Malta Garrison 1942

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redcoat
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Malta Garrison 1942

Post by redcoat » 26 Jul 2005 12:00

Does anyone have any info on the strength and equipment of the British garrison on Malta at the start of 1942.

Thanks

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D. von Staberg
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Post by D. von Staberg » 26 Jul 2005 12:44

Not early 1942 but a place to start:
http://niehorster.orbat.com/017_britain ... malta.html

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 14 Aug 2005 23:50

In terms of Artillery as of January 1st 1942

12th Field Regt RA
4th Coastal Regt RA
1st Royal Malta Artillery Regt RA
26th Defence Regt
4th, 7th & 10th Heavy AA Regt's RA
2nd & 11th Royal Malta Heavy AA Regt's RA
4th Searchlight Regt RA
36th, 65th & 74th Light AA Regt's RA
3rd Royal Marine Light AA Regt RA

Regards

Andy H
Last edited by Andy H on 28 Aug 2005 16:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 15 Aug 2005 00:22

In relation to the OoB AT:-

http://niehorster.orbat.com/017_britain ... malta.html

The 1st Malta Bde was formed on July 14th 1942 (all the Bde's listed became Malta Bde's on this date). Known as the Southern Infantry Brigade before that, and originally called the Malta Infantry Brigade

The 2nd Malta Bde was formed on August 7th 1940 and was known originally as the Northern Infantry Brigade. Also the 2nd Buffs served with the Bde from 22/02/41-12/05/42

The 3rd Malta Bde was formed on July 27th 1941 and was known originally as the Central Infantry Brigade. Also the 1st DLI served with the Bde from 27/01/42-12/05/42

The 4th Malta Bde was formed on May 13th 1942 and was known originally as the Western Infantry Brigade.

So at the begining of 1942 only 3 Brigades existed, plus the militia and possibly some Indep units, inc engineers and supply. No doubt RN personnel would have fought if needed as ground troops of limited effectiveness

Regards

Andy H

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 26 Aug 2005 03:48

What part did the local Maltese forces play in this ?

Could the "RMA" in the orbat site be in fact Royal Malta Artillery ?

Anyway there were up to 8 regiments of artillery (4 (?) x AA, 2 x Field and 2 x Coastal) in the RMA and 4 battalions in King's Own Malta Regiment that somehow seem to have gone missing in this orbat.....

Cheers
Edward

Edited to make some sense ! Must have been under the affluence of incohol when I wrote that (or very flu effected).
Last edited by edward_n_kelly on 29 Aug 2005 08:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Andy H » 28 Aug 2005 16:56

Could the "RMA" in the orbat site be in fact Royal Malta Artillery ?


Of course your right, silly me

Regards

Andy H

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Davide Pastore
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Post by Davide Pastore » 27 Nov 2005 10:16

According to my researches, this is the OOB of Malta ground forces as per early July (probable landing date):


INFANTRY


1939:
The Malta Brigade
- 2nd Btn, Devonshire Rgt
- 1st Btn, Dorsetshire Rgt
- 2nd Btn, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Rgt
- 2nd Btn, Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's) Rgt
Independent
- 1st Btn, King's Own Malta Regiment


1942 (early July):

Southern Command
- 2nd Btn, Devonshire Rgt
- 1st Btn, Dorsetshire Rgt
- 1st Btn, Hampshire Rgt
- 3rd Btn, Kings Own Malta Rgt
3 KOMR defended Wied iz-Zurrieq and the perimeters of Luqa, Hal Far, Krendli.

Northern Command
- 8th Btn, Manchester Rgt
- 2nd Btn, Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's) Rgt
- 1st Btn, Kings Own Malta Rgt
- 2nd Btn, Kings Own Malta Rgt
1 KOMR defended the areas north of Bajda Ridge, Mellieha Ridge, Mellieha Bay, Marfa Ridge.
2 KOMR defended Ghajn Tuffieha, Gnejna, St. Paul's Bay, Bugibba, Bahar ic-Caghaq.

Central Command
- 2nd Btn, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Rgt
(D Coy was part of the Northern Command at some unspecified time)
- 11th Btn, Lancashire Fusiliers
- 10th Btn, Kings Own Malta Rgt
- 1st Btn, Cheshire Rgt
- Military Police Coy
1 Chesire was an MG battalion with 3 coys x 3 platoons x 4 Vickers MG, plus 4th company x 4 platoons x 4 4.2" mortars (after Niehorster).

Western Command
- 4th Btn, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Rgt)
- 1st Btn, Durham Light Infantry
- 8th Btn, Kings Own Royal Rgt



TANK

1st Independent Troop, 44th Royal Tank Rgt, composed of:
- detachment of 7th Royal Tank Regt (4x Matilda II)
- detachment of 3rd (King's Own) Hussars (2x Vickers VIc)



ARTILLERY ETC.


