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This is the story of the historic air defense of Malta by the WRAF against the combined attacking forces of the Italian and German air forces. The island was poorly equipped when Italy declared war on Britain in June 1940 and its only defense against air attack at the outset of war were 34 heavy and 8 light antiaircraft guns, one radar set and four Gladiator biplane fighters. The first air raids came on 11 July and from then on were an almost daily feature of life for the Maltese occupants and the island was in a state of siege. The loss of this strategic point in the central Mediterranean would threaten the major supply routes to the British Army in North Africa and deprive the Royal Navy of a vital base. Although hard-pressed at home and standing alone against Hitlers Europe, every effort was made by Britains government to get supplies, munitions and replacement aircraft to enable the island to withstand the naval and airborne onslaught. Convoy after convoy attempted to get through, Hurricane and Spitfire fighters were launched from aircraft carriers with only sufficient fuel for a one-way trip to the island. Many did not survive these heroic flights. Many famous British ships were lost due to torpedo and air attack, including the carriers Ark Royal and Eagle and the battleship Barham. The siege was finally raised on 20 November 1942.This book follows the islands wartime history, describing the heavily outnumbered WRAF defense against the many air-raids and how the small bomber force took the battle to Italian shores. It is a tale of outstanding bravery by the British forces and the Maltese people.
|Publisher:||Pen & Sword Books Limited|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||5 MB|
About the Author
Diane and Jon Sutherland are professional writers. They have written a wide variety of titles, spanning household hints, travel, children's, true crime, the paranormal, military history and education. They have won several literary prizes, including New York Libraries' Best of Reference and Booklist Editors' Choice Award. Liz Keevill and Kevin Eyres are professional writers and journalists. Liz spent many years as a consumer journalist on Good Housekeeping and Ideal Home magazines and has written books on interior design, furnishings, and general housekeeping matters. Kevin writes on travel, the arts and interior lighting design as well as being a commercial copywriter. Both Kevin and Liz are interested in anything that reduces the toxic content of everyday things.