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20 February 1941: Head of British Army Visits Malta

20 Feb

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CIGS Sir John Dill, February 1941

CIGS Sir John Dill, February 1941

CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF JOINED BY FOREIGN SECRETARY

The head of the British Army, Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) Sir John Dill paid a top secret visit to Malta. He arrived yesterday by Sunderland aircraft with British Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden.  The CIGS gave a short talk to officers at Australia Hall and toured as many military installations as possible during his brief stay on the Island.  Sir John Dill also held talks with the Governor and Commander in Chief which are likely to have focused on the increase in German forces in North Africa and the role of Malta in the security of the Mediterranean.

BRECONSHIRE AND CLAN MACAULAY SAIL FOR MIDDLE EAST 

The merchant ships Breconshire and Clan Macaulay which arrived in Malta in convoy MW 5½ left for the Middle East early this evening. They will make the crossing separately, escorted by HMS Havock and Hotspur respectively.  Breconshire is expected to join the main Mediterranean Fleet before detaching for the last leg of the journey to Alexandria. Clan Macaulay and escort will join with the anti-aircraft cruiser Coventry for the second part of her voyage.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 20 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 21 FEBRUARY 1941

Weather Fine; cloudy at times. Wind changed from north west to south east. 

1327-1335 hrs  Air raid alert for one enemy Heinkel 111 escorted by six ME 109 fighters which cross the north coast and circle the Island at great height. Hurricanes are scrambled and the raiders recede without launching any attack.

1658-1800 hrs  Air raid alert for six ME 109 fighters which approach and circle the Island; Hurricanes are airborne and no raid materializes.

OPERATIONS REPORTS THURSDAY 20 FEBRUARY 1941

ROYAL NAVY HMS Breconshire and HT Clan Macaulay sailed for Alexandria at dusk escorted by Hotspur and Havock.  These two destroyers have completed damage repairs and have been fitted with bow protection gear for use in special operations. 

AIR HQ  Departures 1 Sunderland. 0535-1558 hrs Sunderland reconnaissance of enemy shipping east of Aqtam.  Maryland photoreconnaissance of Taranto.  Maryland reconnaissance of Messina returned due to low clouds.  

KALAFRANA One Sunderland 10 Squadron left for Gibraltar and UK with passengers and mail.

LUQA 69 Squadron  One Maryland photoreconnaissance Taranto; one Maryland photoreconnaissance Straits of Messina prevented by low cloud.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB dealt with 4 (1 x 4.5” Ack Ack shell;1 x 43lb Italian; 1 x 200kg, 1 x 300kg German).

 

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Posted by on February 20, 2016 in 1941, February 1941

 

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