The Maltese Cross: A Strategic History Of Malta

Hardcover | January 31, 2006

byDennis Castillo

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Malta is one of the smallest nations in the world, yet has one of the longest histories of any country. The accidents of geology and geography produced an island at the center of the Mediterranean with a large harbor and ample resources for the construction of fortifications. As a result, the Maltese bore witness to many of the great conflicts in world history, from the Punic Wars, to Napoleon's conquests, to the North African and Mediterranean campaigns during World War II. Covering the entire sweep of the island's history, Castillo argues that not only was Malta's geographic location critical, its people played a crucial role in many of these struggles. The Maltese contributed largely to the defense of the islands when invaded by the Ottoman Turks in 1565, and the people rebelled against French rule after Napoleon evicted the Knights of Malta. During World War II, Malta became a strategic hub for the Allies' Mediterranean campaign, and the islands endured some of the most sustained and intensive bombing during the war-- up to 15 tons of bombs per square mile. Includes chapters on the Knights of Malta, the 1565 siege, Napoleon's invasion, Malta's role in World War II, and modern Malta.

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Malta is one of the smallest nations in the world, yet has one of the longest histories of any country. The accidents of geology and geography produced an island at the center of the Mediterranean with a large harbor and ample resources for the construction of fortifications. As a result, the Maltese bore witness to many of the great c...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:268 pages, 9.32 × 6.26 × 1.06 inPublished:January 31, 2006Publisher:Praeger PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313323291

ISBN - 13:9780313323294

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"[C]astillo, of Maltese descent, is well versed in the island's history. He covers prehistoric temple building, through the various occupations to the great siege of the Knights of Malta by the Ottoman Turks in 1565, through the sieges of WW II. The island's strategic value has changed, as has technology and the shifting of international power. From 1520 to the end of the 18th century, the Knights lived on the glory of the siege and by policing the corsairs of the Middle Sea. But then Napoleon conquered the island, after which the British ruled until 1964. By then, the Royal Navy, long Malta's treasurer, had withdrawn. The island's strategic importance reached its height in 1939-1945 because Allied and Axis sea routes crossed just to the west, but after the Allies rescued North Africa, Malta faded in importance....Recommended. All levels/libraries."-Choice