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Cover Art
Author Holland, James, 1970-

Title Fortress Malta : an island under siege, 1940-1943 / by James Holland.

Published New York : Miramax Books, 2003.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  940.534585 HOLL    AVAILABLE
Physical description xxvii, 479 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits, maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 449-457) and index.
Contents Prologue: A Brief Engagement over Malta xix -- Part I Under Siege from the Italians -- Chapter 1 First Day of the Siege--11 June 1940 3 -- Chapter 2 Britain's Dilemma 15 -- Chapter 3 Faith, Hope, and Charity: June-August 1940 32 -- Chapter 4 Gathering Strength: September-December 1940 49 -- Part II Arrival of the Germans -- Chapter 5 Illustrious Blitz: January 1941 73 -- Chapter 6 Tightening of the Screw: January-February 1941 93 -- Chapter 7 Success and Failure: March-April 1941 111 -- Chapter 8 Valor at Sea: May 1941 133 -- Part III Respite -- Chapter 9 Summer Calm: June-August 1941 157 -- Chapter 10 Hurting Hitler: September-December 1941 180 -- Part IV A Siege of Annihilation -- Chapter 11 Kesselring Unleashes Hell: January-February 1942 203 -- Chapter 12 Malta Sinking: March 1942 226 -- Chapter 13 Death's Door: April 1942--Part I 252 -- Chapter 14 George Cross Island: April 1942--Part II 267 -- Chapter 15 Spitfire Victory: May 1942 284 -- Part V Courage and Fortitude -- Chapter 16 Island Starves: June-July 1942 307 -- Chapter 17 Pedestal: August 1942--Part I 332 -- Chapter 18 Pedestal: August 1942--Part II 344 -- Part VI Malta's Triumph -- Chapter 19 Fight Back and the Final Blitz: September-October 1942 363 -- Chapter 20 From Besieged to Bridgehead: November 1942-July 1943 387 -- Epilogue: A Short Engagement over Sicily: 12 July 1943 409.
Summary June 11, 1940. Italian aircraft pummel the idyllic Mediterranean island of Malta. It is the first of more than three thousand bombing raids that the island will suffer as it becomes the most bombed place on earth. The day before, Mussolini had declared war on Britain, and in that moment, the tiny island of Malta -- slightly larger than Cape Cod -- became one of the most important strategic pieces of land in the world. Today, this valiant story is largely forgotten, but James Holland offers a riveting portrait of the siege that helped determine victory or defeat in World War II. For nearly three years, Malta held the key to dominance in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Lying between Italy and Libya, Malta was the ideal place from which to attack shipping lines supplying Italian and German forces in North Africa. To save Egypt, the Suez Canal, and the Middle East oil fields from Nazi control, it was essential that the island be held at all costs.
The Axis powers were equally determined to annihilate Malta. In two months alone -- March and April 1942 -- more bombs fell on Malta than on London during the entire Blitz. A small band of fighter pilots facing the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica; a garrison of British and American troops; and a stubborn local population refused to surrender to vastly superior forces. Despite starvation and disease, the Maltese bravely held out. Not only did they hang on, their torpedo bombers and submariners continued to sink critical amounts of Rommel's supplies. In honor of this tenacity and bravery, George VI bestowed the George Cross, the highest civilian award for valor, upon the entire island. Fortress Malta follows the story through the eyes of individuals who were there: the pilots, submariners, soldiers, and civilians who provide tales of heroism, resilience, love, and loss. Using interviews with survivors, letters, and diaries never-before-published, James Holland brings to life this extraordinary real-life David-and-Goliath battle in a moving, astonishing narrative.
Subject World War, 1939-1945 -- Malta.
Malta -- History -- Siege, 1940-1943.
ISBN 1401351867 : $27.45