23 June 1940: Operation to Clear Med for Malta Convoys Postponed

23 Jun

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France Signs Armistice at Compiegne

France Signs Armistice at Compiegne


Fleet clean sweep of Mediterranean postponed

It has been announced today that France has signed an armistice with Germany.  As a result a vital operation to free up shipping lanes for convoys to Malta has been postponed. 

The fleet was expected to sail today from Alexandria and Malta to carry out Operation BQ.  The objective was a sweep in force of the area between southern Italy and Libya, destroying enemy shipping in the central Mediterranean.  The operation is needed to facilitate the movement of essential convoys between Malta and Alexandria. 

However, at 2153 a signal was received from the Admiralty ordering the proposed Operation to be deferred ‘in view of the political situation’.  Movements in the Mediterranean are now on hold, pending the evacuation of Allied citizens from French territories.  Operation BQ vessels were ordered to return to port immediately.


Weather  Cloudy; moderate westerly wind. 

1235-1300 hrs  Air raid alert.  Three formations each of five bombers and another of four fighters approach the Island.  Bombs are dropped on Valletta, causing slight damage.  12 bombs fall 150 yards north east of Tigne fort; others between Corradino and Luqa, as well as in the sea.  Three civilians are injured by broken glass in Luqa village.  One Macchi 200 is brought down by a Gladiator, the enemy pilot baled out.  He is observed parachuting down towards Sliema; he lands in the sea where he is rescued and taken prisoner.  He is taken to Imtarfa Hospital.

2130 hrs  Sentries of 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers are watching the quarry near Naxxar Gap and also near St Andrews’ Church in a bid to catch the person responsible for recent mystery lights at night, or at least to clearly identify their points of origin.

Enemy casualties  Sergente Maggiore Lamberto Molinelli, 88a Squadriglia, 6o Gruppo Autonomo, pilot of a MC 200 fighter aircraft, taken prisoner.


ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS: Bomb Disposal UXB  Dealt with: 1 HE 250lb Zabbar.

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Posted by on June 23, 2020 in 1940, June 1940


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