Saturday, August 15, 2015

Operation Pedestal ~ Malta’s Miracle of August 15, 1942

Operation Pedestal: Depicted, Tanker Ohio being attacked by Savoia Marchetti SM79's and Ju 88's The Cruiser is HMS Charybdis.



Today marks the seventy-third anniversary of Operation Pedestal, a British operation to get desperately needed supplies to the island of Malta in August 1942, during the Second World War. Malta was the base from which surface ships, submarines and aircraft attacked Axis convoys carrying essential supplies to the Italian and German armies in North Africa. In 1941–42, Malta was effectively under siege, blockaded by Axis air and naval forces. To sustain Malta, the United Kingdom had to get convoys through at all costs. Despite serious losses, just enough supplies were delivered for Malta to survive, although it ceased to be an effective offensive base for much of 1942. The most crucial supply was fuel delivered by the SS Ohio, an American-built tanker with a British crew. The operation started on August 9th, 1942, when the convoy sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar.



SS Ohio entering Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta.


The convoy is also known as the "Battle of Mid-August" in Italy and as the “Konvoj ta' Santa Marija” in Malta. The arrival of the last ships of the convoy on August 15th 1942 coincided with the Feast of the Assumption (Santa Marija) and the name Santa Marija Convoy is still used. That day's public holiday and celebrations, in part, celebrate the arrival of the convoy. 


Maltese Cheering The Entrance of the SS Ohio into Valletta's Grand Harbour



The attempt to run some fifty ships past bombers, E-boats, minefields, and submarines has gone down in military history as one of the most important British strategic victories of the Second World War. However, it was at a cost of more than 400 lives, with only five of the original 14 merchant ships reaching the Grand Harbour. These brave men’s sacrifice did not occur in vain for a miracle occurred on August 15th, 1942 that saved the lives of an entire nation.



Today on Far Future Horizons we are proud to present the documentary “Operation Pedestal 1942. The Vitally Important Relief Convoy To Malta”.

This is story of one of the most epic events in the history of naval warfare. The survival of Malta was the vital hinge upon which turned the whole Allied strategy in the Mediterranean Theatre of war. This film describes how a vital convoy was forced through to relieve the valiant island of Malta, despite appalling losses.


Operation Pedestal 1942: The Vitally Important Relief Convoy To Malta
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