In 1810, the Malta Command became distinct and independent of the other commands in the Mediterranean. The strength of the garrison was fixed at not less than 4,000 rank and file, so long as Sicily remained secure from a French invasion.
On 28 Aug 1810, Sir Hildebrand Oakes complained to the Earl of Liverpool that the Malta garrison was weak, consisting only of 248 artillery men and 3,306 infantry, of which only 1,200 were British troops, the rest consisting of Maltese, Sicilian, and French deserters.
Oakes did not have sufficient troops to guard the gates and bastions of the extensive fortifications, let alone the large number of French prisoners of war that were arriving at Malta. He therefore requested a further 1000 infantry and 200 artillery men.
The strength of the garrison on 25 June 1810 was: 13 Field Officers, 26 Captains, 80 Subalterns, 3,548 Rank and File effective, 4416 Rank and File establishment, 243 on passage, 193 absent.