Thursday, December 17, 2009
The irony of Malta and June 1942
Tbe hope had been that the 8th Army would be victorious and move forward so that land-based aircraft could better support the defense of Malta. Instead, as the battle went badly for the army in June 1942, Malta had to support the defense of Egypt. The plan to resupply Malta was to run a convoy from either end of the Mediterranean Sea. The western convoy was called Harpoon and the eastern was Vigorous. A feature of the latest convoys was that there were more British maritime aircraft available. Malta had "six Baltimores, four Wellingtons fitted with A.S.V. and three P.R.U. Spitfires for reconnassaince". There were also six Wellingtons with torpedoes, a Beaufort squadron, and an Albacore squadron for anti-submarine work. There was also a larger maritime air force in Egypt. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.