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A CHAIN OF LOOKOUTS WILL KEEP WATCH FOR ENEMY MINES
New measures are announced today following the dropping of parachute mines offshore in the Grand Harbour area last night. In clear moonlight, German aircraft laid the first mines in the entrances to Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour, causing the harbours to be temporarily closed. Three mines exploded on land causing casualties and much damage to houses.
A series of lookouts manned by military personnel is being set up to report the location of any mines dropped into the sea during air raids. The Grand Harbour area will be divided as follows: Ricasoli sector (two lookouts), Valletta shore (two), Tigne (two), Sliema Point, coastline west of Sliema, Dragonara Point, coastline west of Dragonara (one each).
Reports giving the bearing and approximate distance of mines dropped into the sea will be rendered immediately at the conclusion of a raid. Lookouts will not attempt to make reports during a raid as this would interrupt their watch, nor will they report bombs or mines bursting on land as this will only distract their attention from the main task.
GUARDS ON ENEMY AIRCRAFT
Following concerns about safety and security, military personnel are to mount a guard on crashed enemy aircraft. Orders have been issued that when an enemy aircraft crashes in the sector of a battalion or in the sea surrounding that sector, the company command in whose area the crash occurs will at once report the location and details to battalion HQ. The battalion will also provide a guard to prevent anyone approaching within 25 yards of the machine, pending instructions from their HQ.
These measures are seen as essential, both as a safety precaution in case of unexploded bombs and to prevent looting by souvenir hunters. The guard will be maintained until it is ordered to be relieved by headquarters. Battalions are also reminded that unauthorised service personnel are forbidden to touch or interfere with any crashed enemy aircraft, or any small component thereof.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 15 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 16 FEBRUARY 1941
Weather Fine and clear.
0926-1030 hrs Air raid alert for 20-25 ME 109 fighters approaching the Island, apparently on reconnaissance. Observers report that most are painted black and white but some are painted all white and some have yellow markings. Eight Malta fighters are scrambled and damage three raiders; Ack Ack fire damages one. One Hurricane is damaged and rendered temporarily unserviceable; the pilot is unhurt.
1331-1414 hrs Air raid alert for ten enemy aircraft which approach and circle the Island at 34000 feet. Hurricanes are scrambled; no interceptions.
0015-0140 hrs Air raid alert for a single enemy aircraft approaching the Island. Bombs are dropped on Sliema and on Marsa, injuring one civilian; one bomb fails to explode.
Military casualties Private John Lancelot Wellman, 1st Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment.
Enemy casualties Leutnant Wilhelm Gretz, 7/LG 1, pilot of Junkers JU 88 bomber shot down.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 15 FEBRUARY 1941
ROYAL NAVY Swordfish 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm sank one merchant vessel heading for Libya.
AIR HQ Night bombing operations by Wellingtons of 148 Squadron and Swordfish of 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm.
1st Bn DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT Private J L Wellman died at General Hospital Imtarfa from a fractured skull as a result of enemy bombing on 13 Febuary 1941.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 2.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT C Company took over Corradino from 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment.
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