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CARGO SHIP HIT
Malta’s first supply convoy was attacked today as it headed for the Island. Despite diversionary tactics by the Mediterranean Fleet covering the convoy, an Italian submarine reported the location of the convoy earlier today and an Italian fleet immediately put to sea. At noon five SM 79s launched a determined attack on the convoy, then six miles from Elephonisi Island, south of Crete. Destroyer Dainty escaped with a near miss but the refrigerated cargo ship Cornwall suffered three hits and was set on fire. With many dead still on board, her crew battled to control the flames repair damaged engines while Cornwall, listing badly, limped on to rejoin the convoy.
Later this afternoon, Admiral Cunningham steered the British fleet into another diversionary manoeuvre which was followed by seventeen Italian ships. Cunningham closed on the convoy to deter any night attack and a heavy storm overnight prevented any further enemy action.
8th BATTALION MANCHESTER REGIMENT DIGGING IN
The 8th Battalion is working to improve living conditions and prepare for winter. Nissen huts have been constructed at Ta Saliba and Battle Headquarters, floors have been concreted and old walls rebuilt. Rats, which have been a significant problem, have been either exterminated or excluded from troops’ quarters.
Defences have also been strengthened. The Tal Pwales Valley has been wired to prevent the landing of aircraft. At Ghain Tuffieha Camp, slit trenches and air raid shelters have been completed and fire trenches have been installed. Further slit trenches have been commenced at Ta Saliba. A dozen new defence posts are now ready for immediate occupation and new wiring is being installed round the sector.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 31 AUGUST TO DAWN 1 SEPTEMBER 1940
Weather Fine; cooler.
No air raids.
0920 hrs Six Wellington bombers arrive at Luqa.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 31 AUGUST 1940
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT 35 hens were bought and installed in a new sponsored poultry farm at Ta Saliba.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT The CO and Adjutant visited Nigret, Mqabba and Hal Far.
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