The Luftwaffe pounds Malta in an attempt to force the Island's surrender.
Southern Europe!
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20/03/1942 Kesselring launches an intensified air offensive against Malta, which by the end of March had racked up 4,927 sorties for the Luftwaffe, as opposed to 2.497 during February.
 
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02/04/1942 Axis air forces begin a bombing campaign against La Valetta, the British naval base on Malta.
15/04/1942 During its darkest hours, the Malta is awarded the George Cross for "heroism and devotion" by King George VI. This was in recognition of the way in which the Maltese people had stood up to more than 2,000 bombing raids and constant shortages over the past twelve month.
20/04/1942 46 Spitfires arrive on Malta as reinforcement, although such is the intensity of the axis air onslaught (9,599 sorties in April), that almost all these aircraft had been destroyed on the ground within 3 days.
30/04/1942 Hitler and Mussolini agree that the capture of Malta (Operation Herakles) should take place on the 10th July 1942.
 
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10/05/1942 Kesselring declares that Malta has been neutralised. However, that same day the Axis airforces found themselves outnumbered for the first time in the sky over Malta, losing 12 aircraft in return for 3 RAF Spitfires. This marked a definite turning point in the fortunes of Malta with Axis air activity slackening noticeably as aircraft were drawn off to Russia.
21/05/1942 Hitler postpones the invasion of Malta indefinitely.
 
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24/06/1942 The German, Italian and Croatian forces in Yugoslavia, begin another offensive against Tito's partisan army.
26/06/1942 Italian aircraft strength is increased on Sicily by withdrawing aircraft from Libya. This allows the Italians to step up their air attacks against Malta.
 
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08/07/1942 Axis bombers carry out raids on the harbour facilities at Valetta in Malta.
 
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10/10/1942 German and Italian bomber forces begin a major offensive against the British island of Malta in the Mediterranean.
 
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