WI: Rommel was right about Malta

Why do you think the RAF would send home based fighters away?
I would expect much would depend on what kind of No BoB it would be but at the very least the Luftwaffe would have the same setup as they did post 1940 (e.g. some fighters for defense and fighter-bombers and bombers performing occasional nuisance raids).

Considering Britain kept a lot of troops and aircraft at home for defense and proper training while they were urgently needed abroad indicates IMO that home defense was their first priority. Even in 1941, when it became clear that the Luftwaffe had shot its bolt and was subsequently fully committed to Barbarossa, they still kept the bulk of the RAF in Britain.

It's easy to say the British would/should have released aircraft for other theatres but in reality the British wouldn't know what the Germans were up to and if they wouldn't change their minds and launch a major air offensive against Britain at a later date.
Getting aircraft/troops sent to reinforce secondary theatres back to Britain again would be time consuming so the Luftwaffe would have a serious headstart in such a scenario.

I think it is therefore very unlikely that the British would have transferred tanks, troops and aircraft in any significant number to secondary theatres as long as they perceived a genuine threat to Britain and it won't be until late 1942 when the Americans are ready to start propping up the tottering British Empire with American troops and ample lend-lease equipment that this outlook changes.
With no Battle of Britain, the British aren't going to suffer horrendous losses in both aircraft and pilots. So they will be able to retain a very large force of aircraft for home defense while still being able to reinforce imperial outposts. Mainly because production won't be dedicated almost solely to replacing losses in the BoB. I'm assuming production would be at roughly the same rate, making far more fighters available to station in places like Malta, Singapore, Malaya, Burma, etc.
 
Why do you think the RAF would send home based fighters away?
I would expect much would depend on what kind of No BoB it would be but at the very least the Luftwaffe would have the same setup as they did post 1940 (e.g. some fighters for defense and fighter-bombers and bombers performing occasional nuisance raids).

Considering Britain kept a lot of troops and aircraft at home for defense and proper training while they were urgently needed abroad indicates IMO that home defense was their first priority. Even in 1941, when it became clear that the Luftwaffe had shot its bolt and was subsequently fully committed to Barbarossa, they still kept the bulk of the RAF in Britain.

It's easy to say the British would/should have released aircraft for other theatres but in reality the British wouldn't know what the Germans were up to and if they wouldn't change their minds and launch a major air offensive against Britain at a later date.
Getting aircraft/troops sent to reinforce secondary theatres back to Britain again would be time consuming so the Luftwaffe would have a serious headstart in such a scenario.

I think it is therefore very unlikely that the British would have transferred tanks, troops and aircraft in any significant number to secondary theatres as long as they perceived a genuine threat to Britain and it won't be until late 1942 when the Americans are ready to start propping up the tottering British Empire with American troops and ample lend-lease equipment that this outlook changes.
And yet the British managed to fight on three continents and a couple of oceans during that period even with the BoB. Not forgetting that Britain and Co produced a huge amount of war material, and the US was still sending stuff before 1942
 
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With no Battle of Britain, the British aren't going to suffer horrendous losses in both aircraft and pilots. So they will be able to retain a very large force of aircraft for home defense while still being able to reinforce imperial outposts. Mainly because production won't be dedicated almost solely to replacing losses in the BoB. I'm assuming production would be at roughly the same rate, making far more fighters available to station in places like Malta, Singapore, Malaya, Burma, etc.

Quite

Honestly in 1940 British production was still ramping up from prewar production levels
 
Couldn't the Italians landing anything other than infantry?
I assume you mean 'over a beach' rather than an administrative move via a port?

The first 'LSTs' were 3 British built Maracaibo-class LST Mk.I used in Torch in late 42 - and they had a bit of a head start over everyone - so no certainly within the time frame the Italians do not have a dedicated vessel capable of landing much more than Infantry

This is them landing at Sitra on Crete in 1941 over an open beach against no opposition

Maybe AFVs could be moved via a converted barge but I don't think that would serve for an assault across a beach
 
Quite

Honestly in 1940 British production was still ramping up from prewar production levels
They built 16,000 Aircraft in 1940 (the mass majority in the 2nd half of the year)

Which was more than anyone else at the time

So the burden of supplying fighters to the Allied cause in 40 and 41 was primarily on the British.
 
I assume you mean 'over a beach' rather than an administrative move via a port?
Well yes, we are talking about an invasion here.

