Monday, October 29, 2007
The defense of Malta
Because the available air strength on Malta had been greatly reduced, the primary air defense for the island came from anti-aircraft artillery. 31 Spitfires had been sent to Malta, but they were mostly gone by the middle of April 1942. The remaining Hurricanes assigned to No.185 and No.229 Squadrons were all that remained of the fighter defenses. Fortunately, Malta had received a strong anti-aircraft artillery armament. The island had a total of 112 heavy AA guns and many light AA guns. In the most important 6 mile by 9 mile area, there were 80 heavy AA and 144 light AA guns. Ammunition was rationed, but there were never really any shortages of AA ammunition. There were the 7th Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade and the 10th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Brigade. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.