One of the exploits of the Second World War which changed the strategy of naval operations - the Fleet Air Arm attack on the Italian Fleet at Taranto in November 1940 - is treated extensively in both text and dramatic illustrations in issue No.12 of Malta at War. The photographs before and after the raid taken by Fl. Lieut. Adrian Warburton flying a Maryland from Malta are historic ones and these are augmented by those taken by the Regia Marina of the damaged battleships.
The Japanese Navy sent its representatives to Taranto to study the operation and a year later attacked the American Fleet at Pearl Harbour with carrier-borne aircraft.
In due course both the Japanese Navy and the American Navy operated aircraft-carriers to replace their battleships in the great battles of the Pacific.
The subsequent fate of the naval pilots who carried out the raid on Taranto is recorded in detail - many died only a few weeks later in the Luftwaffe attacks on HMS Illustrious while escorting a convoy to Malta in January 1941, itself a major episode in the siege of Malta which will be extensively covered in two forthcoming issues of Malta at War.
The tragedy in November 1940 of the RAF Wellington bomber crash on a residential quarter of Qormi is told from the RAF side and by the rescuers, as well as by one of the children who was rescued from the rubble recalling his escape from death over 60 years ago.
The war at sea in the Mediterranean and the death of a number of Maltese serving in the Royal Navy, the air war over Malta and operations from the island, the arrival of the Royal East Kent Regiment, the Buffs, and the experiences of Maltese interned in Italy, are featured in this issue which is superbly printed by Progress Press.
Issue 12 completes the first volume of this publication. A special issue will be on sale to provide an index for this first volume - this will also include four pages of colour illustrations of RAF and Regia Aeronautica aircraft by the internationally known aviation artist Richard J. Caruana.
The foreword is by Dr Vincent Tabone. This will sell at Lm2. The binders will be available at Lm5 and this also includes the cost of binding. The publishers will be collecting the issues for binding, and instructions of how this will be done are explained in issue no.12.
Malta at War is published by Bieb Bieb Enterprises and sells at Lm1.75 a copy.
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