Maybe AFVs could be moved via a converted barge but I don't think that would serve for an assault across a beach
Not even sure if the Italians had any barges, I don't recall they had much in the way of a canal network.
 
Well yes, we are talking about an invasion here.

Not even sure if the Italians had any barges, I don't recall they had much in the way of a canal network.
Possibly had some coastal types or ones used on Rivers?

I don't know.

But the Crete landings (both successful and failed ones) were conducted using an assortment of light civilian vessels and some adapted passenger ferry type vessels
 
But the Crete landings (both successful and failed ones) were conducted using an assortment of light civilian vessels and some adapted passenger ferry type vessels
Crete was a notably different operation. For one, the paratroopers had already battered the allies about a bit, and the place was much less densely populated anyway.
 
This is how the artillery defences of Malta developed between September 1939 and June 1942. That is, as far as I can tell.

September 1939

At the outbreak of war the artillery defences of Malta consisted of:
1st Heavy Regiment, RMA with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Heavy Batteries, RMA​
4th Heavy Regiment, RA with the 6th, 10th and 23rd Heavy Batteries, RA​
7th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA with the 10th and 13th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Batteries, RA​
26th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA with the 15th, 40th, 48th and 71st Anti-Tank Batteries, RA​
5th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, RMA an independent unit formed in July 1939​
6th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, RMA an independent unit formed in August 1939 and​

That is a total of 14 batteries (9 British and 5 Maltese) and 4 regimental headquarters (3 British and one Maltese) or put another way, 4 anti-tank batteries, 4 HAA batteries and 6 heavy batteries.

The two heavy regiments were really coast artillery regiments. According to the source I am using the roles of the Coast Artillery were: Counter Bombardment; Close Defence; and the Examination Anchorage Service. The counter bombardment role was performed by 4th Heavy Regiment, RA with seven 9.2-inch guns. The other roles were performed by 1 Heavy Regiment, RMA with ten 6-inch guns and nine twin 6-pdrs.

26 Anti-Tank Regiment, RA had arrived in Malta in April 1939. It supported the Malta Infantry Brigade. According to the source I am using it manned the 18-pdr Beach Guns and the 12-pdr battery on Marfa Ridge. It also had two mobile batteries of 6-inch howitzers and one mobile battery of 3.7-inch howitzers.

Another source on British coast artillery says that there were seven 9.2-inch, ten 6-inch, six 12-pdr and nine twin 6-pdr guns on Malta in September 1939. It said that all the guns were operated by the 6 batteries of 4th Heavy Regiment, RA and 1st Heavy Regiment, RMA, but I think that the six 12-pdr guns were the guns on the Marfa Ridge manned by 26 Anti-Tank Regiment, RA.

The Committee of Imperial Defence had approved 112 heavy AA guns, 60 light AA guns and 24 searchlights for Malta in the summer of 1939. A HAA battery normally had 8 guns, a LAA battery normally had 12 guns and a searchlight battery normally had 24 searchlights. That works out as 14 HAA batteries, 5 LAA batteries and one searchlight battery. However, the only formations that existed at the outbreak of World War II were 4 HAA batteries.

June 1940

The RMA formed 7 batteries between September 1939 and the end of May 1940. However, the 5th HAA Battery, RMA was sent to Egypt in May 1940 and it would not return to Malta until March 1943. This meant the net increase was 6 batteries.

The grand total was 20 batteries (9 British and 11 Maltese) consisting of 6 heavy (3 British and 3 Maltese), 4 anti-tank (all British) and 10 air defence batteries (2 British and 8 Maltese).

The 10 air defence batteries consisted of:
6 HAA batteries (2 British and 4 Maltese).​
3 LAA batteries (all Maltese).​
One searchlight battery (Maltese).​

Had the batteries been at full strength there would have been 48 HAA guns, 36 LAA guns and 24 searchlights, but the official history says that there were only 34 HAA guns, 8 LAA guns and 24 searchlights on Malta against a requirement for 112 HAA guns, 60 LAA guns and 24 searchlights.

The number of regimental headquarters had been increased from 4 to 6 (one anti-tank, 3 HAA and 2 heavy) by the formation of 2 Maltese HAA regiments.

