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LUFTWAFFE RECOGNISES MALTA IS A PROBLEM
The German press is now calling for action to be taken against Malta in response to the Island’s role in attacks on Axis convoys, according to international media today. Under a picture of Grand Harbour, one caption reads: “The British stronghold in the Mediterranean has stood hundreds of enemy air attacks. A German newspaper states that Malta can be reduced only by constant attacks. The Luftwaffe recognises that the Island is a problem.”
Claims also appeared in the international press today from the Italian media that the country’s torpedo carrying aircraft sank five British cruisers during their attack on last week’s ‘Operation Halberd’ convoy. The Italians also claim that four merchant ships were torpedoed, at least three of them sunk.
However, the newspaper counters with a statement from the Admiralty in London that one ship of the convoy was damaged in an air attack and was sunk because it could not be towed. One escorting warship, HMS Nelson, was damaged by a torpedo which caused her to reduce speed; there were no casualties.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 3 OCTOBER TO DAWN 4 OCTOBER 1941
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 3 OCTOBER 1941
ROYAL NAVY Utmost returned from patrol north of Messina. Enemy cruisers were sighted, but Utmost was nearly rammed by a destroyer and could not attack. A 5000 ton merchant vessel was hit off Marittimo.
AIR HQ Departures 1 Beaufighter, 2 Wellington. 69 Squadron Maryland patrols east Tunisian coast and three special patrols. 107 Squadron 8 Blenheims attacked Marina di Catanzaro. Fleet Air Arm 2 Fulmars on offensive patrol over Trapani and Marsala machine-gunned floatplanes and bombed hangars and slipways. At Trapani a JU 87 is attacked and badly damaged. On the return journey one Fulmar dive-bombed warehouses at Licata.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 0; dealt with 2 (50kg)
11th Bn LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS Two Italian mines were found floating near a Battalion defence post; one was destroyed by the Royal Navy.
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