Malta awarded the George Cross: 15th April 1942

By Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

15th April, 2022

Today is Good Friday. It is also the day, 80 years ago, that the island of Malta was awarded the George Cross during Siege of Malta in World War II.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Award_of_the_George_Cross_to_Malta

This is the contents of the letter from King George VI.

The Governor

Malta

To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.

George R.I.

April 15th 1942

To which the Governor of Malta, Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie replied

By God’s help Malta will not weaken but will endure until victory is won.

We might ask if William Dobbie stayed the course for the whole of the siege. Or as Hamlet might have put it, Dobbie or not Dobbie that is the question!

Well, he didn’t but not for want of trying. You can read this link about him; it is well worth it in my book.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Dobbie

I will highlight the following;

Despite being a Protestant on a Catholic island, his faith became an asset. Admiral Cunningham, commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, described him as “an Ironside of a man. His profound faith in the justice of our cause made a great impression on the religious Maltese. The complete and calm faith shown in the broadcasts he made nearly every evening contributed immensely towards keeping up the morale of the people”.

From

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Malta_(World_War_II)

In the above link we see this:

Churchill called the island an “unsinkable aircraft carrier”.

It provided to be an essential base against the Axis forces of Germany and Italy during the war, both for air attack and naval warfare.

This is a useful site for statistics.

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2020-05-30/newspaper-lifestyleculture/The-World-War-Two-Siege-of-Malta-in-numbers-6736223694

This includes:

42 Anti-aircraft guns to defend Malta in the first week of June 1940, as opposed to the 172 that had been recommended by the Committee of Imperial Defence in July 1939.

Note 42 for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans.

And

282 The largest amount of air raids in a single month came in April 1942, the worst month of the war for Malta, which saw the destruction of countless well-known landmarks, such as the Royal Opera House in Valletta, although scores of people were spared when a bomb which hit Mosta Church failed to explode.

And

15,000 Tons of bombs dropped on the Maltese Islands, almost 4 times the amount of bombs dropped by the Allies in the notorious attack on Dresden in February 1945.

6,700 Tons of these bombs were dropped in just 1 month – April 1942.

And

241 Axis aircraft destroyed by anti-aircraft guns. Another 48 were listed as probably shot down but could not be confirmed.

102 Axis aircraft destroyed by Malta’s anti-aircraft guns in just 1 month! This figure was reached in April 1942.

So you can see the significance of this month, April 1942 in the siege. Perhaps this month, April 2022, will be significant now in the Covid 19 ‘siege’ of the earth as I have noted similarities between WW2 and the Covid 19 crisis.

There is a short film, Malta GC 1942, which gives some insight into the island and what it endured.

The etymology of the word Malta is very interesting.

The most common etymology is that the word Malta is derived from the Greek word μέλι, meli, “honey”. The ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη (Melitē) meaning “honey-sweet”, possibly for Malta’s unique production of honey; an endemic subspecies of bees live on the island.

From

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta

The honey connection reminds me of Samson, a strong man whom God strengthened, and his riddle, part of which is ‘…out of the strong came forth sweetness.’

Thus we may see in the case of Malta, out of the strong island, the strength of its people relying on the strength of God to endure the hardships and eventually win through.

The other interesting thing is that Malta can be M’altar, my altar if you will. Altar is a high place.

This reminds me of today, Good Friday, when the Man Jesus Christ was hung on what is usually called a cross, but in truth a tree, a ‘T’ tree with a little head board. It was a dead tree is essence, a carpenter’s tree.

It was on a hill, a high place with two other ‘trees’ on which hung two other men, two criminals. One cursed God; the other knew he had done wrong and asked Jesus to remember him.

Malta received the George Cross for ‘…heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.’

Jesus received the equivalent of the Victoria Cross, or Victorious Cross we might say, the V.C. for heroism and devotion that is famous in history. He endured the cross, in reality a stake from the Greek word stauron. This was because there was so much at stake, the people of the world to be freed from sin by His death, so that forgiveness could be given.

The V.C. might be considered to have been awarded posthumously. But then it is claimed He rose from the dead, so that would not make sense.

And, as the battle was far from over at the time Malta was awarded the George Cross, so the spiritual battle was not over, as those who follow Jesus continue to fight it to this day.

I will end with William Dobbie’s words in a note inserted into copies of the New Testaments given to the troops stationed in what was then called Palestine in 1929. His office over looked Golgotha.

You are stationed at the place where the central event in human history occurred – namely the crucifixion of the Son of God. You may see the place where this happened and you may read the details in this book. As you do this, you cannot help being interested, but your interest will change into something far deeper when you realise the events concern you personally. It was for your sake the Son of God died on the cross here. The realisation of this fact cannot but produce a radical change in one’s life – and the study of this book will, under God’s guidance, help you to such a realisation.

P.S. Please not William Dobbie was GOC, General Officer Commanding, in Singapore before WW2. He made some interesting observations re the defence of the city. If he had been listened to perhaps the island would not have fallen in the way it did.

For my analysis and somewhat amusing take on the fall of Singapore, here is a link.

P.P.S. If you want more on Jesus etc., please see my refectory section in my World Menu.

But then Jesus crops up all over the place, and you will find Him elsewhere too. He is full of surprises!

Some helpful links.

Samson’s riddle.

https://newchristianbiblestudy.org/bible/story/samsons-riddle/king-james-version

General Malta info.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta

Author: alphaandomega21

Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector'sson. When not posting pages or paging posties, trying to be a good husband, and getting over a long term health issue, I am putting the world to rights. I have nothing better to do, so why not? But of course that includes dancing, being funny (in more than one sense), poking fun at life, poking fun at myself, deflating the pompous, reflating the sad. Seeking to heal the whole of the soul (and body where possible). In short making life as good as it possibly can be for others as well as myself. You can't say fairer than that. But if you can, please say. People need to know.

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