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18 February 1941: Malta Fleet Cleared to Launch Attacks in Med

18 Feb

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Aircraft, ships and submarines cleared to attack Axis shipping

Aircraft, ships and submarines cleared to attack Axis shipping

ADMIRALTY ISSUES PERMISSION TO ATTACK AXIS SHIPPING

The Admiralty has issued a navigational warning to all Allied fleet commanders, including Vice Admiral Malta, declaring dangerous to shipping a large defined area between Italy, Benghazi, Tunisia and Sardinia. Within the given area surface vessels, submarines and aircraft may attack any vessels at sight, except French coastal traffic.  The same measures apply to areas of the Adriatic within 30 miles of Italian and Italian occupied territory, with exceptions for certain Yugoslav vessels.

REINFORCEMENTS ON THE WAY

Troops for Malta including the first reinforcements of 4th Battalion the Buffs are being despatched to Malta in convoy WS7, the Governor and Commander in Chief was informed today.  They are expected to arrive in early June.

MEASURES IN PLACE FOR SIREN FAILURE

A press release from the Lt Governor’s office today informs the public that if, at any time, the electric air raid alert sirens fail to function, the air raid warning will be given by the firing of three maroons or petards in succession, accompanied where appropriate by the sounding of hand sirens. (1)

AIR RAIDS DAWN 18 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 19 FEBRUARY 1941

Weather  Fine.

1132-1220 hrs  Air raid alert for twelve ME 109 fighters which approach the Island in a single formation at 25000 feet. On reaching the coast they split into three formations.  Eight Hurricane fighters are scrambled and maintain heights from 10-15000 feet, monitoring the raiders.  They engage a group of the raiders over Falka Gap.  After circling over the Island for 30 minutes the Messerschmitts make off northwards.

1910-1926 hrs  Air raid alert for two enemy aircraft which approach the Island and drop parachute flares 15 miles off the coast. They do not cross the coast and no raid materialises.

0610-0637 hrs  Air raid alert for a small formation of enemy aircraft approaching the Island; no raid materialises.

OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 18 FEBRUARY 1941

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 1; dealt with 2 (1 x 500kg, 1 x 1000kg German).

(1) Malta Diary of A War, Michael Galea, Peg 1992

 

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Posted by on February 18, 2016 in 1941, February 1941

 

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