8 November 1941: Malta Faces Shortage of Ammunition Supplies

08 Nov

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From: Governor & C in C Malta                 To: The War Office                19042 cipher 8/11. Your (SD12) 6/11)

“150 Bren LMG and 150,000 rounds .303 are being withdrawn from units for issue to Lt. Col. Ede as ordered. This can only be done by weakening the essential defences of Malta as we hold no reserve Bren guns and stocks of SAA are not really adequate. Replacement is too problematical to be satisfactory. Suggest provision should be made from reserve stock of Mideast.”


News reached Malta  today that Maltese merchant seaman Anthony Cutajar died after his vessel ‘Hazelside’ was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-68 on 28 October in the South Atlantic, 600 miles SE of St Helena.

Grand Harbour


0937-0955 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Two Macchi 200’s approach the Island from the north east, cross the coast over the Grand Harbour area, proceed on to Filfla and recede North.  Ack Ack fire a barrage.

1155-1220 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Four Cant 1007’s escorted by approximately eighteen Macchi’s drop bombs from Rinella in a long line to just short of Luqa village; no damage or casualties.  Hurricanes are scrambled and engage the Macchi’s with results as follows: three Macchi’s destroyed, one probably destroyed, one damaged.  One Hurricane is destroyed, one damaged. the pilot is landed safely.

1730 hrs  Royal Navy Force “K” sailed to intercept a convoy in the Ionian Sea.  Five Albacores attacked the submarine base at Augusta.  Large fire started.

1941, 0143 and 0549 hrs Three alerts for a total of sixteen enemy aircraft approaching the Island.  Practically all bombs were dropped in the sea.  One enemy aircraft drops anti-personnel bombs in the Rabat area – no damage.

Military casualties   Sergeant William A Hopkinson, Royal Australian Air Force; Flight Sergeantt WOAG Montague Keam, DSM, Royal Air Force; Flight Lieutenant Gerald C Pryor, Royal Canadian Air Force. 

Enemy casualties  Pilot Captain Mario Pluda, commander of 73a Squadriglia, 9o Gruppo, 4o Stormo; fighter pilot Sergeant Major Luigi Taroni were shot down and killed.


LUQA: One Blenheim of 18 Squadron and one from 107 Squadron on recce Kerkennah, Zuara, Tripoli. Six Blenheims of 107 Squadron and six of 18 Squadron attacked a convoy off Cape Spartivento.  Sgt Hopkinson of 18 Squadron and F/Lt Pryor of 107 Squadron failed to return.  One Wellington S/D Flight ASV on shipping search. Four Wellingtons of 104 Squadron attacked Brindisi and Messina. Elevn Wellingtons of 40 Squadron and six Wellingtons of 104 Squadron attacked Naples, Palermo, Catania, Syracuse and other targets.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 7; dealt with 1 (1 x 150kg).


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Posted by on November 8, 2016 in 1941, November 1941


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