Thursday, September 03, 2009
Seventy years ago today !!
Seventy years ago today, as London's Big Ben struck 11.15 a.m., the Maltese heard on Rediffusion, the cable radio network the British Prime Minister officially declaring war on Nazi Germany.
Adolf Hitler's regime had ignored Britain's ultimatum to withdraw Germany's attack on Poland by 11 a.m. on September 3, 1939 and World War II broke out.
Bombs were a common occurrence during the war as Malta became the world's most bombed country, historian Joseph Pirotta said.
Although civilians did not feel as threatened when the British first declared war in 1939, on an official level the fear was real as Italy's involvement was inevitable, Prof. Pirotta said.
Malta was one of Britain's most important naval bases and, when Mussolini declared war in June 1940, it was clear the island would become a main target. Prof. Pirotta added that Malta was completely unprepared for war as the British did not take precautions.
BOTH PICTURE AND INFORMATION EXTRACTED FROM OUR LOCAL ONLINE NEWSPAPER.