JU88 - Malta

The JU88 (Junker 88 plane) lies 57 m deep, north of St Paul’s bay.

Wreck History

As a former British colony, the island of Malta had a pivotal role to play in the Second World War. Throughout the conflict it was the only Allied base between Gibraltar and Alexandria. Therefore it had to became a military and naval fortress. In 1940 the North African campaign increased its strategic importance and Malta became a prime target for the Axis bombers: the nations who fought against the Allies including Germany and Italy.

The Axis resolved to destroy Malta and starve its people by attacking ports, cities and the Allied convoys transporting cargo to the island. This became known as the Siege of Malta, which took place between 1940 and 1943, eventually ending in victory for the Allies. Throughout the campaign, both sides lost many ships and planes.

One such plane was JU88, which lays outside of Salina Bay and sits at a depth of 55-57m. The Axis plane was shot down during the height of the second siege of Malta in 1943. During this period the Luftwaffe launched wave after wave of air raids using planes such as the Messerschmitt BF-109, the Junkers dive bomber and the bomber JU88. However by this stage the Allies had built up their own indomitable defense system. Malta was that time the base for over 600 modern fighters and bombers.

The JU88 wreckage is in a relative good condition. The tail broke off and lies a small distance from the same site. The cockpit still retains its forward-looking machine gun. The wreck probably ended up in the sea after being hit by flak over its target, or shot down during a dogfight (aerial battle).

This is a boat dive where you will descend and ascend using reference line. Because of her depth, minimum Trimix certification required.