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ENEMY STARVED OF SUPPLIES FOR NORTH AFRICA CAMPAIGN
The ongoing success of aircraft and submarine attacks launched from Malta against Axis supply convoys is starving the enemy campaign in North Africa of troops, equipment and food. According to the Italian foreign secretary Count Galeazzo Ciano: “The supplies…are becoming more and more difficult. Only twenty per cent of the material set aside for September has been shipped and delivered.” (1)
Attacks from Malta on targets in southern Italy and Sicily are also having an impact, according to Italian news bulletins:
4 October “British aircraft attacked Catanzaro Marina in southern Italy in daylight yesterday dropping a certain number of bombs and hitting the railway station and some residential dwellings. Two people were killed and twelve injured among the civilian population. Some railway lines were damaged.”
6 October “Yesterday afternoon British planes were over the town of Catania and dropped a certain number of incendiary bombs and [high] explosive bombs of small calibre. The bombs caused some damage and killed four civilians. An enemy bomber and a fighter were shot down by anti-aircraft guns and fighters respectively.”
AIR RAIDS DAWN 6 OCTOBER TO DAWN 7 OCTOBER 1941
Weather Fine and cool.
1946-1957 hrs Air raid alert for a single enemy aircraft which approaches the Island but turns away before reaching the coast.
OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 6 OCTOBER 1941
ROYAL NAVY Ursula returned from patrol south of Messina. Trento and seven destroyers passed north through the Straits out of range, but an enemy report broadcast was never received. Sokol returned having failed to locate a missing Blenheim crew.
AIR HQ Arrivals 1 Beaufighter, 13 Blenheim, 1 Sunderland, 2 Wellington. Departures 1 Wellington. 38 Squadron 8 Wellingtons attacked shipping in Tripoli Harbour. 69 Squadron 4 Maryland special patrols. 107 Squadron 1 Blenheim searched for the dinghy of Sgt Hamlyn and crew. 4 Blenheims shipping sweep over Gulf of Syria. Fleet Air Arm 2 Fulmars on offensive patrol over aerodromes in Sicily dropped high explosive bombs on hangars and a slipway at Marsala and incendiaries on Licata, plus high explosive bombs and incendiaries on Gerbini dispersal area.
1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT C Company carried out firing practice with Vickers guns from beach pill boxes at towed targets; results highly successful.
1st Bn HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT ‘Stand to’ periods for static companies at 0500 hrs and 1730 hrs.
11th Bn LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS A mine was reported onshore near a beach defence post and reported to the Royal Navy who removed it.
2nd Bn ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS Two detachments gained 1st and 2nd places in an inter-battalion firing competition.
(1) Siege Malta, Ernle Bradford, Pen & Sword 2003
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