Malta at War



Nurse of the Mediterranean
Nurse of the Mediterranean
The Royal Army Medical Corps and Nurses, World War I, Spinola Hospital.
WWI Prisoners of War 1
WWI Prisoners of War 1
1915 photo of WWI prisoners of war at Verdala Barracks
WWI Prisoners of War 2
WWI Prisoners of War 2
1916 photo of prisoners of war at St Clement's Camp which later became a school
Pre-WWII Manoel Island
Pre-WWII Manoel Island
A view of Gzira, Manoel Island and the submarine pens at Lazzaretto in the early 1940. Photo courtesy of Frank O'Neill for the picture
Shelter Plan
Shelter Plan
Ħamrun residents prepare to dig a bomb shelter in Ħamrun in 1941. These air-raid shelters used to offer protection to the Maltese against enemy attacks from the air
Operation Pedestal
Operation Pedestal
A general view of Operation Pedestal convoy under way suffering enemies attacks. This was one of the many British operations to get desparately needed supplies to the island of Malta during WWII
SS Ohio
SS Ohio
The Santa Maria Convoy - SS Ohio limps into Grand Harbour lashed to two destroyers, her deck awash at sea level
A Spitfire being refuelled and rearmed
A Spitfire being refuelled and rearmed
Visit to the airfield
Visit to the airfield
Air Vice-Marshall Keith Park, Air Officer Commander Malta, visits a Spitfire in the rear sit of his red MG Tourer
Children at play during war
Children at play during war
Children play in the street - possibly Two Gates Street in Senglea - in between air raids in Valletta in 1942. Thanks to Frank Bowman
WWII protagonists
WWII protagonists
Left - Carmelo Borg Pisani a Maltese-born artist and Italian Fascist who, on being discovered during an espionage mission in Malta, was found guilty by a British war tribunal and executed for alleged treason.
Right - The merchant ship Troilus, the only merchant ship to reach Malta undamaged
Devastation in Luqa
Devastation in Luqa
Devastation in Pope Innocent III street Luqa, where 23 people lost their lives inside a private shelter on April 9th 1942.
Eighth Army infantry get forward into enemies positions.
Eighth Army infantry get forward into enemies positions.
The British Army
The British Army
Men of the British Eighth Army enter Tobruk on 6 November 1942
The Luftwaffe aircraft
The Luftwaffe aircraft
Luftwaffe ground crew prepare bombs on a Sicilian airfield. On one of the bombs there is the inscription “Iron greetings for Malta”.
Allied invasion of North Africa
Allied invasion of North Africa
Map of the Allied invasion of French North Africa, November 1942
Another Convoy Ship
Another Convoy Ship
Melbourne Star enters Grand Harbour on the afternoon of August 13, 1942.
Arrival of Convoy ship
Arrival of Convoy ship
Port Chalmers arrives at Malta, cheered in its moorings by servicemen and civilians.
Reaching Malta
Reaching Malta
Rochester Castle proceeds to its berth in Grand Harbour.
Destroyer sank
Destroyer sank
The destroyer HMS Lance sank in No. 2 dock on the afternoon of April 9, 1942.
Explosion of merchant ship
Explosion of merchant ship
The merchant ship Waimarama explodes after being bombed on August 13, 1942
Damaged Convoy
Damaged Convoy
The Orarir, which was damaged by a mine, being unloaded in port
Crew of the British Navy
Crew of the British Navy
The Royal Navy's most successful submarine commander, M. D. Wanklyn, VC, DSO (centre), with some of the crew of HMS Upholder.
Adieu l'Opera
Adieu l'Opera
The Royal Opera House in ruins after an air raid on April 7, 1942
The miracle of the Mosta Dome
The miracle of the Mosta Dome
The sky visible through the hole in Mosta church dome made by the unexploded bomb on April 9, 1942.
The Victory Kitchen
The Victory Kitchen

Those who registered with Victory Kitchens during WWII in Malta were required to surrender part of their family ration of fats, preserved meat and tinned fish rations in return for a cooked meal that consisted partly of the surrender portion and partly of un-rationed commodities. Authentic meals served at the Victory Kitchens included hot pot meals, e.g. pork and goat stews

 
The George Cross ceremony
The George Cross ceremony
'To honour the brave people award the GeorgeCross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witnessto heroism and devotion that will long be famous inhistory'.This proclamation was issued by King George VI, on 15 April, 1942, to honour the people of Malta. The honour bestowed was a sign of appreciation by the British Monarchy for the bravery and tenacity that was shown by the Maltese people during the darkest moments of the Second World War. The presentation ceremony on September 13, 1942. 
Presentation of the Geroge Cross

Viscount Lord Gort addressing the crowd, flanked to his left by Chief Justice Sir George Borg and Commissioner of Police Joseph Axisa holding the case containing the George Cross.
Collection of grain

