25 February 1942: Governor Telegrams Urgent Need For Help

25 Feb

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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


From:  Governor & C in C Malta                                                                To:  War Office

Lt Gen Dobbie

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.


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.


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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Posted by on February 25, 2022 in 1942, February 1942


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