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11 September 1940: Dive Bombing Shows Malta Needs More Guns

11 Sep

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DIVE BOMBING ATTACKS SHOW NEED FOR MORE GUNS TO DEFEND MALTA

Malta needs more guns if the fortress is to survive, according to the Governor and Commander in Chief. Recent dive-bombing attacks by German Junkers JU 87s have shown the Island to be vulnerable. While Lt Gen Dobbie believes that 112 Heavy Anti-Aircraft guns currently planned would give sufficient protection against enemy formations heading for key targets such as the Dockyard, aerodromes and sea plane bases, recent low-level attacks have exposed a weakness in local defences. He proposes a further 32 Light Ack Ack guns in addition to the 60 currently on order, as well as an extra 24 searchlights and sound locators to support all the new artillery.

Skua operating on reconnaissance from Malta

Skua operating on reconnaissance from Malta

The Governor and C in C estimates that the Island needs six Heavy Ack Ack batteries and two Light Batteries, to make up a total of 248 Heavy and 22 Light guns to defend the Island. Manpower for 16 heavy and 20 light guns could be recruited in Malta, the balance would have to come from the UK. He proposes a new Royal Artillery structure of two battalions, in addition to two battalions of the Royal Malta Artillery.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 11 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 12 SEPTEMBER 1940

Weather  Thundery showers with bright intervals; much cooler.

0500 hrs  Air raid alert triggered by return of friendly aircraft.

OPERATIONS REPORTS WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 1940

AIR HQ 1039-1329 hrs Reconnaissance by Skua east coast of Sicily reported destroyer outside Messina Straits, one destroyer and two merchant ships at Augusta and small craft at Syracuse.

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Posted by on September 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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