What were Maltese farmers told to do in case of invasion during WWII?

The documentary‘Malta fil-Gwerra’ this week focused on the invasion plan of Malta, prepared by the Italian and German forces during World War II.

Mario Farrugia from the Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna says that Malta was being viewed as a great obstacle to the military supplies of the Axis forces in North Africa, which led Hitler to agree with Mussolini on the importance that Malta should be completely neutralized.

Gianluca Giorgio Falzon, a researcher and historian, says that the plans were very detailed with an Italian division of some 7,500 forces who had to take control over the Ħad Dingli plain, while a 10,000 strong German army planned to take over the area from Siġġiewi to Wied iż-Żurrieq.

The invasion plan appeared in sight during the first half of 1942 when Malta suffered heavy bombardments and the people were in hunger and without morale. According to a detailed map, the Axis forces had marked the military bases and installation, together with the canon sections around Malta.

However, the Times of Malta had appealed to Maltese farmers to be on guard, heavily armed with farming tools and hunting guns in case Italian and German paratroopers landed in Malta.

The invasion plan, however, remained shelved due to developments on the North African front, where the German and Italian forces suffered heavy defeats while the German forces suffered the same fate in Stalingrad, Russia.

Malta remained unoccupied by the Axis in the middle of 1942 and prevented them of the Mediterranean battle.

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