This year I went on Holidays to the lovely island of Malta. I chose the Island because my Mum ensured me it was a great place and because of its history during The Second World War. For those who do not know, Malta was the most bombed place during the War. The British had control of the island and it had great strategic importance therefore whoever controlled Malta controlled the shipping lanes to North Africa. The Regia Aeronautica and Luftwaffe decided to bomb the island into submission. According to legend the island was only defended by 3 Gladiator biplanes nicknamed Hope, Faith and Charity.
Supplies were at one stage so low that it seemed that the Italians and Germans would win the siege but with some daring convoy actions the needed supplies were brought in at great cost of ships and lives. Hurricanes and Spitfires were also flown in from aircraft carriers and the siege ended after two years with an Allied victory.
In Valetta, the capital of Malta, there is a lovely museum at the fort “Elmo” the “National War Museum” where the two great sieges of Malta are presented. The first, the Ottoman attack of the island in 1565 and the second, of course, 1940 to 1942. This is an interesting museum with great exhibits. They even have one of the Gloster Gladiators (Faith) with no wings and the ship’s bell from the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious that provided cover for the convoys trying to get provisions through. The museum is very modern and well thought out and I enjoyed it immensely.
There was one other item I wanted to see and that was at least one the RAF fields on the island and to my surprise I found one with a delightful museum. The Malta Aviation War Museum is located at the old RAF airfield Ta’ Qali and it’s a gem for people like me. It’s owned by a Foundation and they restore the planes themselves. The Hurricane 2c they salvaged from the sea is a beauty and so is the Spitfire Mk 9 with desert camouflage but what I really liked most I suppose, is that there are pieces of plane everywhere some recognizable, some not. Pieces of cockpits, ailerons, you name it are just lying around. . Unfortunately they don’t have much means and the Foundation needs donations as far I could tell. I know that one of the planes they are restoring is a Fairy Swordfish biplane, the type of plane that damaged the Bismarck whilst it was trying to escape to Brest. It would be great if a company like Wargaming could look into this since they work on so many projects restoring and rebuilding historical war vehicles . Maybe it would also be interesting if they have a game mode in World of Warships were you could escort a convoy whilst the other team has to destroy it. It’s just a thought.
Enjoy the pictures and if you ever go to Malta I really would encourage you to visit the Malta Aviation Museum.
MajorMadMike signing off!