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Malta Diary   Malta George Cross, that is, Malta GC – and we are proud of it!

ALBERT FENECH

MalDia-05-11-08-21-MALTA-GC-Malta-awarded-the-George-Cross-for-Gallantry-on-15th-April-1942
MALTA-GC-Malta-awarded-the-George-Cross-for-Gallantry-on-15th-April-1942

Every country has its minority percentage number of idiots – Malta no less. In recent weeks, we have seen such worldwide minorities take to the streets to protest against Covid vaccinations, continued pandemic restrictions and the like. 

The sane majority, despite this complete insanity, has been able to keep its cool in the face of such idiocy, enforcement forces having to bear the brunt of the violence and destruction of these idiots.

MalDia-09-11-08-21-Damage-to-Upper-Barrakka-Gardens-overlooking-the-Grand-Harbour
Damage-to-Upper-Barrakka-Gardens-overlooking-the-Grand-Harbour

This is not about Covid and nor is it about the pandemic. It does however reflect complete disdain and disapproval in something that solely concerns the Maltese Islands. 

Malta’s official international name is Malta GC, that is Malta George Cross, and the vast majority appreciate this with pride – even though in recent years the full name is hardly used and the country just referred to as “Malta”. HOWEVER, the George Cross is still very much a part of the official national flag and is stationed in the top left hand corner of the white and red flag.

MalDia-01-11-08-21-The-official-Maltese-flag-with-the-George-Cross-in-the-top-left-hand-corner.
The-official-Maltese-flag-with-the-George-Cross-in-the-top-left-hand-corner.

Why Malta GC? Why was this country awarded the George Cross for Bravery in 1942 by King George VI of Britain, the only country in the world to have been decorated with this medal for gallantry and bravery? 

There exists a very minor and insignificant percentage of idiots who every now and again issue a call for the GC to be removed from the country’s official name and official flag. The reason – their claim is that this is a “colonial” imposition fobbed off on Malta by a colonial power because Malta had to undergo a war that concerned Great Britain and not Malta itself and therefore Malta was “marshalled” into a war merely on Britain’s behalf to protect its interests.

MalDia-02-11-08-21-Devastating-destruction-in-Vallettas-main-road
Devastating-destruction-in-Vallettas-main-road

This is of course complete and utter rubbish – a concept by idiots for idiots. Can anybody in their right minds imagine that with the initial years of World War II raging mainly around the Central Mediterranean and North Africa, Malta in the very centre of the Mediterranean, not being involved? 

Let us assume at the time Malta was an “independent” country, would it have remained and had recognised its “neutral” status amidst the Allied-Axis demands on the region? Only a damned fool would believe in that. Whichever way, Malta would have been immediately invaded by Britain, Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany.

MalDia-03-11-08-21-Senglea-one-of-the-cities-on-the-rim-of-Vallettas-Grand-Harbour
Senglea-one-of-the-cities-on-the-rim-of-Vallettas-Grand-Harbour

Most, most fortunately we were already under British domination and protection and the Maltese embraced this willingly, wholeheartedly and enthusiastically with many thousands enrolling in the British military and the civilian population making all the necessary sacrifices and enduring all the necessary suffering to ensure bolstering and preventing Fascism and Nazism from reigning over the region and in turn the world. 

And for this, we are vastly proud. 

Yes, the Islands of Malta and Gozo did suffer, and suffered very, very badly, the brunt being borne by the civilian population with continual aerial bombing by German and Italian aircraft, starvation and hunger and a complete disruption of civilian life having to resort to the safety of air raid shelters, two or three times sometimes in the period of just one day.

MalDia-04-11-08-21-More-destruction-in-Senglea
More-destruction-in-Senglea

The early months of 1942 saw Malta come under intense aerial bombardment from the German and Italian aerial forces, intending to totally cripple the islands as part of Britain’s aerial and maritime defences, but also hopefully that Britain would abandon Malta and the Axis forces take over a most strategic position. 

For example, it was estimated that just one airfield in Malta, RAF Ta’ Qali, suffered more bombardment in ONE NIGHT than a whole of a month’s aerial bombardment during the ferocity of the Blitz of London!

MalDia-06-11-08-21-The-almost-total-destruction-of-the-majestic-Royal-Opera-House-in-Valletta
The-almost-total-destruction-of-the-majestic-Royal-Opera-House-in-Valletta

Hundreds of buildings were destroyed daily, Valletta’s majestic Royal Theatre was almost completely destroyed and much of the Grand Harbour areas including Valletta, Marsa, Cospicua, Senglea, Vittoriosa and Kalkara had to be evacuated and the residents transferred to less prone bombardment areas such as Gozo. 

And … what about the famed Santa Marija Convoy? On 3rd August, 1942, a convoy of no less than FIFTY, yes FIFTY, ships, set sail from Britain and passed through the Straits of Gibraltar in what was termed Operation Pedestal. Among them was the US tanker SS Ohio carrying precious oil fuel that had run out in the virtually maritime besiege of Malta, the others carrying much-needed supplies of foodstuffs and medical items.

MalDia-07-11-08-21-More-devastating-destruction-in-Valletta
More-devastating-destruction-in-Valletta

The convoy was continually bombarded by the Axis bombers, naval fleets and submarines to prevent anything reaching Malta. More than 500 Merchant and Royal Navy sailors and airmen were killed and only five of the ships including the SS Ohio limped into the Grand Harbour on the 15th of August and by the Maltese this was interpreted as a Divine Sign as this was the feast of the much revered Feast of the Assumption. 

The Grand Harbour bastions overflowed with many thousands of Maltese welcoming the Ohio and four other vessels containing essential supplies as these were seen as the lifeline for continued operations of defence and survival. 

Yes, we are proud of these events in our much-chequered history. Our ancestors (including my parents, my grandparents, my uncles and aunts) deserved to be honoured and decorated. Aged 20, my father Frank had joined the Royal Air Force and saw duty in Tobruk and Foggia in Italy as an Italian language interpreter, and my grandfather Gianni was a Chief Petty Officer and a chef and saw duty all over the Mediterranean.

MalDia-08-11-08-21-Sliema-although-not-on-the-Grand-Harbour-rim-was-also-badly-damaged.-Both-my-parents-and-their-families-lived-there.
Sliema-although-not-on-the-Grand-Harbour-rim-was-also-badly-damaged.-Both-my-parents-and-their-families-lived-there.

I am proud of all of them and of our country in having resisted so staunchly and with great sacrifice, Fascism and Nazism and finally enabled the triumph over these odious political systems. 

That is why Malta deserved the award of the George Cross for Gallantry and Bravery, and we are proud of it – that is, those who are sane of mind! 

War destruction pictures from an album compiled by JOEY CAMILLERI and posted in Nostalgia Malta (20+) Nostalgia Malta : I’ve uploaded 124 photos of Malta in the 1940s | Facebook

  ALBERT FENECH

 __________________              ______________________

MALTESE SAYING

“Red skies in the morning – an impending warning”

Farmers are said to view a reddish morning at dawn as a sign of impending storms.

_________________              ___________________

  ALBERT FENECH

 e/mail – salina46af@gmail.com

 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jerome.fenech