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16 February 1942: Malta Must Have More Guns

16 Feb

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  • Regent Cinema rescue effort continues
  • Malta’s defenders learn lessons from Tobruk

COASTAL DEFENCES NEED URGENT REINFORCEMENTS                                                                           

From: Governor & Commander in Chief Malta                                                         To:  The War Office

Anti-aircraft Guns Grand Harbour (NWMA Malta)

First.  Additional equipment not allowed for in present 1st Coast Regiment War Establishment should read as follows.  QF 12 pounders Bugibba two.  QF 12 pounders Delimara two.  QF 18 pounders Grand Harbour two.  BL 4.7 inch Isola two.  BL 4 inch Ta’ Xbiex two.  BL 4 inch St Angelo two.  QF4 inch Manoel done.  MMG .5 inch Marsamxett two.  Moving lights Leonardo two.

Second.  Above equipment manned at present by 1st Coast Regiment by reducing other detachments throughout.

Third.  Additional Inner Harbour Defences specified in ‘First’ will be manned permanently.  Detailed proposals for Establishment new Inner Harbour Defence Battery will follow.

Fourth.  (A) Great difficulty in obtaining Royal Malta Artillery [RMA] personnel within reasonable time.  Formation of new Inner Harbour Defence Battery involved splitting 1st Coast Regiment and formation new 5th Coast Regiment requiring additional HQ establishment.  (B) Split indicated in (A) above will entail proposed reorganisation as follows.  1st Coast Regiment as at present less Delimara and Campbell Batteries with Inner Harbour Defence Battery in addition.  Proposed 5th Coast Regiment to include Delimara and Campbell Batteries with 13th Defence Battery RMA from 26th Defence Regiment.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 16 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 17 FEBRUARY 1942

Weather  Wind westerly; rough at times.  70% low cloud; rain at times.

0942-0959 hrs  One JU 88 escorted by six ME 109s flies up the north coast from east to west.  No bombs are dropped.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.

1045-1114 hrs  Three ME 109s patrol to the south.  Twelve Hurricanes are airborne; no interceptions.

1136-1158 hrs  One JU 88 crosses the coast over Grand Harbour and drops eight bombs on Luqa aerodrome.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.  225 Light Ack Ack Battery guns at Hal Far engage one JU 88 at 5000 feet.  Eight Hurricanes are airborne; no engagement.

1224-1248 hrs  Three plus ME 109s patrol around the Island without crossing the coast.  Heavy Ack Ack do not engage.

1329 hrs  Two JU 88s and six ME 109s approach from the north.  Bombs are dropped in the Ta Qali area and in the sea off Grand Harbour.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.  Fighters are up; no interceptions.

1410 hrs  One JU 88 flying at 12000 feet drops four bombs on St Paul’s Bay; demolishing a house –  civilian casualties.

1415 hrs  Bombs are dropped on Ta Qali camp causing numerous small bomb craters on the aerodrome and damaging Headquarters at 126 Squadron dispersal.  Three Hurricanes are damaged; Cpl McAlpine is slightly injured.  The aerodrome is currently still serviceable.

1510 hrs  All clear.

1532-1555 hrs  One JU 88 escorted by two ME 109s approach from the north, fly across Mellieha Ridge from south to north and recede without dropping bombs.  Heavy Ack Ack do not engage.  Fighters up; no engagement.

1720-1727 hrs  Four ME 109s approach from the north but do not cross the coast.  No scrambles from Ta Qali; the weather is deteriorating.

2032-2113 hrs  One aircraft approaches from the north, comes no closer than five miles and drops bombs in the sea.

2146-2210 hrs  One aircraft approaches from the north, drops bombs five miles north east of Gozo and recedes.

Military casualties  Bn Quarter Master William Woodley, 65th Light Ack Ack Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Civilian casualties  Kirkop  Michael Farrugia (age 31);  St Paul’s Bay  Emanuel Borg (age 60); Valletta  Joseph Cremona (age 21).

OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 16 FEBRUARY 1942

AIR HQ  Arrivals  One Whitley from 236 Wing; one Beaufighter from Gibraltar.  Departures  Four Wellingtons to Shallufa; three Beaufighters to LG 10.

HAL FAR   Night 16/17th  One Swordfish 830 Squadron laid one mine outside Tripoli Harbour.  Opposition nil: weather good.

LUQA  69 Squadron  Special search for enemy striking force.  40 Squadron  One Wellington SW Tripoli diversion raid.  S/D Flight  One Wellington special search.

CENTRAL INFANTRY BRIGADE  1700 hrs  Lt Col E A Arderne DSO OBE, 1st Bn Durham Light Infantry lectured to officers of brigade on “Tobruk”.

1ST BN THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY  Commanding Officer gave a lecture to Central Infantry Brigade on the “Defences of Tobruk”.

KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT 1st Bn: C Company return to Bn Sector from Ghain Tuffieha and occupy Marfa east.

11TH BN THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS  Working party at Luqa.  Casualties still being extricated from Regent Cinema.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 1; not including anti-personnel bombs and incendiaries.

 

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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in 1942, February 1942

 

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