Friday, February 12, 2010
Malta resurgent in July 1942
The Axis air forces dropped more than 700 tons of bombs on Malta in July 1942. Most of the bombs were dropped in the first half of the month. They succeeded in destroying 17 aircraft and damaging many more. In that same first two weeks, Malta's defenders flew almost 1,000 sortees. Of the 136 Spitfires, 36 were lost from enemy action, but the enemy lost 65 aircraft during the same period. The defence was so strong that the Axis air forces had to send more escort fighters with the bombers. By late July, they were forced to resort to fighter-bomber attacks and forgo bomber attacks. On 15 July, Air Vice-Marshal Lloyd was replaced by Air Vice-Marshal Park as AOC Malta. He had served as AOC Malta for just over a year. He moved to Air Marshal Tedder's staff from Malta. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.