Sunday, June 04, 2006

Airpower on Malta in August and September 1941

A considerable air power had been built up on Malta by August and September 1941. The inventory had grown to this force:

20 Blenheim bombers (probably Mk.IV)
12 Welligton heavy bombers
20 Swordfish torpedo bombers, FAA
10 Maryland reconnaissance aircraft
15 Hurricane I fighters
60 Hurricane II fighters
8 Beaufighter long range fighters

They were employed on different tasks:

Blenheims: bomb attacks on shipping
Swordfish: torpedo attacks on ships and minelaying
Wellingtons: bombing ports and minelaying

The Blenheims were primarily engaged in low-level attacks on ships with bombs. They would come in at mast-height. Occasionally, Wellingtons would be used to bomb ships at sea, although this was less common. They were primarily used to bomb Tripoli. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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