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How Malta survived the Second World War

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Malta became the most bombed place on Earth in 1942.

In total, 15,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped on the Maltese Islands during the Second World War.

The Siege of Malta took place from 1940 to 1942.

Malta’s perfect strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean meant it was in the spotlight of both the Allies and the Axis powers.

The day after Mussolini declared war on Great Britain and France in 1940, Italian bombers started attacking Valletta and the Grand Harbour.

Holding the record for heaviest sustained bombing, Malta endured a staggering attack lasting 154 days and nights with a total of 6,700 bombs dropped.

Air raids throughout the war over Malta totalled 3,343.

At a point, until Hurricane reinforcements were sent, the RAF had only three aircraft protecting Malta, two of which were flying and one reserved for spare parts.

Nicknamed Faith, Hope and Charity, Faith was also the only one of the trio to survive the war.

It is now on display at the National War Museum in Valletta.

For their incredible bravery and heroism, the people of Malta were awarded the George Cross by King George VI on 15 April 1942.

Displayed in each town and village in Malta and Gozo until 1971, the Cross is now kept safe and sound at the National War Museum and Malta continues to be proudly known as the George Cross Island.

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