29 June 1940: Malta Must Have Fighters to Survive

29 Jun

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Hurricanes needed to defend Malta

Hurricanes needed to defend Malta

The Governor and Commander in Chief has told the War Office in London that Malta’s air defences must be strengthened if the Island is to survive.  In an urgent cipher telegram he wrote that, following the fall of France, he anticipates an increase in Italian attacks on Malta, as Mussolini seeks complete control of the Mediterranean.

Malta currently has only four serviceable Hurricanes along with the two Gladiators which have been in action since the onset of hostilities and are fast wearing out.  Lt General Dobbie stated that only by inflicting significant damage enemy attackers can he foresee deterring further heavy air raids.  To achieve this, Malta needs more fighter aircraft and personnel to service them. 

He added that the arrival of additional air forces would strengthen the morale of the civilian population who have already been placed under a considerable strain by the bombing of the past three weeks. 


Aircraft stationed in Malta are standing ready to attack an enemy convoy in the Mediterranean, it was reported today.  Seven enemy cruisers and five merchant ships have been observed assembling at Port Augusta and are expected to follow a route along the east coast of Sicily, providing an excellent opportunity for attack.  The Vice Admiral Malta has ordered Malta’s Swordfish to stand by.

The Chief of Intelligence staff has confirmed that further important merchant and troopship movements are expected between Italy and North Africa. 


0445 hrs  Swordfish aircraft carry out anti-submarine patrol and reconnaissance: nothing to report.

Military casualties  L/Std Emanual Anastasi, HMS St Angelo.                                        

Enemy casualties  Tenente Giuseppe Bracco, Tenente Giuseppe Germano, Midshipman Ottone Hirsch, Petty Officer Arturo Maroni, crew of an Italian submarine picked up by Sunderland Flying Boat, from an attacked Italian submarine and taken prisoner.


HMS Pandora

HMS Pandora

ROYAL NAVY  Proteus and Pandora sailed at 1900 hrs to take up patrol positions off Algiers and Oran.  A Sunderland aircraft arrived with four prisoners from Italian U boat Rubino which she had sunk. 

AIR HQ  Departures  1 Sunderland.

KALAFRANA  Naval co-operative patrols by three Sunderlands of 228 and 230 Squadrons: one sank a submarine, taking four Italian prisoners.  One other Sunderland left for UK.  Two recruits medically examined.  AC Farrugia, AC Galea and AC Buttigieg admitted Military Hospital, Imtarfa.    

1st Bn DEVONSHIRE REGIMENT  Since 2330 hrs on 27 June the Battalion has provided 90 Other Ranks to assist, with 1st Bn Dorset and 2nd Bn Royal West Kent Regts in unloading an ammunition boat in Marsaxlokk Bay, working mainly afternoons and between 0200 and 0600 hrs.

8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT  Four public houses in St Paul’s Bay were put out of bounds to troops, to try and reduce the number of cases of drunkenness among troops in the area.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Reports of a suspicious character in civilian clothes found to be a Royal Malta Artillery sergeant on leave.  Unloading party at Marsaxlokk for two periods during the day.     

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Posted by on June 29, 2020 in 1940, June 1940


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