be properly enrolled and subject to military law – but they need not be paid. The Governor can use legislation similar to the Emergency Powers enacted on the Home Front since 1939.
The War Office also proposed steps to ensure the treatment of Defence Volunteers as bona fide combatants – in view of the Governor’s concerns should they be captured as prisoners of war. To achieve this, Defence Volunteers will have to wear a visible and distinctive emblem, incapable of being removed and replaced at will. An arm-band stitched to a sleeve may not be sufficient. Steel helmets will have to be worn at all times and if possible service respirators. The War Office is looking into the possibility of providing these, as well as denim overalls as worn by the Home Guard in the UK for the Malta Volunteers.
URGENT PLEA FOR STORES AND SERVICES
The Governor and C in C wrote to the War Office today with urgent needs for supplies until reliable supply runs to Malta can be established:
- Engineer services: propose to hold locally six months reserve of important engineer stores plus two months’ working margin. Demands under preparation and will follow shortly to cover above plus estimated requirements six months consumption January to June 1941.
- Supply and transport services: in the case of food supplies recommend continuance of monthly demands based on six months reserves plus two months working margin, latter being limited by consideration of turnover and suitable storage.
- Medical services: propose maintain a definite six months reserve and continue half yearly demands in addition.
- Ordnance stores: if periodical demands are not still to be submitted, it is recommended that bulk demand be sent for twelve months requirements from 1 January and that store margin interim period be increased from six months to twelve months. Consider Ordnance motor transport stores and spares and clothing should come on twelve months maintenance period and dry cells six months.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 17 AUGUST TO DAWN 18 AUGUST 1940
Weather Fine and warm.
1519-1521 hrs Air raid alert; no raid materialised.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 17 AUGUST 1940
AIR HQ Arrivals 1 Blenheim. Of two Blenheims expected from UK one arrived safely and one force landed in Tunis due to lack of fuel. 1347-1517 hrs Skua of Fleet Air Arm reconnaissance Augusta and Syracuse.
KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT L/Cpl Brincat E Coy 1st Bn suffered gunshot wounds to hand and sent to Imtarfa Hospital.
ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS Bomb Disposal UXB 1 incendiary Tal Papa.
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