Saturday, September 15, 2007
Supplies to Malta
The three ships that arrived at Malta on 19 January 1942 carried 8 infantry tanks, 20 40mm Bofors light AA guns and their gun crews, and "two-thirds of one infantry battalion". When the merchant ship Thermopylae was sunk, 10 infantry tanks and 16 Bofors 40mm light AA guns were lost with the ship. More was sitting in Egypt (about 2,000 men and equipment) due to the lack of available transports and the force to protect them for the voyage to Malta. 19 January was notable in that Vice-Admiral Sir Willabraham Ford was succeeded as Vice-Admiral, Malta by Vice-Admiral Sir Ralph Leatham. Sir Ralph had recently arrived from the Far East. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.