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30 May 1941: Malta Telephones & Telegrams Under Strain

30 May

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Fortress telephone exchange overloaded

Fortress telephone exchange overloaded

FORTRESS TELEPHONE EXCHANGE OVERLOADED

Troops have been informed that telephone calls must be restricted in order to reduce congestion of the Fortress Telephone Exchange. The measure has been introduced following damage to several cables in recent raids which have put communications under a severe strain. 

Troops have been told to make very effort to keep calls as short as possible; any lasting more than five minutes will be disconnected. A random listening check is also being undertaken and any calls considered unnecessary or in excess of five minutes will be brought to the attention of the General Officer Commanding.  Persistent offenders will have their telephones removed.

MALTA TELEGRAM SERVICE UNSATISFACTORY

The present system of private telegrams through Cable and Wireless to and from troops in Malta is unsatisfactory, according to the Island’s Governor and Commander in Chief. In a message to the War Office today, he points out that it is now undesirable to divulge the names of units in Malta.  However, he believes that sending telegrams by cable instead of wireless telegraph will further increase the delay in transmission of messages, which is already the subject of some discontent among the Island’s troops.

Lt General Dobbie has requested that, in future, all cables should be sent by wireless telegraph. In addition, he proposes the address should include minimal information: for Other Ranks only the army number, rank and name or, for officers, the rank, name and initials, plus the single word Malta as the address.  Arrangements will be made for sorting and forwarding to the correct recipient.  Once confirmed, the instructions should be broadcast in a suitable form via the BBC in London.

EXTRA MILITARY VEHICLES ON THEIR WAY TO MALTA

14 motor cycles; 52 cars (2-seater) including 43 utility and 5 standard; 35 lorries 3-ton; 12 lorries 30 cwt; 13 ambulances; 5 vans 15 cwt; one petrol tanker; eight lorries 3 ton with seats (in lieu of eight motor coaches); two trailers; also spare parts. These now complete the establishment for Malta, with reserves. 

AIR RAIDS DAWN 30 MAY TO DAWN 31 MAY 1941

Weather  Fine and warm. 

2143-2214 hrs  Air raid alert for three enemy aircraft which approach Grand Harbour from the north east but are turned away by a barrage from anti-aircraft guns, two raiders dropping their bombs in the sea.

OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 30 MAY 1941

AIR HQ  Departures  8 Beaufighter. Remainder of 252 Squadron left for UK.  69 Squadron  Maryland patrol of eastern Tunisian coast; convoy not identified due to a mishap in the aircraft which went out of control over the target.  2 Marylands reconnaissance Malta to Greek coast for enemy naval movements.  Maryland reconnaissance Tripoli approaches for enemy shipping. 82 Squadron On information that Italian merchant vessel Florida previously attacked and damaged had been towed out of Sfax Harbour, three Blenheims despatched to attack and dropped 4 x 250lb bombs, scoring near-misses with delayed action bombs.      

LUQA  Eight Beaufighters left for Middle East, the other two remaining for repairs.

1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT  Advance party left for Gozo AM; platoon includes one section of A Company and one section of D Company.

 

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Posted by on May 30, 2016 in 1941, May 1941

 

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