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MALTA STRONGER THAN EVER SAYS TIMES OF LONDON
In a special feature article the Times Naval Correspondent writes in positive terms about the Island’s prospects:
“Malta as a fortress is, perhaps, stronger than it ever was, and it would be a bold enemy who would attempt its reduction and capture. But it is one of the most thickly populated places in the world, and thus an attractive target to an enemy who counts terrorism among his weapons…Malta stands or falls by sea power, and the spirit of its people, while Britain holds command of the sea, the prowess of the garrison on land and the staunchness of the people are assured of constant support, which is all they need to beat off any foe.” (1)
AIR RAIDS DAWN 27 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 28 SEPTEMBER 1940
Weather Fine, with some cloud.
1030-1100 hrs Three Blenheim and three Wellington bombers land at Luqa.
1701-1723 hrs Air raid alert for two enemy formations, one of six SM79s and one of three SM79s, all accompanied by 12 to 15 fighters, which approach at 17000 feet from the north over Madliena and bomb the Hal Far and Luqa areas. There are three direct hits on hangars and buildings at Luqa; incendiary bombs cause several fires. Twelve bombs land on the runways but do not hold up operations. One Hurricane awaiting repair is written off; one unserviceable Glen Martin is damaged by an incendiary. Sandbag pens prevent serious damage to other aircraft. One unexploded bomb is removed. Malta fighters are scrambled and engage, along with anti-aircraft guns. One enemy CR42 fighter is reported shot down by fighters, the baling out 150 degrees from Delimara. The RAF set out in a boat to search. Two SM79 bombers hit by Ack Ack fire are not expected to reach base. The tailfin of one Hurricane is also damaged in combat.
Four enemy submarines are reported by a flying boat 20 miles south of Delimara, steering east. Voyager, Jade and Beryl carry out a search without any result.
OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 1940
ROYAL NAVY Rorqual returned with a defect.
AIR HQ Departures 1 Sunderland. Aircraft casualties 1 Sunderland.
KALAFRANA One Sunderland left for Middle East. One Sunderland sent out to search for a Blenheim was forced to land in the sea off Sicily. No trace has been found.
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT Exercise No 1 Anti-Parachutist Scheme. This month the unit has been constructing winter quarters and anti-parachutist posts. The unit has sent parties to Strickland House to assist in the removal of petrol stores. Training has consisted of platoon training, foot drill and weapon training. Living conditions have been improved, with concerts and outdoor sports. Food has greatly improved and the arrival of mail appreciated by all.
(1) Malta Diary of a War, Michael Galea, PEG 1992
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