War Games

“Incredibly, surrounded by death and destruction, the young boys played war. Each street they would form their own “regiment,” and each regiment would have a headquarters made from the stones of bombed houses. Mizzi recalled how proud they were of their headquarters, where they spent every available moment. 

Frequently, they would be raided by one of the neighbouring “regiments.” Battles would then occur, with stones being the missile of choice. ‘One time, Mizzi successfully raided and looted another “regiment,” earning praise and promotion from his comrades. Guilt, however, sent him to confession, where the priest ordered him to return the goods.’ 

It seems strange that children, living in the most heavily bombed place on earth, would be playing war. Of course, it could be that playing at soldier was one way of handling the stress of imminent invasion. They were “soldiers” defending their little plots of earth against an “enemy” they could handle.” 

-Castillo, D. (2011) The Santa Marija convoy faith and endurance in wartime Malta, 1940-1942, p. 112. 

IWM A 13062

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