Malta at War Volume 5


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This volume records Malta’s worst period under siege, the Spring of 1942 when the fortunes of the Allies were also at a low ebb, particularly in the Mediterranean.  At this time the Germans and Italians were planning to invade Malta and expecting the island to surrender after the most concentrated and aerial onslaught of the war.

The Luftwaffe had again massed its strength in Sicily and the attacks increased in fury week by week until in March an all-out assault was mounted to extend into April that was meant to render the island impotent, destroying its offensive and defensive capabilities and thus ensuring a free hand to the Axis forces in North Africa to advance into Egypt and on to India to join up with the advancing Japanese forces in the Far East.  Not only was the island being pounded but with the loss of the Talabot convoy in March 1942 the population and garrison were facing starvation. Valletta was being pulverized, as were Floriana, Marsa, Sliema, Luqa and the Three Cities, along with many of the other towns and villages,with some 2000 alerts, some lasting round the clock, with well over 1000 civilians and servicemen killed and many more thousands injured.

The resistance to all this suffering seems incredible as one reads the stories so dramatically recounted in this volume, with rare photographs of the destruction of historic buildings.  The airfield sustained massive bombing, with the luftwaffe experimenting with te largest bombs and introducing carpet bombing. The dockyard was crippled and the neighbouring towns reduced to rubble.  Warships were destroyed and the submarines forced to withdraw from the island.  But the tenacity of the population never wavered although forced to shelter underground by day and by night.  The Royal Air force was almost wiped out and the gunners were also targeted.  The Royal Navy and the merchant ships fought their way from west and east to a beleaguered island facing surrender.  The administration tackled its many problems with tenacity.

It was in these incredible circumstances that in mid-April 1942 King George VI, on his personal initiative, awarded the George Cross to the Island.

Additional information

Weight 1680.0000 g
Dimensions 29.7 × 21 cm
Pages 358
ISBN 978-99932-97-45-1
Year of publication
Note Pages 1430 - 1788

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