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M/S Talabot

Photo courtesy of Richard Tyler-Bemand.

M/S Talabot sinking in Grand Harbour. Photo probably taken 26th March 1942. The ship took a direct hit in her engine room.
The fire spread to the her cargo of ammunition, torpedoes, large bombs & flammable goods.
On entering harbour she was left for 12 hours before unloading started. Only a few hundred tons were unloaded before the ship was dive bombed & hit which caused
flames to issue from the ship. The population of Malta didn't know that the cargo was enough explosives to cause extensive damage to Floriana & the 3 cities.
Captain Toft made a decision to blow a hole in the ships side to flood the cargo in an effort to stop it exploding. A handful of brave volunteers boarded the ship to carry out the scuttling.
The wreck was reportedly still smouldering 6 weeks after the sinking.

Bell of the Talabot currently residing in the Malta National War Museum.

References:- - This a great page giving full information about the ship & the part played in supplying Malta.
Also details of the bombing & even later salvage efforts in 1985 to clear the wreck from the harbour.