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Air War Malta (ePub)

June 1940 to November 1942

WWII Aviation World War Two Aviation

By Diane Canwell, Jon Sutherland
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
File Size: 4.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781783031818
eBook Released: 8th October 2008

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This is the story of the historic air defence of Malta by the RAF against the combined attacking forces of the Italian and German air forces. The island was poorly equipped when Italy declared war on Britain in June 1940 and its only defence against air attack at the outset of war were 34 heavy and 8 light anti-aircraft guns, one radar set and four Gladiator biplane fighters. The first air raids came on 11 July and from then on were an almost daily feature of life for the Maltese occupants and the island was in a state of siege. The loss of this strategic point in the central Mediterranean would threaten the major supply routes to the British Army in North Africa and deprive the Royal Navy of a vital base. Although hard-pressed at home and standing alone against Hitler's Europe, every effort was made by Britain's government to get supplies, munitions and replacement aircraft to enable the island to withstand the naval and airborne onslaught. Convoy after convoy attempted to get through, Hurricane and Spitfire fighters were launched from aircraft carriers with only sufficient fuel for a one-way trip to the island. Many did not survive these heroic flights. Many famous British ships were lost due to torpedo and air attack, including the carriers Ark Royal and Eagle and the battleship Barham. The siege was finally raised on 20 November 1942.

This book follows the island's wartime history, describing the heavily outnumbered RAF defence against the many air-raids and how the small bomber force took the battle to Italian shores. It is a tale of outstanding bravery by the British forces and the Maltese people.

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 Diane Canwell

About Diane Canwell

Jonathan Sutherland and Diane Canwell have written widely on historical subjects, in particular on military and aviation history, and they have long been fascinated by the history of Norfolk and its military heritage. Among their many books are The RAF Air Sea Rescue Service 1918-1986, The Battle of Jutland and Air War Malta.


 Jon Sutherland

About Jon Sutherland

Jonathan Sutherland and Diane Canwell have written widely on historical subjects, in particular on military and aviation history, and they have long been fascinated by the history of Norfolk and its military heritage. Among their many books are The RAF Air Sea Rescue Service 1918-1986, The Battle of Jutland and Air War Malta.

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