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CHESHIRES TO PROVIDE MOBILE MACHINE-GUN COMPANY
A mobile machine-gun company is being set up ready to tackle enemy troops invading the Island. Their task will be to put a ‘stop’ in the event of the enemy gaining a footing on the Island, or to support a counter attack to drive the enemy into the sea.
1st Bn Cheshire Regiment have been detailed to provide manpower for the company, in addition to their existing role in the defence of the harbour and close-down of Valletta. The machine-gun company will be part of the new anti-invasion Fortress Reserve and will be mobilised on receipt of orders from Fortress HQ. On receipt of the code word ‘Libya’, personnel and equipment will be despatched by motor transport to the machine-gun company rendezvous as quickly as possible.
The Fortress Reserve also includes one troop of two ‘I’ tanks and one light tank at Marsa and the same at Birkirkara. They also form part of the defences of Luqa, Ta Qali and Hal Far aerodromes, and Kirkop landing strip, and work alongside Reserve Battalions from the Northern and Southern Infantry Brigades.
LONG GRASS AND THISTLES TO BE CUT
Long grass and thistles close to military sites across Malta are to be cut back. The measure is to reduce the risk of fire spreading and causing damage to key facilities.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 29 MAY TO DAWN 30 MAY 1941
1032-1055 hrs Air raid alert for a single JU 88 bomber escorted by 20 ME 109s which carries out reconnaissance at high altitude over the Island, passing over Luqa and Naxxar. Anti-aircraft guns engage and destroy the JU 88.
0259-0436 hrs Air raid alert for five enemy aircraft which approach the Island individually from the north east. Four turn drop bombs in the sea to the north then turn back before reaching the coast. One crosses the coast and drops bombs on fields the Grand Harbour area. No anti-aircraft guns engage and no Hurricane fighters are scrambled.
OPERATIONS REPORTS THURSDAY 29 MAY 1941
AIR HQ Arrivals 10 Beaufighter. 69 Squadron Maryland reconnaissance southern part of eastern Tunisian coast. 2 Marylands reconnaissance Greek coast report enemy ship movements. Maryland reconnaissance of shipping route to east of Malta.
LUQA Ten Beaufighters arrived from Gibraltar.
1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT Mobile Company on reconnaissance. A party is to be sent to Gozo again including one platoon of unit.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 0; dealt with 2 (2 x incendiary).
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT D Company embarked to “Gozo Training Camp”.
2nd Bn ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS The pipers played “Retreat” at Church Square, Mellieha.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT A Company embarks for ‘Gozo Training Camp’. E Company takes over mobile company duties at Luqa.
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