Air Battle of Malta, Aircraft Losses and Crash Sites, 1940-1942

Good research, well-written, telling the immortal story of the air defence of the tiny island of Malta GC . – This tiny island was attacked with the greatest relative concentration of bombers in history and survived – Highly Recommended.


http://reviews.firetrench.com

http://adn.firetrench.com

http://bgn.firetrench.com

http://nthn.firetrench.com

NAME: Air Battle of Malta, Aircraft Losses and Crash Sites, 
1940-1942
FILE: R2557
AUTHOR: Anthony Rogers
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Greenhill Books
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  220
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, air 
war, tactical bombing, strategic bombing, air defence, Axis 
Forces, Great Britain, crash sites

ISBN: 1-78438-188-8

IMAGE: B2557.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ycuxtgjl
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: Good research, well-written, telling the immortal 
story of the air defence of the tiny island of Malta GC .  - This 
tiny island was attacked with the greatest relative concentration 
of bombers in history and survived – Highly Recommended.

Malta sits in the Mediterranean, an ideal holiday spot. In 1940 the 
situation was very different and a huge armada of bombers 
continuously attacked the island with its handful of obsolete 
fighters. How it survived is shrouded in myth and this book lifts 
the covers, identifying the crash sites of some 200 machines and 
recounts the fate of pilots and crew. A further 800+ aircraft have 
no known grave, crashing into the waters of the Mediterranean.

In 1940, no one thought much about the prospects of anyone attacking 
Malta, even though it was the base in the Western Mediterranean for 
the Royal Navy and a way point between Gibraltar and Alexandria on 
the way to the Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean and the route to 
Australia and New Zealand. That explains why this strategically 
important island had virtually no air defences. Suddenly everything 
changed. Hitler subdued France and Italy was unable to resist 
joining the war against Great Britain when it looked like the next 
task would be to divide up the spoils. Malta faced unfriendly Vichy 
French coasts and a hostile Italian coast, with Italian forces in 
Libya threatening an assault on Egypt and the critical Suez Canal. 
What happened next almost defies belief.

Initially only four Gloucester Sea Gladiators sat in their crates 
awaiting assembly as the Maltese fighter defence force. There were 
some anti-aircraft guns, the guns of Royal Navy warships in port 
and a few odd aircraft that might also be pressed into desperate 
service. Against them was the large Italian air fleet and the threat 
of reinforcement by German aircraft. A grim prospect in any language. 
Three Sea Gladiators, named Faith, Hope and Charity, were readied for 
action and flown with panache against the attacking bomber hordes by 
volunteer pilots. Incredibly they survived and accounted for an 
impressive tally of enemy aircraft. 

Hurricanes were rushed to the island to strengthen the defence. A 
great technical advance on the Sea Gladiator biplanes with their 
four machine guns, but still an obsolescent fighter in many respects, 
being a modification of the Hawker biplane fighters that had gone 
before. In the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane was to account for 
many more enemy aircraft than the Spitfire. It was a splendid gun 
platform, a rugged and relatively easy to repair airframe, gifted 
with a tight turning circle and great manoeuvrability, but was still 
slower than aircraft entering Axis service. Even its eight wing 
mounted rifle calibre machine guns were being outclassed by enemy 
machines mounting 12.7mm heavy machine guns and 20mm canon. Never 
the less, its committed pilots put up a determined defence. Then, 
as the battle for Malta was in its final phase, Spitfires arrived 
to make a winning contribution.

Malta also hosted bombers of its own and maritime patrol and attack 
aircraft. They became teeth for Malta to augment the gunboats, 
torpedo boats and submarines that daily took the war to Axis ships 
and aircraft trying to supply the Afrika Korps in North Africa.

The author has provided the background to the battle with eye 
witness statements and identified aircraft crash sites. It is 
incredible to think that some will be learning from this work 
about family who died during the air battle after some seventy 
five years.