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ITALIAN TORPEDO BOAT OFF ST PAUL’S BAY
At dawn this morning coastal defences reported an unidentified vessel approaching St Paul’s Bay. Alerted to the boat’s presence by the noise of engines’ sentries raised the alarm. The vessel was identified as a motor torpedo boat (MTB)– a fast, manoeuvrable vessel capable of stealth night attack as it produces little wake. Information was passed to shore batteries along the north east coast and to the Royal Navy. Guns from Fort Campbell and Fort Magdalena opened fire and the vessel was also pursued and attacked by HMS Beryl. The MTB made off at high speed without sustaining damage.
Two hours later at 0800 hrs an Italian U boat was reported north east of the Island. Beryl made contact again, attacking with depth charges. Beryl reported the submarine as having been sunk by the attacks and bottomed on Ball Bank. However, drifters later swept the position, and two depth charges were dropped where the sweep parted, but with no visible result.
ITALY ADMITS LOSSES
Italian radio today admitted that three of their aircraft were brought down by Malta’s defences in air raids yesterday.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 3 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 4 SEPTEMBER 1940
0605 hrs Three Sunderland flying boats are airborne to investigate possible enemy Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) offshore reported 0500 hrs. A battle develops out at sea opposite Grand Harbour. Fort Madliena is placed on alert.
0615 hrs An enemy MTB is spotted offshore; Forts Campbell and Madliena batteries open fire. Fort Campbell fires sixteen rounds. Fort Tigne also fires two rounds. The vessel disappears.
1008-1023 hrs Air raid alert. Aircraft are heard approaching Grand Harbour from the north, then turn east without crossing the Island. Four Hurricanes and three Gladiators are scrambled; no interception due to poor visibility caused by heavy haze.
OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 1940
ROYAL NAVY Force P sailed for Gibraltar: Garland, Gallant, Griffin, Greyhound and Hotspur.
AIR HQ Departures 1 Sunderland. Aircraft casualties Two Wellingtons crash during take-off. Anti-submarine patrol by two Swordfish; nil report.
KALAFRANA Three Sunderlands on patrol; one returned to Alexandria.
3rd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT Five recruits enlised.
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT Night mobile reserve at D Company was partially put into operation in connection with the arrival of the convoy. A large amount of mail arrived; most of the letters had been addressed to the BEF in France.
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