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RAF FACILITIES CANNOT MEET PRESENT DEMAND
Lack of facilities on Malta are restricting the effectiveness of air operations from the Island, according to a report to the British War Cabinet today. The comments came in a memorandum to the Cabinet by the Secretary of State for Air, in which he reported on the damage caused by RAF bombing operations over Axis targets. Introducing his report, the Secretary of State outlined the difficulty of obtaining accurate data, due to the understandable playing down of raid damage in the Axis press, combined with a tendency for RAF pilots to underestimate their success.
Referring to operations from Malta on Italian targets, he commented: “Several reports refer to the small amount of damage to Naples. But we have only carried out 14 sorties and dropped 13 tons of bombs on this city. The major difficulties of operating from Malta, with only one small aerodrome and an improvised maintenance service, have precluded a heavier scale of attack.”
From a close examination of all the evidence available on the results of RAF raids over both Germany and Italy, the Air Staff have concluded that the effect of British bombs on the enemy has been greater relatively to the size of the force at the country’s disposal than the results of German attacks on Britain.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 19 DECEMBER TO DAWN 20 DECEMBER 1940
Weather Very cold and wet.
0737 hrs Two mines reported at Paradise Bay are made safe.
1130-1150 hrs Air raid alert; raid does not materialise.
Military casualties Private Louis Gatt, King’s Own Malta Regiment; Corporal Charles Moxon, 2nd Bn The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment.
OPERATIONS REPORTS THURSDAY 19 DECEMBER 1940
ARMY HQ 0700 hrs Command exercise began.
2nd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT Command exercise dispositions: A Company two platoons St Andrew’s area and one platoon Tigne area; B Company (vulnerable points) guards at Cable & wireless, Gargur Battery, Mosta Fort, Mosta Fort Magazine, Muesum and Rabat stations, Dingli and Id Dweira, one platoon in reserve at Mosta Fort; C Company (anti-parachutists) Posts TV 1-8 manned, one platoon in reserve at Sherwood Camp; D Company (anti-parachutists) Posts PB 1-7 and IT 1-5 manned, one platoon in reserve at Gomerino; HQ Company defence of Bn HQ area. Telephone communications between vulnerable points and HQs are not considered satisfactory; direct communication is therefore essential.
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