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Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 James Holland
Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 James Holland
Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 James Holland
Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 James Holland
Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 James Holland

Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 - James Holland

London: Orion, 2003, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. A little faded at the spine and onto the margins of the panels with the price clipped. Minor age-toning to the edges of the text block. The contents complete, clean and tight.

Includes: Black & white photographs; Maps; List of sources; Glossary; Photographic end papers & blanks; Plans;

From the cover: “11 June 1940. Italian aircraft fly over Malta for the first of more than three thousand bombing raids the Island is to suffer during the longest siege in British history.

The day before, Mussolini had declared war on Britain, and in that moment, the tiny Island of Malta — slightly smaller than the Isle of Wight — became one of the most important strategic pieces of land in the world.

Today, her valiant story is largely forgotten, but for nearly three years, Malta held the key to the war in the Mediterranean and North Africa — a theatre where victory or defeat depended on which side would win the logistics battle. Lying between Italy and Libya, Malta was the ideal place from which to attack Axis shipping lines supplying Italian and German forces in North Africa. If Britain was to save Egypt, the Suez Canal and the Middle East oilfields from Nazi control, it was essential that the Island be held at all costs.

The Axis were equally determined to annihilate the Island, and with the arrival of the Luftwaffe, Malta soon became the most bombed place on earth. In two months alone — March and April 1942 — more bombs fell on Malta than on London during the entire Blitz. Convoys carrying precious supplies suffered appalling losses, but despite starvation and disease, the Islanders bravely continued to hold out. Such was their heroism, George VI took the unprecedented step of awarding the whole Island the George Cross, the highest civilian award for valour.

Under such a determined onslaught, it seemed impossible that Malta would survive. One pilot commented that fighting over Malta made the Battle of Britain look like child’s play by comparison. Yet not only did they hang on by the skin of their teeth, their torpedo bombers and submariners continued to sink critical amounts of Rommel’s supplies heading to North Africa. In the build-up to Alamein, this was to prove decisive.

Fortress Malta follows the story through the eyes of the individuals who were there: the pilots, submariners, soldiers and civilians who each provide extraordinary tales of heroism, resilience, love and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of the Second World War.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Brown boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. (xvii) 440 pages.
£26.50
Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 James Holland