• Short Summary

    Documentary account of naval manoeuvres around Malta in 1942.

  • Description

    Film begins with underwater scenes showing coral and wrecks of fighting ships. "An Associated-British Pathe Production". Narrator talks of how ships "die" just like the men who serve in them.

    The film is to be a tribute to all men who served in both the Royal and Merchant Navies.

    Narrator asks us to think back to 1942 when a convoy of ships crossed the Mediterranean to Malta. Various shots of the ships at sea. Seagulls fly above the ships. Various shots of men at work on the boats, on the watch, testing guns, man at a sewing machine.

    Recreation - the men have a game of bingo on deck.

    A siren sounds and it is all hands on deck - various shots of men scrambling into their positions. The gun crews are ready, hostile aircraft are spotted and anti aircraft guns are set in motion. Various shots of planes being shot down and landing in the sea. Combat footage, narrator lists the mounting numbers of planes shot down. Sea is getting pretty choppy - "nice weather for ducks" says the narrator.

    Men check controls of ship, men at work in the engine room. Smoke emerges from the ships. There is a report of E Boats out from Pantelleria (sp?).

    Night shots of anti aircraft fire. One of our ships is seen on fire on the horizon "no time to investigate" says the narrator. Dawn breaks. Ship seen against the sunrise. Various shots of our ships.

    Destroyers deal with U Boats in area. The convoy takes avoiding action and the escort rounds up stragglers. Ships crews are made ready for attack by Luftwaffe. Various shots of aircraft dropping bombs and warships firing anti aircraft guns.

    Narrator lists the damage done to the enemy but also states: "but enemy not the only casualties". One of our ships is seen on fire. More gun fire, explosions, aircraft dropping bombs etc. Dramatic music on soundtrack.

    Suddenly there is quiet. Enemy aircraft seen sinking into the sea. The battle seems to be over. Flag flies above one of the ships. Men are seen resting after the battle. Ships continue on their journey. Narrator speaks of the convoy's cargo being "the fate of an island."

    Various shots of bomb damaged Malta. Local people emerge from air-raid shelters. Various shots of the people of Malta going about their business. Voice over is John Snagge speaking on the BBC Home and Forces Programme about the arrival of the convoy in Malta. Snagge speaks of enemy losses. Panning shot of harbour, ships arriving, food and ammunition being unloaded onto the quayside. Various shots of the buildings of the island.

    The convoy leaves. Men of the Navy wave their hats, a sailor salutes. People stand on the quayside and wave them off.

    "Convoy to Malta" - A Tribute to the Royal Navy was produced by the Pathe Documentary Unit." Music by Philip Green.

    Note: this print is badly scratched, Documentation file exists for this film. Includes commentary, list of source material and correspondence.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:38:04:00 / 01:51:15:00

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