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OPERATION ‘EXCESS’ GETS UNDERWAY WITH STEALTH MANOEUVRE
Allied Naval Commanders are adopting new tactics to bring the latest convoy safely through the western Mediterranean to Malta. In a carefully planned move, four merchant ships escorted by cruiser Bonaventure and four destroyers left Gibraltar before dark this evening and sailed westward from Gibraltar, clearly heading towards the Atlantic.
Then under cover of darkness the four merchantmen reversed course and passed back through the Straits of Gibraltar, where Force H, including battlecruiser Renown, battleship Malaya, carrier Ark Royal, cruiser Sheffield and eight destroyers lay ready to escort them towards Malta.
In a companion move, cruisers Gloucester and Southampton loaded with Army and RAF personnel for Malta sailed from Alexandria today with destroyers Ilex and Janus. Personnel embarked include: 12 Ack Ack Defence HQ officers 2, other ranks 7; 12 Ack Ack gun operation room officers 7, other ranks 12; 484 Searchlight Battery Royal Artillery officer 9, other ranks 322; RAPC officers 3; RAMC officer 1; Ad Corps officers 2, other ranks 1.
ROME RADIO FALSE CLAIMS
Rome radio today reported that Malta was attacked last night. Yet no enemy aircraft have approached the Island during the past 24 hours.
ALLIES DROP PROPOGANDA LEAFLET
Allied aircraft today dropped leaflets onto areas where Italian soldiers are stationed giving details of recent RAF operations in Libya, with the intention of terrorising them into ceasing to fight. Allied propaganda leaflets also emphasise the ideological purpose of British soldiers who are guided by the love of freedom and the right of the oppressed peoples.
MALTA SIGNAL COMPANY OPERATIONAL
The Governor and Commander in Chief today reported that the officer establishment of the Malta Signal Company is now up to basic strength. Communications are now operational with 50 lines of multi-phone for Ack Ack searchlights and gunlayer sets. However, the unit requires three more NCOs and two other ranks to reach full potential. He has asked the War Office for clearance to enlist British ex-servicemen or Maltese to fill the posts.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 6 JANUARY TO DAWN 7 JANUARY 1941
Weather Rain and strong winds.
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 6 JANUARY 1941
ROYAL NAVY Unique arrived to join First Submarine Flotilla.
AIR HQ 0615-1055 hrs Glenn Martin photo reconnaissance for enemy shipping. Naples from 6000 ft: two battleships, one cruiser in dry dock; three destroyers, two merchant vessels 12000 tons, 18 merchant vessels to 8000 tons, 20 merchant vessels 2-4500 tons. Intense but inaccurate Ack Ack; no aircraft. Palermo: two 6in cruisers, two destroyers, four merchant vessels 5000 tons, five of 2000 tons. Light inaccurate Ack ack; no aircraft. 0614-1059 hrs Glenn Martin photo reconnaissance Tripoli harbour: five possibly six destroyers, four of which lying alongside large merchant vessels north and centre of harbour; two auxiliaries, four merchant vessels 10000 tons, four of 6000 tons, 14 small merchant vessels, 20 barges, three seaplanes. Intense, fairly accurate Ack Ack. 9000 pamphlets of Churchill’s speech dropped over Tripoli. Pantelleria not photographed owing to heavy low cloud over the Island. Operations by Wellingtons: 148 Squadron against Tripoli.
LUQA 431 Flight: 1 Maryland reconnaissance Palermo and Naples; 1 Maryland reconnaissance Tripoli – pamphlets dropped. 148 Squadron: 6 Wellingtons bombing raid on Tripoli.
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT A raft, possibly from Hyperion, was found near a coastal defence post.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT General Donovan, US Army, toured posts. Billets taken over at Rinella for Nos 16 and 18 Platoons.
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