The full order of battle was:
1st Heavy Regiment, RMA with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Heavy Batteries, RMA​
4th Heavy Regiment, RA with the 6th, 10th and 23rd Heavy Batteries, RA​
2nd HAA Regiment, RA with the 6th HAA, 7th HAA, 8th Searchlight and 30th LAA Batteries, RMA​
7th HAA Regiment, RA with the 10th and 13th HAA Batteries, RA​
11th HAA Regiment, RMA with the 20th HAA, 21st HAA and 22nd LAA Batteries, RMA​
26th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA with the 15th, 40th, 48th and 71st Anti-Tank Batteries, RA​
The Dockyard Defence Battery, RMA an independent LAA battery​

End 1940

In September 1940 the 26th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA became the 13th Mobile Coast Defence Regiment. Its 4 anti-tank batteries (15, 40, 48 and 71) were reorganised into 2 defence batteries (15/40 and 48/71).

Although this reduced the number of RA batteries on Malta to 7 it was more than compensated for by the arrival of 8 batteries (4 HAA, one LAA, one searchlight and 2 field) in October and November, which produced a net increase to 15 batteries made up of 6 HAA, one LAA, one searchlight, 3 coast, 2 defence and 2 field units. The number of regimental headquarters increased from 3 to 6 (2 HAA, one searchlight, one coast, one mobile coast defence and one searchlight) in November 1940 when 4th Searchlight, 10th HAA and 12th Field Regiments arrived.

Meanwhile 4 new RMA batteries (2 HAA, one LAA and one coast) were formed in the fourth quarter of 1940, bringing the total to 15 (4 coast, 7 HAA, 4 LAA and one searchlight). There were still 3 regimental headquarters (one coast, one HAA and one HAA).

The heavy regiments and batteries were renamed coast regiments and batteries in December 1940, but they retained their old numbers, for example 1st Heavy Regiment, RMA, became 1st Coast Regiment, RMA.

Thus the total strength of the artillery on Malta at the end of 1940 was 30 batteries (15 British and 15 Maltese) under 9 regimental headquarters (6 British and 3 Maltese) consisting of:
  • 12 heavy anti-aircraft batteries (6 British and 6 Maltese) under 4 HAA regimental headquarters (7 RA, 10 RA, 2 RMA and 11 RMA). If at full strength the 12 batteries would have had a combined strength of 96 guns;
  • 5 light anti-aircraft batteries (one British and 4 Maltese). There were no LAA regiments at this time. 2 batteries were independent, 2 batteries were under the command of 2 RMA and one was under the command of 11 RMA. If at full strength the 5 batteries would have had a combined strength of 60 guns;
  • 2 searchlight batteries (one British and one Maltese) forming the 4th Searchlight Regiment, RA/RMA. If at full strength the 2 batteries would have had a combined strength of 48 searchlights;
  • 7 coast batteries (3 British and 4 Maltese) in 2 regiments (4th Coast Regiment, RA and 1st Coast Regiment, RMA);
  • 2 mobile coast defence batteries (all British) in one regiment (13th MCD Regiment, RA);
  • 2 field batteries (all British) in one regiment (12th Field Regiment, RA). After the reorganisation of 1938 field batteries normally had twelve 25pdr gun-howitzers, so this regiment might have had 24 field artillery pieces.
The full order of battle was:
1st Coast Regiment, RMA with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Coast Batteries, RMA​
4th Coast Regiment, RA with the 6th, 10th and 23rd Coast Batteries, RA​
12th Field Regiment, RA with the 6th/23rd and 49th/91st Field Batteries, RA​
13th Mobile Coast Defence Regimen, RA with the 15th/40th and 48th/71st Mobile Coast Defence Batteries, RA​
2nd HAA Regiment, RMA with the 6th, 7th and 9th HAA Batteries, RMA and the 10th and 30th LAA Batteries, RMA​
7th HAA Regiment, RA with the 10th, 13th and 27th HAA Batteries, RA​
10th HAA Regiment, RA with the 190th, 191st and 222nd HAA Batteries, RA​
11th HAA Regiment, RMA with the 20th, 21st and 23rd HAA Batteries, RMA and the 22nd LAA Battery, RMA​
4th Searchlight Regiment, RA/RMA with the 8th Searchlight Battery, RMA and the 484th Searchlight Battery, RA​
59th LAA Battery, RA an independent battery​
The Dockyard Defence Battery, RMA an independent LAA battery​

End 1941

The expansion of the artillery in Malta led to the formation of HQ 7th Anti-Aircraft Brigade in January 1941 and 10th Anti-Aircraft Brigade in May 1941. These formations were not disbanded until the second quarter of 1944.