Workmen pulling and measuring grain from the underground granaries in front of the bombed St Publius church, Floriana, after it was hit on April 28 1942.
Spitfire underwater
Spitfire underwater
A diver inspects a wartime Spitfire, found 32 feet underwater at the bottom of Marsalforn Bay. The plane was recovered and taken over to Malta.
Faith, Hope and Charity
Faith, Hope and Charity
The Angels of Malta - Faith, Hope and Charity by Ivan Berryman. The first British aircraft in Malta to protect against the air-raids of the enemies during WWII.
Living in the streets
Living in the streets
A Few People Sleep out amongst the Debris. Painted by war artist Leslie Cole. 1943.
More aircraft in arrival

A packed aircraft carrier arrives under the bombed bastions of the entrance to Valletta's Grand Harbour during the war. Photo courtesy of Bay Retro.
A typical day during the war

An airman watches children at play on wash day when they lived in the caves under Valletta to protect them from bombing in 1943. Photo courtesy of Bay Retro.
Enemy aircraft put down
Enemy aircraft put down
Children playing on a wreck of a JU87 Stuka shot down on Senglea waterfront
Life goes on
Life goes on
Maltese shifiting homes throughout the war
Debris after an air-raid

Maltese families search through the rubble of their bombed-out homes in Valletta in 1942 and carry out anything that can be salvaged. Photo courtesy of Frank Bowman.
Blasted
Blasted
Direct hit of Point de vue in Rabat
Searchlight Battery
Searchlight Battery
The 8th Searchlight Battery, Heavy Anti-Aircraft position run by Maltese MRA servicemen in Tigne during 1943.  Photo courtesy of John Joseph Meli.
RAF food supply
RAF food supply
RAF Ta' Qali ground crew staff queue up for food brought to them by a Maltese bus in between working on aircraft in 1943. Photo courtesy of Bay Retro
Valletta's Market
Valletta's Market
The Valletta market in Merchants' Street destroyed after a bombing raid on Valletta in February 1942.
Business as usual
Business as usual
Wembley Store kept in business throughout the war, in spite of bomb damage close by. Photo courtesy of Ray Pisani.
The last remains of Auberge de France

What was left of the Auberge de France, that occupied a whole block on South Street, between Old Bakery and  Old Mint streets. Photo courtesy of Philip Camilleri.
Churchill's visit
Churchill's visit
Winston Churchill visiting war damage at L'Isla
Searching in the debris
Searching in the debris
Women at work, clearing war debris
Living in the shelters
Living in the shelters
Young families live in the rock shelters cut into the bastion walls in Valletta's Marsamxett, Floriana and elsewhere. Photo courtesy of Bay Radio
The widna (the ear) at Maghtab
The widna (the ear) at Maghtab
The widna (the ear) at Maghtab was a stone structure used in Malta to hear planes approaching from Sicily before radar was introduced
Anti-air craft gun
Anti-air craft gun
Anti-Aircraft gun at tal-Borg, Tarxien
Defence at sea
Defence at sea
Boom defence to keep out enemy ships at Lazaretto Creek.
Prisoners of war
Prisoners of war
German prisoners of war at San Salvadore fortifications, limits of Kalkara.
Air-raid in the middle of the night
Air-raid in the middle of the night
The bow of a U-Class Submarine at the Lazaretto, Manoel Island, is backlit during a night raid over Valletta
Living in the underground
Living in the underground
Thousands of civilians spent months living in underground shelters, often passages of the knights or built into the bastions as here at Floriana
Queuing up
Queuing up
Valletta residents queue for rationed bread in 1943
Touring the bombarded streets
Touring the bombarded streets
Field Marshal Viscount Gort - 1886 - 1946, Governor and Commander in Chief Malta, touring bombed Valletta with his staff
Reinforces Landing
Reinforces Landing
The British Army landing in harbour on the 21st January, in time to face the suffering of the non-stop bombing of Spring 1942
Safe to the Shelter
Safe to the Shelter
 Civilians rush into the shelter at South Street, Valletta.
'Picking up pieces'
'Picking up pieces'
Women and children try to literally 'pick up the pieces'
Precious Smiles
Precious Smiles
Despite the wartime suffering, a family sit against a wall in Marsamxett Street near the harbour in Valletta in 1943. Photo courtesy of Bay Retro
Streets blocked in rubble
Streets blocked in rubble
A street in Valletta blocked by rubble after the bombing of the city in April 1942
Damaged pharmacy
Damaged pharmacy
The pharmacy in Prince of Wales Road, Sliema, damaged by a mine that fell on St Elizabeth School in the vicinity.
Defying the bombs

A barber's shop defies the bombs even though St John's Street Valletta, by the ta' Giesu Church is choked by fallen masonry. Photo courtesy of J J Meli.
Men at work
Men at work
Australian servicemen survey the destruction of Old Bakery Street, Valletta, caused by Nazi air raids in 1943.
Blocks of flats bombed out, but washday must go on!
Blocks of flats bombed out, but washday must go on!
Even though buildings were destructed and brought down, clothes still needed to be washed as seen in this photo clothes are hanging to get dried up!

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