7 November 1940: Malta Has a Hard Road Ahead, Says Governor

07 Nov

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Lt Gen Sir William Dobbie

Lt Gen Sir William Dobbie

My dear Dillo

The bearer of this is Lt Colonel Ede, for many years the Defence Security Officer of Malta. I do not know whether you would like to see him for a moment – he has his finger on the pulse of Malta far more than anyone else, and he knows the underlying currents well – he might be able to give you an interesting view of Malta.  I have a very high opinion of him and confidence in him.

He has been eight years or so here, and the very satisfactory ‘security’ situation here is, in my judgment, entirely due to him…I will be very sorry to lose him here but he should have a change…his No 2 here is very good and I will be quite happy to have him as DSO.

Eden passed through yesterday and was here for a few hours. He seemed in good form – but a bit tired…

I am very happy about things in general, although I know that we have still a hard and rough road ahead of us. I feel that it would not take a great deal to get the Italians to quit.  I hope that before long we will be able to give them the necessary impulse which will upset their balance.  I am all in favour in the present circumstances of hitting them from Malta and from anywhere else we can.  But you will have heard that there are great technical difficulties in operating Wellingtons from here.  Our aerodromes are not big enough and there are other difficulties too.  I am told that it is Blenheims we ought to have. 

I entirely agree with the diversion of the battalion to Crete which was to have come here. I would be greatly surprised if the Italians were to stage a full dress attack here at present.  It seems to me that their hands are more than full elsewhere.  Of course I am very glad to have the additional battalion which arrived this weekend, and the 25 pounders and tanks.  As you know this is not a tank country, but we will prepare certain point to point courses, likely to meet the most suitable tactical requirements and so we will get the best use of them, should the need arise.

I feel that it is the Navy which is bearing the greatest burden at the moment. It is greatly stretched, and it has felt the loss of the French fleet and harbours very much – but it is doing magnificently.

I hope you will pay a visit to the Mediterranean some time, if you do, you must come through Malta and you will receive a very warm and personal welcome from my wife and me. I pray for you, that God will give you the wisdom and support you need, I am sure he will.  “Trust in God and keep your powder dry” (Cromwell).

W G S Dobbie, Governor & Commander in Chief, Malta


Weather  Fine.

No air raids.


KALAFRANA  Latecoere on 5½ hour patrol over Italy was attacked by enemy aircraft but took evasive action.

1st Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT  Practice firing of anti-tank rifle with full charge ammunition at Mayesa Range.

8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT  2 NCOs and 12 men D Coy reported to the RASC for a period of tests carried out with petrol bombs.

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS  Royal Artillery and infantry brigades to supply lists of all units and give positions to enable an inspection programme to be drawn up.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Reconnaissance of Tal Handaq for possible counter-attack.

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


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