According to the source I am using there seems to have been a HQ Royal Artillery in 1941, with a HQ Fixed Defences under it to control the non-anti-aircraft units and the 2 AA brigades controlling the AA units.
  • 12th Field Regiment, RA was reorganised in November 1941, when it was increased from 2 to 3 batteries.
  • 13th MCD Regiment, RA was renamed 26th Defence Regiment on 29th June 1941. The regiment was increased from 2 to 3 batteries when 13th Defence Battery, RMA was formed in August 1941.
  • 74th LAA Regiment, RA was formed on Malta in February 1941. Under it was the existing British LAA battery. It was gradually brought up to a strength of 4 batteries during the course of 1941 with batteries that arrived in March, July and August;
  • 3rd LAA Regiment, RMA was formed in March 1941 to control the 4 existing Maltese LAA batteries, which had previously been independent or under the HAA regiments;
  • 4th HAA Regiment, RA arrived at Malta on 24th July 1941. It had 2 batteries.
  • 32nd LAA Regiment, RA arrived at Malta on 24th July 1941. It had 3 batteries.
At the end of the year there were 40 batteries on Malta (24 British and 16 Maltese) under 13 regimental headquarters (9 British and 4 Maltese). There were now 14 HAA batteries (8 British and 6 Maltese) with an establishment of 112 guns; and 11 LAA batteries (7 British and 4 Maltese) with an establishment of 132 guns. The searchlight establishment was still 48 "lights".

The full order of battle was:
HQ Fixed Defences (4 regiments with 13 batteries)
1st Coast Regiment, RMA with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Coast Batteries, RMA​
4th Coast Regiment, RA with the 6th, 10th and 23rd Coast Batteries, RA​
12th Field Regiment, RA with the 6th, 23rd and 49th/91st Field Batteries, RA​
26th Defence Regiment, RA with the 15th/40th Defence Battery, RA, 48th/71st Defence Battery, RA and 13th Defence Battery, RMA​
HQ 7th AA Brigade (5 regiments with 14 batteries)
2nd HAA Regiment, RMA with the 6th, 7th and 9th HAA Batteries, RMA​
4th HAA Regiment, RA with the 5th HAA Battery and 6th HAA Batteries, RA​
7th HAA Regiment, RA with the 10th, 13th and 27th HAA Batteries, RA​
10th HAA Regiment, RA with the 190th, 191st and 222nd HAA Batteries, RA​
11th HAA Regiment, RMA with the 20th, 21st and 23rd HAA Batteries, RMA​
HQ 10th AA Brigade (3 regiments with 11 batteries)
3rd LAA Regiment, RMA with the 10th, 22nd and 30th LAA Batteries, RMA and the Dockyard Defence Battery, RMA​
32nd LAA Regiment, RA with the 55th, 98th and 233rd LAA Batteries, RA​
74th LAA Regiment, RA with the 59th, 182nd, 186th and 225th LAA Batteries, RA​
4th Searchlight Regiment, RA/RMA with the 8th Searchlight Battery, RMA and the 484th Searchlight Battery, RA​

June 1942

The Commander Royal Artillery (CRA) controlled all the artillery units in Malta. At the beginning of the year he had 40 batteries under 13 regimental headquarters. This would be increased to 44 batteries under 14 regimental headquarters in January 1942 and to 46 batteries under 15 regimental headquarters in June 1942. This strength was maintained from June 1942 until March 1943.

There were 5 HAA regiments (4 RA, 7 RA, 10 RA, 2 RMA and 11 RMA) under 10th HAA Brigade at the beginning of 1942. No new regiments were formed, but the number of HAA batteries was increased from 14 to 15 (8 British and 7 Maltese) by the formation of the 14th HAA Battery, RMA in January. This was assigned to the 4th HAA Regiment, RA so that it now had 3 batteries instead of 2. This increased the number of heavy anti-aircraft guns on Malta from 112 to 120 if there were 8 guns per battery.

At the end of June 1942 the regiments were organised as follows:
2nd HAA Regiment, RMA with the 6th, 7th and 9th HAA Batteries, RMA​
4th HAA Regiment, RA with the 5th HAA Battery, RA, 6th HAA Battery, RA and 14th HAA Battery, RMA​
7th HAA Regiment, RA with the 10th, 13th and 27th HAA Batteries, RA​
10th HAA Regiment, RA with the 190th, 191st and 222nd HAA Batteries, RA​
11th HAA Regiment, RMA wit the 20th, 21st and 23rd HAA Batteries, RMA​

There would be no further changes until March 1943.

