6 February 1941: Orders Issued to Prepare for Invasion

06 Feb

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In the light of recent evidence that the enemy has assembled parachutist troops and troop carrying planes, orders are being issued to troops to prepare for possible invasion. The infantry defences of the Island are divided into two brigade sectors: Northern and Southern Infantry Brigades.  The dividing line runs from Pieta through Attard and Siggiewi to the coast. 

In the event of an enemy landing, the use of light tanks, flame throwers, armoured cars, gas and dive bombing aircraft is believed highly probable. Troops are being issued with defensive equipment and trained in relevant procedures.

Flag signals over the Castile, Valletta

Flag signals over the Castile to call troops back from leave

A system of emergency recall for troops on leave or otherwise away from duty has now been introduced. On the relevant signal, those on the standard three days’ leave in the Valletta-Floriana area will report immediately to the commandant of the rest camp at Msida, who will organise such personnel into fighting bodies ready for orders.  The signals, to be shown from the Castille Tower only, are: by day two black balls vertically plus a flag; by night one red and one white light horizontally. 


Lt Gen Dobbie is concerned that the carefully planned system of rolling supplies, designed to ensure sufficient stocks in Malta, is at risk. He has written to the War Office, copy to the Commander in Chief Middle East, the Rear Admiral in charge of Alexandria and the Secretary of State for Colonies

“I request an immediate decision in regard to the source of supplies for Malta. The success of the current scheme is dependent on efficient co-ordination by staff for all the Island’s requirements.  Supplies of refrigerated products must be made by the specified dates if the stocks in Malta are to be maintained at the required level.  If this is not done, the rolling programme of convoys set up to keep the Island supplied will break down.”


Weather  Wet with strong north westerly wind; low cloud and poor visibility.

1801-1845 hrs  Air raid alert for three approaching enemy aircraft which cross the Island once or twice but drop no bombs.

1945-2045 hrs Air raid alert for three approaching enemy aircraft which fly over the Island in very bad weather. They drop bombs in countryside near Tarxien and in the sea off Kalafrana and Delimara causing no damage or casualties.


LUQA 69 Squadron  One Maryland sea patrol between Tripoli and Benghazi.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal  UXB dealt with 2 (3.7” Ack Ack shells).

8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT  Two defence posts evacuated for wire to be thickened and shrapnel mines laid in the area.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Defence of Harbour order issued to all concerned.   


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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in 1941, February 1941


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