Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Malta’s War Memories

If you are a visitor to Malta you will be reminded of her role in World War Two for the stand made by the inhabitants who experienced a sustained attack by enemy forces between 1940 and 1943. Malta was strategically placed for control of the Mediterranean, since it was sited centrally, providing a staging point for military offensives, particularly upon North African soil. Because of the Island’s strategic importance the German and Italian air forces flew thousands of bombing sorties in an attempt to destroy defences and ports. A great many lives were lost and considerable damage was caused to buildings and the infrastructure.

Today there is little physical evidence of that destruction, but on some buildings I observed pock marks that were probably caused by gunfire or shrapnel fragments. The National War Museum at Fort St. Elmo and the Lascaris War Rooms, both in Valetta have exhibits relating to World War Two. I did not visit either of them, but I paid a visit to the Great Siege Bell which has a prominent position overlooking Grand Harbour. This bell was set up on 29th May, 1992 in remembrance of 7,000 people who lost their lives during the War. The bell tolls daily at noon. 


Siege of Malta

Siege Bell Memorial

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