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Malta Meal v1

In early July 1942, Britain's desert forces checked Rommel's advance and held him at El Alamein, just 150 miles from Cairo. Rommel's forces are getting only 6,000 tons a month, one-fifth of what they need. RAF planes and Royal Navy submarines from Malta are sending three-quarters of all convoys to the bottom


Rommel had set 26 August 1942 as the date to begin his final thrust to Cairo, but that day came and went with no German movement: Rommel's mechanized forces were held up for lack of fuel.


Two Tankers were on their way across the Mediterranean, but both were sunk.


Rommel was desperate and in the early morning of August 30 he appealed for fuel and was promised that another tanker, the San Andrea, would set out from Italy at once, under heavy escort. He decided to launce the attack that night knowing that he would need the 5,000 tons of fuel on the San Andreas to maintain his offensive.


Later that same morning, a British reconnaissance aircraft spotted a destroyer-escorted vessel steaming just off-shore along the inside tip of the heel of Italy. Overhead was a heavy Axis air umbrella that included a Ju-88 and seven Macchi fighters.


On battered Malta RAF Squadron Leader R.P.M. "Pat" Gibbs studied the reconnaissance pilot's report. Seeing that the ship's seaward side was protected by the destroyer, he decided that the best angle of attack would be from the Italian mainland itself. At 11:45 a.m. Gibbs led a force of nine Beauforts and nine Beaufighters down the runway and into the air.


Flying some two miles over the mainland, they banked and roared back toward the sea. The Beaufighters led the formation, fending off the Macchis, clearing a path for the torpedo planes. Gibbs, in the lead Beaufort, streaked low toward his target until he could read its name, San Andrea. Finally as the tanker loomed large before him, he dropped his torpedo from 500 yards and lifted over the ship, missing it's mast by inches. The San Andrea lurched in the water and exploded in a thundering ball of smoke and flame.


Deprived of his promised fuel supply, Rommel had to call off his offensive; on September 2 he ordered his mechanized columns to retreat.


MISSION DATE: SUNDAY, 30 August 1942


GAME TYPE: CO-OP up to 12 players

MISSION TYPE: Air Intercept

FLYABLE PLANES: Beaufighter, Fiat CR-42


MISSION INFORMATION: This mission by JR "Big Daddy" Jacobs


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