Fortress Malta

Fortress Malta : An Island Under Siege 1940-1943

4.15 (228 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Malta remains the most bombed place on earth. In March and April 1942, more explosives were dropped on this tiny Mediterranean island - an island smaller than the Isle of Wight - than on the whole of Britain during the first year of the Blitz. Malta had become one of the most strategically important places in the world. From there, the Allies could attack Axis supply lines to North Africa; without it, Rommel would be able to march unchecked into Egypt, Suez and the Middle East. For the Allies this would have catastrophic. The battle that ensued stretched the civilian population and their defenders to the limits of human endurance. Slowly but surely they fought back, taking the fight back to the enemy. Without Malta, El Alamein could not have been won. As Churchill said, Malta had to be held 'at all costs.' A Beacon of Hope follows the story through the eyes of those who were there; young men such as twenty-year-old fighter pilot Raoul Daddo-Langlois, and anti-aircraft gunner Ken Griffiths; American Art Roscoe and submariner Tubby Crawford - who served on the most successful Allied submarine of the Second World War; cabaret dancer-turned RAF plotter Christina Ratcliffe, and her lover, the brilliant and irrepressible reconnaissance pilot, Adrian Warburton. Their stories and others provide extraordinary first hand accounts of heroism, resilience, love, and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of World War II.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 44mm | 899g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 30 B/W Photo\Illu(s),8 Map(s)
  • 0752852884
  • 9780752852881

Review quote

LAUNCH PARTY - on HMS Belfast on 15 April, anniversary of awarding of the George Cross to Malta, photocall with Maltese High Commissioner, James Holland,veterans and civilians. Featured by INDY ON SUNDAY. Major serialisation in MAIL ON SUNDAY and James wrote articles for: DESPATCHES Dec 02, BLACKWELLS REVIEW April issue, BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE - May issue 'Fortress Malta is James Holland's first foray into non-fiction and he couldn't have chosed a better subject: epic in scope, victorious in outcome and relatively unknown. And yet ifMalta had fallen, and it almost did, the course of the war in the Mediterranean would have been very different. It was a major turning point - Britain's Stalingrad - and Holland's book (not to mention his stylish writing) compareswell with Antony Beevor's best-selling account of the battle on the Volga.Saul David, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH '(A) timely, many-faceted account...a long-overdueand comprehensive account of the second great siege of Malta...This is a fine first book from a promising young historian.'John Crossland, SUNDAY TIMES 'The remarkable story of how the British and their Maltese allies made it through with two bits of elastic and a broken fish-hook...James Holland does themproud with a loving, enthusiastic account'Will Cohu, DAILY TELEGRAPH 'More bombs fell on Malta than fell on London during the entire Blitz, so one can expect an account as moving as that of James Holland in Fortress Malta' Nicholas Fearn, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Fortress Malta turns out to be an excellent example of an almost abandoned form - steadily patriotic narrative history, balanced and fair...Sixty years on, it all makes a marvellous story.. The King himself went to Malta to present his George Cross to the islanders, a last graceful gesture of the dying Pax Britannica, and James Holland was given a grand old tale to tell - beyond carp, beyond satire, beyond revisionism'Jan Morris, NEW STATESMAN 'Original, gripping, and authoritative'FOCUS (MOD house journal) 'An excellent read' LEGION 'Thoroughly researched and very readable account' SOLDIER 'The book I'm most looking forward to reading this summer is James Holland's Fortress Malta' Lucy Moore, BBC HISTORY MAG 'a detailed and humane account of human endurance and resolve...told with a warmth and general affection that truly brings the people and those extraordinary times alive forthe reader'WATERSTONES QUARTERLY 'A poignant retelling'GOOD BOOK GUIDE Also reviewed in SCOTTISH LEGION NEWS 4-Stars, LIVING HISTORY, OXFORD TIMES, SHIP TELEGRAPH (MOD), GOOD TIMES (Pick of the Month), LITERARY REVIEW, CONTEMPORARY REVIEW and to come in CHOICE INTERVIEWS:ONE WORD RADIO have interviewed James and BBC WILTS interviewed him and Frank Rixon. BBC LONDON LIVE Robert Elmsinterviewed James along with Freddie Treves. BBC SUFFOLK have interviewed Wing Commander Tom Neil. NORWICH EVE NEWS interviewed Fraser Carlisle Brown andHOUNSLOW CHRONICLE interviewed Ted Fawcett. STOCK SIGNINGS in Salisbury: WHS, Ottakars and WaterstonesLondon: 12 shops incl Hatchards & Waterstones Leadenhall Market - twice!show more

About James Holland

James Holland studied history at Durham University. He has published two novels and is working on a third for Heinemann set during the Battle of Britain and the war in North Africa. James writes articles and reviews for the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Times, Sunday Express, New Statesman and BBC History Magazine, mostly about 20th century social history and the Second World War. Before writing full-time, James worked in the publicity departments of several major publishing houses (most recently responsible for the publicity on Jamie Oliver's books). He has superb contacts among other writers and historians as well as in the media, and counts Antony Beevor and Michael Wood in his circle of friends.show more

Rating details

228 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 39% (88)
4 42% (96)
3 16% (37)
2 2% (5)
1 1% (2)
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