WWII - VE Day

75th Anniversary

1945 - 2020

 

VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) - the day when the Allies of World War II formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany’s armed forces on the 8th of May 1945. As a base for Allied Forces, mainly British, Malta was the epicentre of the Mediterranean campaign up till 1942

 

75th Anniversary

of VE Day

May 8th, 1945 will forever be remembered as the monumental victory of Allied forces in Europe. Known as Victory for Europe Day, or VE day, the event represents the formal acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, marking the end of the Second World War in Europe. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE day.

Being located at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta had a strategically invaluable role for Allied Forces during World War II. Dubbed as the ‘Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier’ by Winston Churchill, Malta was used by British Forces to attack Axis supply ships.

As a result, Malta was heavily bombarded from 1940 to 1942, as Axis Forces resolved to starve the island into submission. During this period, Malta became the most bombed location in the world, with multiple daily air raids and high numbers of civilian casualties. In August 1942 ‘Operation Pedestal’ managed to successfully deliver supplies to Malta as its defenders struggled with months of deprivations with only one weeks’ supplies left.

 

After many failed attempts, a convoy arrived on the 15th of August by the name of SS Ohio, which came to be known as the Santa Marija Convoy due to the religious celebration associated with the date. This brought a new hope for the Maltese and British Forces, strengthening their resolve against the Axis Powers.

Later in August, Malta saw the arrival of over 200 spitfires, strengthening the Allied Forces’ defences. The Luftwaffe’s offensives proved futile against Malta’s new defences, resulting in a depletion of Axis air forces and leading to the success of the British Forces in North Africa. With the unscathed arrival of a convoy from Alexandria codenamed ‘Operation Stonehenge’, the 20th of November 1942 marks the end of enemy action over the island, known as the Siege of Malta. The last air-raid over Malta was in June 1943.

MINESTRA U GĦAĠIN

Fażola u Sardin

Broadcast

Saturday, 9th May 2020

8:55pm on TVM

Repeat

Sunday, 10th May 2020

2:45pm on TVM2

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, FCN, Festivals Malta and Folla Nies present a show of music and literature that revolves around humorous elements linked to parallels between World War II and Malta in 2020.  The show, featuring Ray Calleja, Daniel Cauchi and the Big Band Brothers, is full of the best musical notes and stories synonymous with this period, including works written by Trevor Zahra, Mark Attard and Simon Bartolo. Whilst honouring those that lived throughout the war it will also reflect on how far from reality a war would be today…or is it? 

WWII

IMPRESSIONS 

by Dominic Galea

Broadcast

Saturday, 9th May 2020

10:15pm on TVM

Repeat

Sunday, 10th May 2020

9:30pm on TVM2

WWII Impressions is a new jazz suite composed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of

Second World War (1939-1945). This work is inspired and based on excerpts from the musical Il-Gwerra ta’ Spiru Cefai (Spiru Cefai’s War), which was also set in the same period. In 1992 Dominic Galea had composed the melodies on the lyrics of renowned and friend poet Raymond Mahoney, in relation to performances during the Iljieli Mediterranji festival, held at the Argotti Gardens in Floriana.

 

For this suite Dominic Galea transposed some themes into jazz, and wrote new numbers related to them. The lyrics of

the new tracks Victory Kitchen and Tradituri were taken from the original manuscript.

The movements within the suite reflect on the salient historic episodes, such as the Luftwaffe attack on HMS Illustrious, the relentless enemy bombardment on the Grand Harbour, the arrival of the Santa Marija convoy, together with daily life aspects in those dark days: 

the black market racket, the Victory kitchen provisions, the rock-cut underground shelters and some entertainment in the red light district.

Quite naturally, Dominic Galea sought to create a relative aura to each respective theme, through various jazz styles, complimented by the drawings of artist Ivan Sciberras adorning the booklet of the CD. This project entwines several artistic disciplines such as music, art and literature and draws from historical research.

Like Skizzi Għas-Sette Giugno (2019), WWII Impressions is also an homage to the crucial role that Malta

played in the Allied victory over the Axis forces.

Broadcast

Monday 4th till Sunday 10th May

8:50pm on TVM

Repeat

Sunday, 10th May 2020

2:45pm on TVM2

75 Sena Minn Tmiem il-Gwerra

A 7-part mini documentary series produced by Mario Xuereb for Television Malta in collaboration with FCN that presents themes tackling the main highlights of Malta’s journey in the war from its initial involvement all the way through the fundamental role our country played in the Victory achieved.

© 2019 by FĊN