1939 (with evolution => 1942):

16th Fortress Company RE
24th Fortress Company RE
4th H Rgt (6th, 10th, 23rd H Bty) RA => 4th Coast Rgt (6th, 10th Coast Bty) RA
7th HAA Rgt (10th, 13th HAA Bty) RA
26th AT Rgt (15th, 40th, 48th, 71st AT Bty) RA => 26th Defence Rgt (15th/40, 48th/71st Def Bty RA, 13th Def Bty RMA)
(1942: 30x 3.7" & 6" howitzers; 18-pdr guns according to HPS)
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th H Bty, RMA => 1st H Rgt, RMA
5th, 6th HAA Bty, RMA (6th might have had Bofors, see below) => 2nd HAA Rgt, RMA (?)
7th Searchlight Bty, RMA => 4th Searchlight Rgt, RA/RMA (1942: 64 searchlights)


Additions 1940-42:

12th Field Rgt (1939: 6th/23rd, 49th/91st, ?th Fld Bty) RA (1942: 24x 25-pdr)
4th HAA Rgt (1939: 16th, 18th, 23rd HAA Bty) RA
10th HAA Rgt, RA
11th HAA Rgt, RMA
14th HAA (Relief) Bty, RMA
32nd LAA Rgt (1939: 55th, 98th, 103rd LAA Bty) RA
65th LAA Rgt, RA
74th LAA Rgt, RA
3rd LAA Rgt, RMA
225th LAA Bty, RA



ORGANIZATION OF THE COAST ARTILLERY

1) Outer Fire Command - 4th H / Coast Rgt RA

East coast:
- Fort Bingemma (1x 9.2" BL Mk X) - 1939: ?, 1942: 10th Coast Bty ?
- Fort Madalena (2x 9.2" BL Mk X) - 1939: ?, 1942: 10th Coast Bty ?

West coast:
- Fort San Leonardo (2x 9.2" BL Mk X) - 23rd H Bty until April 1942, then 6th Coast Bty
- Fort Benghisa (2x 9.2" BL Mk X) - 1939: ?, 1942: 6th Coast Bty ?

2) Inner Fire Command - 1st H Rgt RMA

- 1st Bty (East coast):
Fort Delimara (2x 6" BL Mk VII)
Fort San Rocco (3x 6" BL Mk VII)

- 2nd Bty (West coast):
Fort Tigne (3x 6" BL Mk VII)
Fort Campbell (2x 6" BL Mk VII)

- 3rd Bty (Center):
Fort St. Elmo (12x 6pdr 10cwt QF Mk I)
Fort Ricasoli (6x 6pdr 10cwt QF Mk I)

- 4th Bty: ?
(Maybe Fort Ricasoli ? Maybe converted to AA ?)



ORGANIZATION OF THE AA ARTILLERY

In september 1939 there were 34 HAA guns and 8 Bofors.

At some unspecified time during 1942 there were 112 HAA guns in 29 troops (27 x 4 + 2 x 2):
3" 20cwt - 3 troops x 4, 2 troops x 2, total 16
3.7" - 21 troops x 4, total 84
4.5" - 3 troops x 4, total 12 (1st - Fort San Giacomo, 2nd - Spinola Battery, 3rd - ?)

According to "British Army in WW2, an organizational history" :
4th HAA Rgt RA - 16x 3.7"
7th HAA Rgt RA - 20x 3.7", 4x 3"
10th HAA Rgt RA - 4x 4.5", 16x 3.7", 4x 3"
2nd HAA Rgt RMA - 16x 3.7"
11th HAA Rgt RMA - 6x (8x ?) 4.5, 16x 3.7", 7x (8x ?) 3"
Parenthesis are my guesses to make the total right with the other source.
According to HPS, 2nd HAA Rgt RMA had 4th (old H ?) and 5th Bty, while 11th HA Rgt RMA had 11th and 12th Bty.

There were also 118 Bofors (at some unspecified time in 1942).
According to "British Army in WW2", each LAA Rgt on Malta had (or had to have) 36 Bofors (2 Bty x 3 Trp x 6 guns ?).
According to HPS, 3rd LAA Rgt RMA had 6th and 7th Bty.


Davide

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Davide Pastore
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Post by Davide Pastore » 27 Nov 2005 10:18

I've noticed that, for unclear (but probably connected to a mistake of mine) reasons, this message has appeared twice.
To put in its former place something more useful, I will add that the my sources are:

- website http://home.adelphia.net/~dryan67/orders/uk.html (British Army 3 september 1939)
- "British Army in WW2, an organizational history"
- Stephen C. Spiteri, "British Military Architecture on Malta" (VERY good)
- HPS boardgame "El Alamein" (maybe not a very scholastic source...).
- various bits and pieces collected from friends, mainly on the newsgroup soc.history.war.world-war-ii and it.cultura.storia.militare

Davide
Last edited by Davide Pastore on 01 Dec 2005 06:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 28 Nov 2005 07:34

Excellent information - and well researched!

