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GERMAN AIR FORCES IN MEDITERRANEAN 518 STRONG
Report to the War Cabinet today from Commander in Chief Middle East:
The Italian air threat to Cyrenaica is at present almost negligible. On the other hand the Germans are already well established in the central Mediterranean and have now available for operations against Malta, sea communications, Cyrenaica, and for defence of their convoys and Tripolitania approximately 170 bombers, 90 dive-bombers, 60 fighters, 18 reconnaissance aircraft and 180 transport aircraft. These strengths can and are likely to be increased. From bases in both Tripolitania and Sicily heavy scale air attacks are being carried out on the Allies in Cyrenaica and mine-laying on ports, especially Tobruk, is a particular menace. In view of other commitments our own air forces are not likely to exceed one fighter squadron, one medium bomber squadron and one army co-operation squadron, although bombing effort will be augmented periodically by heavy bombers working from Malta and Cycrenaica.
MALTA RATIONING SCHEME BEGINS WITH SUGAR, COFFEE, SOAP AND MATCHES
Malta’s new rationing scheme comes into operation today. Ration cards have been distributed to families and commodity issue dates will be 6th and 21st of each month. Sugar, coffee, soap and matches are now strictly rationed. More items will be gradually added to the list of rationed goods.
The sugar is one rotolo per person. Allowances for the other three products will be allotted households on a tapering scale as it is considered that “large households need less of these commodities in proportion to the number of persons, than small houses”. The allowances will be as follows:
- Matches (box): family up to five 4, family of six plus 6.
- Soap (bar): single person 1; family up to four 2, family of five plus 3.
- Coffee: family up to four ¼ rotolo; family of four to five ½ rotolo; family of five plus ¾ rotolo. (1)
AIR RAIDS DAWN 7 APRIL TO DAWN 8 APRIL 1941
Weather Fine at first; very wet evening and night.
1304-1317 hrs Air raid alert for one JU 88 which passes over the Island towards Hal Far but drops no bombs. Two Hurricanes are scrambled; no interception.
OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 7 APRIL 1941
AIR HQ Arrivals 7 Wellington; 4 Bombay. 69 Squadron Maryland reconnaissance eastern Tunisian coast for enemy shipping; nil report on account of bad weather. Maryland despatched for photo-reconnaissance of Tripoli is unable to reach its objective on account of bad weather and fighter patrol; reported on merchant convoys at sea. Maryland reconnaissance for shipping to the east of Sicily.
KALAFRANA Sunderland arrived from Greece with distinguished passengers.
2nd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT 28 conscripts joined the Battalion.
MALTA SIGNALS COMPANY Funeral of L/Cpl E W Page at Military Cemetry, Imtarfa.
(1) When Malta Stood Alone, Joseph Micallef, Interprint 1981
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