Today, we start our study of Malta in the Second World War by looking at the role of the British Army’s Malta Garrison troops, in particular, the Royal Artillery in the anti-aircraft role as they defended both the island and its marine assets as the ‘Siege of Malta’ began in earnest in June 1940.
The CWGC Imtarfa Military Cemetery is then our stop, in the shadow of the ancient city of Mdina. The role of the Royal Air Force on and over the island is our next focus this morning, beginning with a visit to the old RAF airfield at Ta’Qali – base to many legendary units tasked with defending Malta.
At the Malta Aviation Museum, we discuss the air war over Malta and see a preserved Hawker Hurricane IIa and a later Supermarine Spitfire IX.
We take our lunch at the Hotel Point de Vue, at Rabat, which was used by fighter pilots as an officers’ mess during the war. The hotel still bears many visible scars of bomb damage from WW2.
After lunch, we see Addolorata Cemetery where over 250 casualties of the Second World War are buried, including men killed in the initial raids on Malta in 1940.
We then travel to the Malta Memorial to the missing which remembers over 2,200 British and Commonwealth personnel. In the old city of Valletta, we visit the National War Museum housed in the magnificent Fort St. Elmo. This important museum tells Malta’s story during the two World Wars.
Later, we have a boat tour of Marsamxett Harbour and Valletta’s Grand Harbour, seeing the dominance of island’s defences and discussing the naval aspects of Malta’s wartime experience.
- Included meals: Breakfast