There were 3 LAA regiments (32 RA, 74 RA and 3 RMA) under 7th LAA Brigade at the beginning of 1942. They were reinforced 3 batteries in January 1942 with the arrival of the 65th LAA Regiment, RA with 2 batteries and the formation of the 15th LAA Battery, RMA. There were now 14 LAA batteries (9 British and 5 Maltese) on the Island with a total establishment of 168 Bofors 40mm guns if there were 12 guns per battery.

At the end of June 1942 the regiments were organised as follows:
3rd LAA Regiment, RMA with the 10th, 15th, 22nd and 30th LAA Batteries, RMA and the Dockyard Defence Battery, RMA​
32nd LAA Regiment, RA with the 55th, 98th and 233rd LAA Batteries, RA​
65th LAA Regiment, RA with the 194th and 196th LAA Batteries, RA​
74th LAA Regiment, RA with the 59th, 182nd, 186th and 225th LAA Batteries, RA​

The 182nd LAA Battery, RA was transferred to the 65th LAA Regiment in September 1942, but other than that there were no changes until May 1943.

The 4th Searchlight Regiment, RA/RMA had 2 batteries (484th Searchlight Battery, RA and 8th Searchlight Battery, RMA) at the beginning of 1942 and it would be maintained at this strength until the end of February 1945.

The fixed defences were maintained at a strength of 13 batteries under 4 regimental headquarters until June 1942 when 5th Coast Regiment, RMA, 11th Coast Battery, RMA and 12th Coast Battery, RMA were formed. The new strength was 15 batteries (10 coast, 2 defence and 3 field) and 5 regimental headquarters (3 coast, one defence and one field). That is:
1st Coast Regiment, RMA with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Coast Batteries, RMA​
4th Coast Regiment, RA with the 6th, 10th and 23rd Coast Batteries, RA​
5th Coast Regiment, RMA, with the 11th and 12th Coast Batteries, RMA​
12th Field Regiment, RA, with the 6th, 23rd and 49th/91st Field Batteries, RA​
26th Defence Regiment, RA with the 15th/40th Defence Battery, RA, 48th/71st Defence Battery, RA and 13th Defence Battery, RMA​

The 13th Defence Battery, RMA was transferred to the 5th Coast Regiment, RMA on 1st July 1942. There were no further changes to the fixed defences until September 1943.
 

According to the above Wikipaedia article the first tanks arrived at Malta on 28th November 1940. The unit was called 1 Independent Troop, 44 RTR and it was equipped with 2 Light Tanks Mk VIB and 4 Matilda II infantry tanks.

It may be accurate because there are British National Archives file numbers in the reference section.

Furthermore, Page 52 of the Hyperwar transcript of Volume II of the Mediterranean and Middle East says that at the end of February 1941.
The garrison of Malta now included eight battalions in addition to the King's Own Malta Regiment. These were organized into two Brigades, Northern and Southern, and a harbour Sector. In support were two field batteries R.A., and a beach defence regiment R.A. armed with 3.7-inch and 6-inch howitzers and 18-pdr guns. There was also a special troop of the Royal Tank Regiment, armed with two light and four 'I' tanks.
Unfortunately, it doesn't say when the special troop arrived.

The Wikipaedia article says that more tanks were sent to Malta in the first half of 1942.
 
I was looking for a better source on the British tanks deployed to Malta than the Wikipaedia article and came across this.

Very interesting. Seems to be some inconsistently between some of his numbers for the garrison and yours. One commenter points out that other sources list more Bofors present at least. Looks like I owe you an apology @Fulton 44. Gozo was on the menu, though not until after the landings had begun.
 
Seems to be some inconsistently between some of his numbers for the garrison and yours.
My figures for the number of infantry battalions and artillery formations are probably more accurate than his.

However, his figures for the number of artillery pieces and searchlights are probably more accurate than mine.

OTOH he says at least 8 Bofors guns and possibly as many as 36, which IMHO is far too few for 14 LAA batteries as it's 2.5 guns per battery.

