Hurricanes


I suppose they only had very late mark Spitfires left when the film was made in the early fifties, but I'm fairly sure that it was the often ignored Hawker Hurricane that was instrumental in the battle of Malta. Much easier to work on than the spitfire, I'm sure I remember reading that at the height of the battle they could turn one around (refuel and rearm) in six minutes.

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Yep they did use hurricanes in Malta.... no spitfires were ever stationed there.

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While not wishing to contradict mark-2361, the Wikipedia entry for USS Wasp lists two fighter deliveries to Malta by USS Wasp.
April 20th, 1942, 47 Spitfires MkV of 603 Squardon and a second delivery with HMS Eagle on May 9th, 1942.

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OK.... I researched a bit more and I was wrong... you were right :)

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As you now know, Spitfires were here, but the Hurricane was very important and, I think, scored more kills in total.

Maybe your original recollection concerned two Spitfires comissioned and paid for by subscription by the Malese people. These were named 'Malta' and 'Ghawdex' - the Maltese name for Gozo, pronounced 'ow(as in 'ow, that hurt') -desh'. These were built, but never delivered.

I don't think it's easy to get in the UK, but a local Maltese documentary 'Heroes in the Sky' (2007, I think) describes the lives of a few of the pilots who were stationed here.

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Hurricanes were obviously in Malta, before Spitfires were; howver whilst good enough to fight the Italian airforce by 1941 the Hurricane was completely outclassed by the latest version of the ME109 (109f). Spitfires on the otherhand were not outclassed and so Spitfires were desperately needed to fight the Luftwaffe over Malta. The Hurricane (much as I admire it) would not have gained superiority over the Luftwaffe.

The same was true over the Western Desert, where the Hurricanes and P40 Kittyhawks were completely outclassed by the ME109f (and their pilots)and subsequently suffered very heavy losses. Spitfires were not sent until 1942 which was a stupid mistake when in fact they could have been sent much earlier and perhaps saved so many losses of Hurricane/P40 pilots.

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Dont forget the Gloster Gladiator fighter, especially the three famous aircraft known as 'Faith' 'Hope' and 'Charity which held the axis at bay.

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The Spitfires are amazing in this movie. Just to see them as they would have been.

Toronto

My accountant says, "1 + 1, 40% of the time, equals divorce".

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