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- Six night raids: main target Luqa
- Wellingtons land while airfield under attack
- Floating mine sighted close to shore
- RAF reports soap shortage
LT GEN DOBBIE NEEDS PERMANENT STAFF
From: Governor & C in C Malta To: War Office
Personal for CIGS from General Dobbie. For nearly two years I have been trying to function as Commander in Chief and fortress commander without any staff beyond my A MS except what I have been able to borrow or improvise from time to time. This has been most unsatisfactory and has made my work viz a viz the services very difficult. I have come to the conclusion that a properly appointed permanent staff is necessary while the war lasts or at any rate for so long as Malta is a centre of active operations. I have approached the Admiralty and Air Ministry and they have very kindly appointed a commander and wing commander respectively to my staff. I need in addition an army officer. He must be a properly trained first grade staff officer preferably PSC (1) and fitted to act as my Chief Staff Officer. I cannot find such a one from the garrison here, nor can I deplete the staff of the GOC by taking one of his staff. I therefore ask that the appointment of a GSO 1 be approved for this purpose for the duration of the war and that he be sent out to me without delay. In view of the nature of his duties he must be very carefully selected. I trust you will give me this help which I feel I need badly.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 25 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 26 FEBRUARY 1942
Weather Fine periods; wind slight, south-west. Deteriorates to rain.
0925-0938 hrs Air raid alarm. Raid does not materialise.
1053-1107 hrs Air raid alarm. Raid does not materialise.
1453 hrs 3rd Bn Kings Own Malta Regiment report a mine floating past west Zurrieq towards west Bassasa.
1750 hrs Four Hurricanes 1435 Squadron scrambled from Ta Qali.
1752-1815 hrs One JU 88 approaches from the north, drops bombs north of Ta Qali and retires north-west. Hurricanes attack a JU 88: no claims.
2032-2115 hrs One JU 88 approaches the Island from the north and drops bombs in Zebbug and Gudja areas, and in the sea off St Paul’s Bay. Seven barrages are fired.
2324-2340 hrs One enemy aircraft approaches from the north to within ten miles of Gozo, orbits and recedes north east.
2353-0022 hrs One aircraft approaches from the north, crosses Grand Harbour and drops bombs near Tarxien. The plane then recedes south and does two runs across the coast near Kalafrana, dropping bombs on the Safi strip and in the Zebbug-Qormi area before receding north. During the raid Wellingtons manage to land at Luqa. Four barrages are fired.
0225-0258 hrs One aircraft approaches the Island from the north, drops bombs on Baida Ridge, then heads south west for ten miles before turning and dropping more bombs near Ghain Tuffieha. Three Wellingtons circle Luqa for over an hour during the raid.
0353-0443 hrs Two unidentified bombers approach the Island from the north. One patrols 35 miles to the west of Gozo and recedes north. The second aircraft comes to within 15 miles east of Zonkor before receding north.
0448-0732 hrs Three unidentified aircraft approach from the north and drop bombs in the sea off Torri Qalet Marku. Two barrages are fired.
Military casualties Lance-Corporal Leonard Dawkins, 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment; WO2 Leonard Beaumont, 4th Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery, aged 40 years.
Civilian casualties Gzira Anthony Borg, age 60.
OPERATIONS REPORTS: WEDNESDAY 25 FEBRUARY 1942
AIR HQ Departures Three Beaufighters, one Beaufort, one Blenheim to 108 MU.
LUQA 69 Squadron One Maryland SF2A patrol; one Maryland SF1 patrol. S/D Flight One Wellington special search. 37 Squadron Six Wellingtons attacked shipping in Tripoli Harbour.
TA QALI Men are suffering from the lack of soap and other toilet requisites.
1st BN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT Petrol-less day. Battalion TEWT (1) again cancelled owing to bad weather.
1ST BN THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY Battalion Night Scheme from 0200 hrs until 1230 hrs: area of Scirocco.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB Reported 21 February-15 March 128 (average 6 per day).
(1) PSC means “Passed Staff College”. TEWT is a “Tactical Excercise Without Troops”.
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