Thank you Davide

A particular interest of yours ?

Edward

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Post by Davide Pastore » 28 Nov 2005 17:19

edward_n_kelly wrote:A particular interest of yours ?


A bit. See these two (1998) photos of me with an original 1941 Regia Aeronautica 3-d plastic of Malta (apparently prepared to plan air bombings if not air landings):
http://tinypic.com/f59hyh.jpg
http://tinypic.com/f59hza.jpg

Davide
Last edited by Davide Pastore on 01 Dec 2005 06:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 30 Nov 2005 03:02

Davide Pastore wrote:
edward_n_kelly wrote:A particular interest of yours ?


A bit. See these two (1998) photos of me with an original 1941 Regia Aeronautica 3-d plastic of Malta (apparently prepared to plan air bombings if not air landings):
http://tinypic.com/f59hyh.jpg
http://tinypic.com/f59hza.jpg

Davide


Where was/is the model last known to be held ?

You are/were Italian Air Force at the time ?

Edward

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Post by TRose » 30 Nov 2005 13:46

Anyone know what the garrison was in 1940 When Italy declared War? I always wondered how big a fight there would have been it Italy stage an invasion of Malta right after the declaration of War.

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Post by Davide Pastore » 30 Nov 2005 14:20

TRose wrote:Anyone know what the garrison was in 1940 When Italy declared War?


Very probably, it was exactly the same as 1939. See a few messages above.


TRose wrote:I always wondered how big a fight there would have been it Italy stage an invasion of Malta right after the declaration of War.


Italy could have taken Malta very easily... IF it had had some troops trained for amphibious landings. Actually, it had none (except the _very_ tiny San Marco unit). The Army division "Bari" was theorically destined to such a role (against Corfu') but AFAIK it had never trained in thet way. The Navy had just five medium-small landing ships, and absolutely nothing else. There were just two paratroop battalions, both in Lybia, but howevere there were not enough planes able to drop them. Had Italy tried in 1940, it would have resulted in a disaster.

Davide
Last edited by Davide Pastore on 01 Dec 2005 06:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Davide Pastore » 30 Nov 2005 14:49

edward_n_kelly wrote:Where was/is the model last known to be held ?


I first saw it in 1983 Florence, at the Scuola di Guerra Aerea ("Air War School", akin but noy identical to the Accademia) when I was a very fresh 2nd Lieut. The plastic stood proudly on a wall of one of the main schoolrooms: maybe it had been there since 1940s, since it was at handy cane-distance from the teacher's desk. That plastic struck me deeply, and somewhat I always remembered it afterwards (starting of my interest for C3).

I returned to S.G.A. in 1998 for an additional instruction tour, but the wall was naked. After a bit of researches, inquiries, answers, investigations, etc. etc., I happened to find it in a dark and dusty room, forgotten by anyone. Note the damages visible in the photos. I would have taken home it on the spot, were not for its not small size (and weight!) and, more important, because one of the school's Powers That Be, made aware of the existence of the plastic, stated that it was a Historic Piece (capitals) to be shown in a museum, or something like it - briefly, "This Is Mine". I've never returned to S.G.A. since, and I'm unaware of the subsequent whereabouts of my beloved plastic.

If anyone wants to do further researches, the S.G.A. is this one:
http://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/cgs/dfs/Arrivare.asp


edward_n_kelly wrote:You are/were Italian Air Force at the time ?


Yup. The photos shows the Field Uniform (never understood the "Field" part, however this was its name) of a Captain. Now i'm a Lieut-Col.

Davide

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Post by edward_n_kelly » 06 Dec 2005 07:18

Davide

Congratualtions.

Pehaps a potential discussion on the planned invasion(s) of Malta.

I would hazard a guess to say that the 1942 invasion plan was but one in a series of planning studies undertaken by the Italian forces up to that time to eliminate Malta. In all probability each service had studied the matter on one or more occassions in both peace and war.

Is there any information (probably in Italian) on these earlier studies ?

Was there a central "plans" department that spanned all of the services or was it a case of a "lead" service being appointed to develop the invasion plan and each service to develop their own from that "master plan" ?

Whowas the "lead" service in the 1942 plans - navy or army ?

How cruical was German participation in the 1942 invasion plans (and what part were they designed to fulfull) ?

Were the other two sevices quite happy to bow to the air force (and its Douhet/Balbo principles) and work on destroying Malta from the air because they they had studied it and found it just too hard (in plans prior to 1942)?

Cheers
Edward

PS I know it is a long list and each may involve paragraphs of answers but bear with me - it is a much glossed over part of the war in the Med (mentioned but only to say that it was abandoned due to non-participation by the Germans).

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