4 August 1941: Rationing Extended Despite Convoy Supplies

04 Aug

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Unexploded shell: handle with care

Unexploded shells must be handled with care


Malta is facing another belt-tightening round of cuts to food rations. The move follows the recent controversial measure to introduce 20-30% of potato into the contents of bread – the mainstay of the Maltese diet.  The change has radically altered the much-loved crunchy and wholesome character of the Maltese loaf.

It has now been announced that olive oil – the other key element of the Maltese diet – is to be rationed, along with margarine and lard. The new restrictions are expected to come into force by the middle of August, along with rationing of the essential domestic fuel, kerosene.

The bread situation is unlikely to improve: this year’s harvest has been brought in but the grain is rapidly being used up. Future harvests are now under serious threat from the damage by incendiaries and high explosive bombs.

With over 25000 troops now on the Island demand for food and fuel has significantly increased. Supplies delivered by the convoy of 24 July are enough to sustain the Island for three months.  However, transportable supplies such as tinned food are no substitute for the Maltese staple diet of bread and olive oil.


Aeroplanes fire small shells and explosive bullets; these are dangerous if they miss their target and fall to earth without exploding. They must be handled with great care.  They will usually be found singly and should be removed to a suitable place and reported in the same way as for unexploded bombs.  The procedure for moving is as follows:

  • Pick up by hand by the middle
  • Carry in a horizontal position
  • Place in a bucket or box on 3in sand or earth and cover with 3in sand
  • Place in a hole in the ground 3in x 1ft x 1ft or a suitable place below ground level and cover gently with sandbags

Don’ts to be remembered:

  • Don’t put more than two shells or bullets in one receptacle to carry, and separate them by cotton wool or sand
  • Don’t jolt them or change direction suddenly
  • Don’t repeat don’t drop them.


Weather  Sunny and hot.

No air raids.

1205-1235 hrs  Air raid alert for three Macchi 200 fighters which approach to within a few miles of Grand Harbour at 25000 feet. Hurricanes are scrambled and the raiders retire before they can be engaged.


ROYAL NAVY  Unique arrived from patrol south of Messina, having wrecked two trains.

AIR HQ  Departures 2 Beaufighter, 1 Sunderland. 69 Squadron Four strike force patrols by Marylands.  Photo-reconnaissance Comiso aerodrome, Tripoi and Misurata.  105 Squadron  2 Blenheims sent to attack a merchant ship north of Misurata attacked a schooner leaving the vessel damaged.  

HAL FAR  830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 3 Swordfish special westerly search for an enemy submarine seen earlier by a Maryland.

1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT  The second batch of RAF personnel reported for training in rifle use.

1st Bn HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT  Battalion in Gozo.


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Posted by on August 4, 2016 in 1941, August 1941


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