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The tugs of Malta are yet another unsung area of the war in Malta.
Every merchant ship which survived the convoys was moved into docking areas by the tugs. In the preparations for the invasion of Sicily the tugs worked
hard to move the invasion fleet about the the dockyard during loading of supplies & troops
Ancient & Robust were the 2 tugs active in Grand Harbour during WWII.
The book below is a great reference in this area.


Originally christened as Veteran but was renamed in 1918. Sunk in raids of spring 1942 but raised & repaired with a boiler from a sunken trawler.
After the war she was laid up at Marsa & sold in 1954 to Italian shipbeakers.


Photo courtesy of R.Magee

Sunk, Malta 18th April 1942.


Served in Grand Harbour during the war. Sunk in a bombing raid September 7th 1940.


Served in Grand Harbour during WWII alongside Ancient. She was already 34 years old in the thick of war work. Scrapped in 1957. Captained by an English master but the crew were Maltese.


Royal Navy Tugs at the Grand Harbour, Malta. ISBN:978-99932-0-848-8
Book by Michael Cassar