Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The air campaign against Malta intensified

Up until February 1941, the German attacks on Malta were in the daytime. The largest attacks included up to 60 bombers and 40 fighters. In February, tactics changed to night attacks. As many as 45 Ju-88 and He-111 bombers would independently bomb targets on the island. After 12 February, Me-109's conducted daylight attacks while the bombers kept to the night. February also saw the start of a concerted effort to mine the harbour by minelaying aircraft. The intensity had reached the point where after raids on 5 and 7 March, the Sunderlands and Wellingtons were withdrawn, as they could no longer be protected. Sending Hurricane II's to the island became an increasing priority. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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