10 June 1940: Malta at War From Midnight

10 Jun

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Il Duce speaks from Palazzo Venezia

Il Duce speaks from Palazzo Venezia


At 1800 hours today Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, announced that Italy will consider herself at war with Great Britain and France with effect from tomorrow, 11 June 1940.  In a speech from the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, Mussolini declared:  “We are going to war against the plutocratic and reactionary democracies of the West, who have hindered the advance, and often threatened even the existence of the Italian people.  The die is cast and we have, of our free will, well burned the bridges behind us.”

According to information from the Naval Attache in Rome, an enemy attack should be expected at dawn tomorrow.  Malta Infantry Brigade will stand to at 0400 hours, one hour before dawn.  Troops not actually in posts will be dispersed in slit trenches or other cover to minimise the potential effects of any air attack.  Gas capes and other anti-gas equipment will be issued tomorrow.


On receiving the news that Mussolini had declared war, the Chief of Staff in London sent a message of support to Malta’s Governor and Commander in Chief:  “Wish you and all under your command every good luck in whatever lies ahead.”

Lt General Dobbie replied:  “Many thanks for your telegram which is much appreciated.  All here are in good heart and ready for all eventualities.”


ROYAL NAVY  Diamond on patrol attacked and claims to have sunk Italian U boat in position 92 degrees St Elmo light 9 miles.  Vessels at Malta as of 9 June: HM Submarines Grampus, Rorqual, Otus, Olympus, Odin, Orpheus; minesweeper Fermoy, river gunboat Aphis, destroyer Wryneck.

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS  Lt W M Eastman attached to staff of Inspecting Ordnance Officer, Capt R L Jephson Jones, for the purpose of assisting with unexploded bombs.

2nd Bn ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS  Steel helmets and respirators are to be carried by all ranks from now on.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Luqa  Patrols sent out areas Luqa, Mqabba, Kirkop.

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Posted by on June 10, 2020 in 1940, June 1940


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