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The Chief of Imperial General Staff in London has written personally to Malta’s Governor and Commander in Chief praising the efforts of the Royal Malta Artillery in Saturday’s attack on Grand Harbour by Italian combat boats:
“Please convey my congratulations to all ranks of the Royal Malta Artillery manning fixed defences on their great success in breaking up the determined enemy sea-borne attack on Grand Harbour. The action of these gunners has excited universal admiration here in the United Kingdom. The skill and determination shown by them will act as a strong deterrent to future enemy attacks by sea.”
Lt Gen Dobbie replied immediately:
“Your message to the Royal Malta Artillery is greatly appreciated by all ranks. It was a really good show and I agree will discourage future [enemy] efforts.”
In a separate communique today, the War Office asked for further details of the methods used by the Harbour Fire Command against the Italian raid for the benefit of Allied commands in other theatres of war:
“Request details of recent successful action by twin 6 pounders against E boats and submarines. Details such as the warning obtained, the ranges at which the enemy were engaged, the effectiveness of coastal artillery searchlights if used, the effectiveness of the distribution of fire scheme, any lessons learned from the action in the employment of the 6 pounder twin will be most useful as no practical experience in Motor Torpedo Boat defence has been gained in this country or other commands abroad.”
GOVERNER & COMMANDER IN CHIEF DEFENDS ROYAL ENGINEERS ESTABLISHMENT
Lt General Dobbie has strongly resisted a suggestion by the War Office in London that the establishment of the Royal Engineers in Malta could be reduced.
Fortress Royal Engineers units in Malta currently comprise 24 Fortress Company RE, 173 Tunnelling Company RE, RE Bomb Disposal, and two Works Companies RE Malta Territorial Force. The total establishment is 26 officers, 34 WOs/sergeants and 914 rank and file. The units are responsible for military and defence construction, engineering and repair projects as well as providing manpower for infantry duties. The Royal Engineers bomb disposal unit also deals with all unexploded bombs across Malta and Gozo outside of the boundaries of RAF airfields and the Royal Navy dockyard. In a concise response to London today, General Dobbie wrote: “No possibility of disbandment of any unit can be foreseen.”
AIR RAIDS DAWN 29 JULY TO DAWN 30 JULY 1941
Weather Sunny and hot.
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 29 JULY 1941
AIR HQ Departures 1 Sunderland. 69 Squadron Marylands reconnaissance Sicily and Tripoli.
TA QALI New Armoury taken over.
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