“Malta-The Turning Point” by Anthony Saunders

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As the battle for Malta rages, a force of Luftwaffe raiders comprising Ju87s, Ju88s and Bf109s are met by the largest reception of RAF fighters to date as Spitfires and Hurricanes defend Grand Harbour in Valletta, 10 May 1942.

Sergeant Paul Brennan of 249 Sqn shoots down a Ju87 as the Maltese defences put up a huge barrage of flak to protect their island. German High Command had long recognised that control of Malta, with its naval dockyards and RAF airfields, was pivotal to safeguarding Rommel’s entire North African campaign.

Control of the island was essential to protect the supply convoys and the Germans and Italians decided to bomb the island into oblivion, starve it, and force it to surrender. They also, however, misjudged the resolve of the Maltese people and her defenders.

The air battles that took place over Malta between 20 April - 10 May 1942 were the largest ever witnessed over the diminutive island and the unexpected Allied victory marked a turning point in the Mediterranean theatre. 

Never again would the Luftwaffe return with such force.In recognition of the tenacious defence of Malta during WWII, Anthony fittingly depicts events on 10 May as these air battles reach a crescendo.