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The Great Siege: Malta 1565 [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Ernle Bradford , Simon Vance
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: 21.20
Price: 15.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Nov 2012
In 1565 the Ottoman Empire was at its peak. Under their sultan, Solyman the Magnificent, the Turks had conquered most of Eastern Europe. The rulers of Christian Europe were at their wits' end to stem the tide of disaster. The Knights of St John, the fighting religious order drawn from most of the nations of Christendom had been driven from their island fortress of Rhodes 40 years earlier. From their new base of Malta their galleys had been so successful in their raids on Turkish shipping that the Sultan realised that only they stood between him and total mastery of the Mediterranean. He determined to obliterate the Knights of Malta. This reconstruction of the Siege of Malta brings history alive, and carries the reader through many battles, the heroism and the hunger to the relief which came, nearly too late, and the final victory.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470830337
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470830335
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,356,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endurance, faith, courage and great leadership 21 Feb 2004
Grand Master Jean de la Valette gave his name to the capital of Malta, built to fortify the island after the Turkish invasion was repelled.
Left to stand or fall on their own by the rest of the christian world, The Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem with the people of Malta put up a heroic resistance against massive odds. The turks were well led initially and extremely experienced in the reduction of great cities. That they failed was due to the intelligent and tenacious leadership of Jean de la Valette and the willingness of the knights to sell their lives in a sacred cause.
Ernle Bradford has written an engaging account of the siege and one can only marvel at the courage, heroism, not to mention fanaticism displayed on both sides.
Malta was to become very important in a subsequent war and displayed the same heroism again. That it was in a position to do so was partly due to the resilience of 540 knights, some mercenaries and a few thousand Maltese.
This book is very readable. A brilliant page in history, not so well known now, but worth investigation.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We shall never take you... " 3 July 2005
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Great Siege" is a fascinating study of the events surrounding the attempt in 1565 by the Moslem Turks to conquer Malta ,drive out the Christian Knights of St John and establish an Islamic hegemony over the Mediterranean ,with a view to using the island as a base for further expansion into Southern Europe. The book is written almost in the style of a novel with the narrative unfolding around the central characters Jean de la Vallette, the Knight's Grandmaster and Mustapha Pasha, the Commander of the Turkish Army ."The Great Siege" is completely absorbing and it conveys successfully the fanaticism and heroism of the participants.I was amazed at the courage and defiance shown by the Knights and their Maltese allies as they refused to bow to the superior numbers and firepower of the Turkish invaders first at St Elmo, whose resistance was unbelievable ,then at Senglea and Birgu. For four months the Knights held on against the Turks who had thought it would have been all over within four weeks, eventually demoralising them and forcing them to return home defeated. The book gives a blow by blow account of the Siege and provides details of the strategies and tactics of the respective military commanders."The Great Siege" is a remarkable true story and, looking back, its outcome is one of the great "What If's" of history. If the Turks had taken Malta, would swathes of Southern Europe have fallen to the Moslems and led to a very different geo-political landscape than that of today ? Their defeat by "The Incredibles", La Vallette's Knights and the Maltese, stung the Turks and destroyed their aura of invincibility -and they did it on their own, with no relief from outside. "The Great Siege" is a tale of individual heroism and collective bravery, of an immense religious and cultural conflagration and of a lionhearted people preferring martyrdom and death to submission.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but read also from other sources 1 Dec 2004
This book is much better than most novels, it makes history alive and it is a delight to read. However, if it awakens your interest in sixteenth century Mediterranean history, there is a thing which is not totally correct. Bradford tells us the day-to-day story of the siege as the knights saw it. The overall strategic picture is somewhat distorted as he seems to forget that Spain was not (in fact it could not) leaving the Knights to its fate, the destiny of Western Mediterranean was at the stake. So if you are interested in what was really going on, please read "Gunpowder and Galleys" by J.F. Guilmartin. In the other hand, if what you want is more "action", go for "The two sieges of Rhodes" by Brockman and "The fall of Constantinople" by Runciman as these are the antecedents of Malta told in a really lively way.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Ernle Bradford's book offers the classical account of the siege of Malta in English. Based on many contemporary sources (two of them written by soldiers who actually partecipated in the defence) and subsequent scholarly works, it conveys much of the atmosphere of the event, while providing with a sufficient historical background to understand the broader perspective of the war between the Knights and the Ottoman Empire. A deeper description of the arms and tactics of XVI century siege warfare would have been a useful complement to what remains, in any case, a solid survey and majour source of information for anyone interested in this interesting and fascinating event.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it 20 Nov 2003
By Gisli Jokull Gislason VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Once there was a time I did not care to much for history books and prefered fiction, but as I have grown older I find that good history, especially of monumental events far outclasses fiction, namely because in fiction the author normally focuses on a few characters and their motives can be quite shallow while in history every character once was a human being thinking for himself. So lately I read mostly military history and while many of the books I read tend to get technical or detailed there are a few that read like best fiction in the runing and smoothness of the telling of the story. Only it is better, because it was real. This is such a book.
As for the book itself, it tells of the first Great Siege of Malta (the second of course in World War II), when the Ottoman Turks, then at the peak of their powers, having layed the Eastern Arab Kingdoms at their feet and fought their way to Austria in Western Europe set their mind and resources on the last of the Crusading Orders, The Order of St. John. Where two of the times greatest military units, the Christian Knights and Janissaries, Spartan bred Turkish units met. Also you get to know many of the most influential persons of those times, of their actions and sacrifice.
In all one great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The story is incredible, the book is straight to the point.
Published 11 days ago by Seamus Kavanagh
1.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, but...
Well researched, but...
The author is obviously an expert on this subject but I just could not get in to this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D
4.0 out of 5 stars The price of victory was a high one
Ernle Bradford has put together the history of Malta’s 1565 siege when the island was held by the Knights of St John (Hospitallers). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic and vivid
The 1565 Siege of Malta is a story of incredible courage and refusal to admit defeat which captured the imagination of all Europe (even the Protestant bits). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Enoch Sneed
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read before visiting Malta
I defy anyone not to feel differently about Malta after reading this book. It's history at its most gripping. Unforgettable
Published 11 months ago by S
5.0 out of 5 stars A panorama with noise and dust.
Probably the most pivotal engagement in Mediterranean history along the religious and cultural fault line, illuminated by thumbnail sketches of the protagonists and their... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Brian J Croasdell
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten conflict
I'de never heard of this before. We forget that the West was in conflict with Middle East (Turkey) in the 1500s. Good to draw attention to this episode in an exciting narrative.
Published 15 months ago by Teresa Gamble
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
A well written and more detailed account of the great siege of Malta and the knights of st john,last stand
Published 15 months ago by Brian Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars All time classic
One of those books that brings a historical moment alive. Has everything from heroism, brutality and the odd bit of cowardice. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Cromlechi
4.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough
I'm a reader of history but mostly modern history. I downloaded this book as I was interested in not only the era but Suleiman the Magnificent. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Miss HP
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