The Malta Convoys were a series of Allied supply convoys to sustain the Mediterranean island of Malta during World War II. The convoys were strongly opposed by Italian and German sea and air forces.
Malta's geographical position, halfway between the strategic British bases at Gibraltar and Alexandria, close to the Sicilian Channel between Sicily and Tunis and on the sea route between Italy and its possessions in Libya, made it a vital base for control of the Mediterranean sea routes. For Britain this was the short route, via the Suez Canal, to its colonies in India, East Africa and the Far East and also to the major oil producers of Iraq and Iran.
During the first year of the war, however, this region was a military backwater. Much of the coast was under Allied control - either French or British: the rest was neutral. Moreover, the British and French fleets dominated; the only other effective regional naval power was Italy, but at this time she was neutral. As a result, British defences on Malta were neglected. (more...)
Gozo is an island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, second in size to the island of Malta. In Maltese, the island is called Għawdex (pronounced áw-desh). Gozo is part of the country of Malta. Gozo is 67 km² in size, which is approximately the same size as Hong Kong Island. It lies approximately 6 km northwest from the nearest point of Malta, is of oval form, 14 km in length and 7.25 km in extreme breadth. Gozo is famed for its character and places of interest. Some of these are the Calypso cave, the Ġgantija Neolithic temples which is the oldest man made structure. It is more picturesque than the larger sister island of Malta, and the land is more fertile. (more...)