I think there were 15 infantry battalions on Malta in June and July 1942 deployed as follows:

1st (Malta) Infantry Brigade (Southern Sector)
2nd Battalion The Devonshire Regiment
1st Battalion The Dorsetshire Regiment
1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment
3rd Battalion The King's Own Malta Regiment

2nd (Malta) Infantry Brigade (Northern Sector)
2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers
8th Battalion The Manchester Regiment
1st Battalion The King's Own Malta Regiment
2nd Battalion The King's Own Malta Regiment

3rd (Malta) Infantry Brigade (Central Sector)
2nd Battalion The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
1st Battalion The Cheshire Regiment (Machine Gun)
11th Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers
10th Battalion The King's Own Malta Regiment

4th (Malta) Infantry Brigade (Western Sector)
4th Battalion The Buffs
8th Battalion The King's Own Royal Regiment
1st Battalion The Durham Light Infantry

My source for this is Orders of Battle, Second World War 1939-45 by H.F. Jolsen.

The other person says there were 16 battalions because he as 4 battalions in the 4th (Malta) Infantry Brigade.
 
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I think a great deal depends on timing. The earlier the better from the Axis point of view for two reasons - 1. a less well developed defense, and 2. once it is taken, it no longer ties up Axis airplanes in constant bombardment and suppression and those airplanes can be used elsewhere.
I see at least 3 windows.
1. July 1940 - very early, defense limited, almost no air power on Malta, the Italian navy not weakened by Taranto, but probably no German participation (am I wrong about this?), and limited Italian amphibious capabilities. Essentially a battle between two weak forces but with the Italians having air supremacy (maybe not worth much due to inaccurate bombing) and both RN and Italian navy in good shape so a possible contest at sea.
2. March/April 1941 - now German participation possible and likely, Littorio back in action after Taranto, Axis able to achieve air supremacy but again likely battle at sea, German paratroopers available.
3. June 1940 - Italian navy up to 5 battleships, British navy banged up after Crete (2 battleships and a carrier out of action so down to 2 battleships versus 5 Italian - am I right about this?), therefore sea supremacy likely, German air resources about to be called away for Barbarossa but might be able to get two or three weeks out of them and German paratroopers banged up and probably available only on a limited basis. Still may be able to achieve air and sea supremacy and support landings and very limited airborne troops with offshore firepower. In some ways this may be the best window.
 
1. July 1940. German participation in July 1940 isn't impossible, but I think it requires a pre-war POD and a rather different attitude to the war from Mussolini. At sea, the Italian air force isn't very effective and they have no battleships really worthy of the name (just the two Cavours) and no night capability. The RM runs or dies. Realistically, a non-starter.

2. March-April 1941. Better. German support available, but the RM has just been beaten up at Matapan with VV out until July. Or you could handwave Matapan away by cancelling that operation in favour of Malta. Which works, but leaves you liable to getting Matapanned off Malta instead. It also likely means no Crete operation... you'd commit the paratroopers here instead.

3. June 1941. VV still out, RN depleted but risk of night defeat still strong. If Matapan still occurred - don't see why not - then the RM has lost its best heavy cruisers and has had a serious doctrinal flaw shown up. Doable, but risky. Paratroopers unavailable - big problem, as you can write off 90% of the glider troops immediately. There's dry stone walls everywhere and the airfields are covered by artillery.

Option 4 of March-April 1942 still looks good to me. But earlier is better. But that suggests spring 1941 and a choice between Crete and Malta. Would you take that choice?
 
Any takers on the idea of the Maltese population not backing the British 'occupation'? If the Maltese themselves would invite the Italians to the Island?

As the siege dragged on, there was discontent. How serious is difficult to establish. (and yes, I have been to Malta)
 
It's not something that I've heard about to any meaningful degree. Certainly the Times of Malta was very strongly pro-British. There's bound to be some grumblings from some people but I think I remember reading that people were angry at Italy for bombing them.

Let's see what "morale" in the index of Fortress Malta gives us...

1940 ended in good spirits, supplies getting through and Italy having problems... then everyone starts starving in 1942.

Also talk of all the pro- Italy people in positions of power being rounded up on outbreak of war and how the Church supported Britain - very important in a religious population.
 
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Yes. As mentioned, I have no reference. Just a vague recollection of something I read somewhere (sic!).

On the other hand it would be no surprise if there would be some dissatisfaction. But it is also clear that if British authorities rounded up anyone not happy with British presence, there would not be any overt demonstrations.

All of that said, will there be any references or docs stating anything like this?

Anyone?
 
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