Malta at War
Up to 20th April 1942 the RAF had never been able to put more than about 10 fighters in the air at one time. This was usually a mixed force of Spitfires and Hurricanes and was hopelessly outnumbered by the enemy fighters.
On 20th of this month [came] the arrival of 47 more Spitfires. Despite this large addition only a fraction of this number appeared to take to the air at any one time. The reason for this was that there was insufficient protection on the ground when they arrived and the enemy bombers were able to knock out a large number in this way.
This deficiency in aircraft pens the Infantry have since been working hard to remedy. The RAF experienced serious difficulties in maintenance due to the bombing of their workshops.