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9 April 1941: Malta Needs More Early Warning Monitors

09 Apr

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GL system 504 AMES at Dingli

GL system 504 AMES at Dingli

MANPOWER NEEDED URGENTLY TO PREVENT SYSTEM BREAKDOWN

Malta’s early warning systems are barely able to cope in the face of the constant threat of air raids as well as expected enemy airborne invasion from the air. Success so far against enemy raiders has depended on the effectiveness of the systems in spotting approaching aircraft well in advance of their arrival over Malta. 

Nine Gun Layer (GL) sets (1) are now in constant use across the Island.  With only a single Armament Artificer (Wireless) to manage repairs across all nine sets, there is a real risk of breakdown which would seriously compromise the Malta’s defences.

The Governor and Commander in Chief has written today to the War Office requesting immediate despatch of a second qualified Armament Artificer or tradesman trained and experienced in the repair of G/L sets. More manpower is also required for nine more GL units which are due to arrive in Malta very soon to extend the early warning system.

WAR OFFICE APPROVES ADDITIONAL MEDICAL UNITS FOR MALTA

The War Office has approved a substantial increase in Services medical units for Malta. The additional resources were advocated strongly by the Island’s Governor and Commander in Chief some months ago but his recommendations faced some resistance from London (maltagc70 2 March 1941).

New units now approvied include a medical directorate, one 1200 bed hospital (to be designated No 90) and one 600 bed general hospital (designated No 45), No’s 161 and 15 Field Ambulances, No 57 Field Hygiene Section, one convalescent depot and one advanced depot medical stores.

The units will be on standard war establishments but will have some personnel replaced by Malta auxiliaries and VADs. In addition to the above units there will be first aid posts, a command medical store, reception block and staff for the families hospital.

MAILS SENT TO MALTA

Following recent controversy over troops’ mail, the War Office has sent details of mail bags shipped for Malta since December (not including parcel post):

  • December civil 453, military 110
  • January civil 91, military 100
  • February civil 404, military 114
  • March civil 153, military 113

AIR RAIDS DAWN 9 APRIL TO DAWN 10 APRIL 1941

Weather  Fine.  

1027-1048 hrs  Air raid alert for a single JU 88 which approaches the Island but does not cross the coast.

Military casualties  Gunner George William Butterfield, 17 Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery; Flight Sergeant Philip Cramp, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 148 Squadron; Sergeant Joseph Edward Sellors, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 148 Squadron.

Civilian casualties  Ghaxaq  Carmela Dimech.

OPERATIONS REPORTS WEDNESDAY 9 APRIL 1941

ROYAL NAVY  As a result of information of the movement of German troop and supply convoys sailing for Tripoli, all available submarines were sailed to take up positions on the convoy route between Cape Bon, Kuriat, Kerkenah, Tripoli.

AIR HQ 69 Squadron Maryland reconnaissance eastern Tunisian coast for enemy shipping.  

NORTHERN INFANTRY BRIGADE  A Brigade exercise was postponed as there was a danger of crops being damaged after the heavy rain.

MALTA SIGNALS COMPANY Classification of Signallers of 2nd Bn Royal West Kent Regiment (passed 10, failed 1).

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS  31 other ranks from Gzira have fired LMG course and 12 other ranks from Ospizio have fired VMG course.

2nd Bn ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS  A distinguished personage visited the area with the General Officer Commanding.

(1) An early form of RADAR: a Transportable Radio Unit (TUR) using a 105ft portable tower to support a transmitting antenna and two receiving antennas

 

All written content © maltagc70 unless otherwise attributed. For conditions of use contact bdmalta@btinternet.com

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Posted by on April 9, 2016 in 1941, April 1941

 

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