Beachgoers at Marsaxlokk Bay were met with quite a ruckus after they had to be evacuated after an alleged WWII bomb was found in the area. The undetonated device was found on the seabed near Il-Maghluq sandy beach and identified as a wartime British-built anti-submarine mortar. Army sources revealed that it is known as ‘The Hedgehog’, produced from 1941 and fired in batches of up to 24 ahead of ships chasing enemy submarines.
With each mortar wielding a 16kg Torpex charge, the first ship to test and operate such explosives was the destroyer HMS Westcott in November 1941. This particular vessel played a crucial role in escorting aircraft carriers ferrying Spitfire aircraft to Malta. It also aided convoys, including the Santa Marija convoy in August 1942. Army bomb disposal experts safely removed the device, suspecting that the mortar likely fell off some vessel rather than having been fired.
Photo Source: Times of Malta