7 October 1940: Rome Radio Makes False Claims Over Malta

07 Oct

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Malta railway Valletta - the tunnel is now an air raid shelter

Malta railway Valletta – the tunnel is now an air raid shelter

The Italian media has been monitored making false claims of shooting down two Malta aircraft. The claims appear to relate to an air raid last Friday morning during which there was a dogfight over Mellieha Bay. The communique from Rome released yesterday states: “During an offensive reconnaissance over Malta an air battle occurred in which our fighters shot down a British Gloucester and probably a Hurricane. One of our machines is missing.”

Friday’s raid involved some 25 Macchi 200 fighters which approached the Island at 17000 feet. Three Hurricanes and three Gladiators were scrambled to intercept and engaged the raiders in a fierce dog fight during which one of the Italian Macchi’s was seen ditching in the sea. A second was considered too badly damaged to complete the journey back to Sicily. All of the Malta fighters returned safely to base.

This is not the first time the Italian media has made exaggerated claims of successes over Malta. In August Italian radio claimed that Regia Aeronautica bombers had destroyed the Island’s railway and which has been non-existent for over ten years.


Weather  Fine.

No air raids.


ROYAL NAVY  0334-0550 hrs Swordfish 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm (FAA) sighted three enemy destroyers at 0418 hrs heading for Syracuse. Wireless silence broken to report presence but message not received until too late to send striking force. 0336-0712 hrs Swordfish 830 Squadron FAA on reconnaissance; nil report. 0345-0815 hrs Glen Martin 431 Flight on reconnaissance; nil report.    

KALAFRANA  Operations by Sunderland aircraft of 228 and 230 squadrons.

8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT  E Company now has five officers and 126 other ranks. The 6 pounder anti-tank gun crew from D Coy fired and the standard of shooting was excellent.

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Posted by on October 7, 2015 in 1940, October 1940


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4 responses to “7 October 1940: Rome Radio Makes False Claims Over Malta

  1. Paul

    October 8, 2015 at 3:08 am

    Photo of a Glen Martin (Maryland) in Malta:

    Re Glen Martin aircraft: “Many of the aircraft were shipped to Egypt and Malta (…) The RAF used the aircraft to some effect for photo-reconnaissance operations in North and Eastern Africa, sometimes as a bomber, being faster and better armed than the Bristol Blenheim, but since it was a “rare bird”, its role was mainly reconnaissance missions, often flown over the most important Italian targets. A Maryland bomber was the aircraft sent to gather photographs of the Italian fleet before and after the Battle of Taranto on 11 November 1940. The pilot of that Maryland was the famous ace Adrian Warburton, who scored his five confirmed kills with the Maryland’s forward-firing guns – the only person ever to achieve ace status in a bomber type.” (Wikipedia)

    • Pierre Lagacé

      October 13, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for this information Paul.

  2. Pierre Lagacé

    October 13, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    A documentary here…

    Part 1

  3. Paul

    October 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Pierre… I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who cares about these things 🙂 Many thanks for the documentary… I had read in passing about Warburton’s feats, but I was unaware he had “disappeared”, although I’m not surprised. since he seemed to be a rather reckless pilot (there is a fine line between “daring and courageous” and “reckless and irresponsible”, specially if you’re a pilot). No offense intented whatsoever to Warburton’s memory, of course. He was a legend in his own time for a reason and without a doubt he made a significant contribution to Allied victory, paying the ultimate price for his bravery, so he has my unreserved respect and gratitude. I look forward to watch the documentary later today. (and yes, his downfall may have had nothing to do with “recklessness” after all…) Thanks for sharing!


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