Today is the 63rd anniversary of the award of the George Cross to the people of Malta in recognition of their bravery in the face of consistent attacks from the Italian and German forces in World War 2. It was the first time that the award had not been made to an individual. It is hard to imagine how they coped with six months of continuous air raids, living underground for long periods in caverns they had cut from the limestone themselves and surviving on very meagre rations. How would you cope with that?
You may not be aware that the aerial defence of Malta was initially led solely by just three aged Gloster Gladiator biplane aircraft – no Spitfires or Hurricanes here – that were nicknamed Faith, Hope and Charity. The bravery and determination of their pilots and ground crew resulted in the attackers losing several aircraft and consequently believing that the island had substantial airborne defences. As a result, there was no marine invasion of the island, which surely would have been successful and would undoubtedly have changed the course of the war in the Mediterranean.

One Reply to “Heroics”

  1. I’ve never been to Malta, and doubt I ever will, but when I vivsited Jersey, I was struck how real the Occupation still semed to locals, even of our age, in 2001, I think it was. Until I visited I had never really properly thought about it.

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