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UXB Malta: Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal 1940-44 Hardcover – 13 Apr 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (13 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752456350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752456355
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,061,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

This book is fine tribute to those remarkably brave men who saved many lives. Hudson more than does justice to these incredible human beings. And there are such strong parallels with the men out in Afghanistan right now dealing with IED's. --Daly History Blog

About the Author

Susan Hudson is a specialist in local history and folklore. Her experience led in 1984 to a career in communications for the heritage industry, including work as a guide-lecturer and writing short publications for historic sites such as Rochester and Chatham Historic Dockyard. She also compiled and presented two local radio series on heritage attractions. She lives in Herne Bay, Kent.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen John Venus on 19 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sue Hudson is to be congratulated on her book uxb malta both gripping and informative, there is so much ,not known about Malta and her father Lt Carrol .That the maltese history books i feel will need updating,its obvious that much time was spent collecting this wealth of information, well done Sue
Steve Venus (Historian and collector of German bomb fuzes)
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mangilli-climpson m on 18 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bomb disposing entered into the public sphere with "Danger UXB"(produced by John Hawkesworth, 1979) based on Maj. A.B. Hartley's own memoirs, Unexploded Bomb, an educationally valid series as presenting the dangers to disable new fuzes: from the designing and testing of equipment by the scientists in their labs to counter the new modified weapons, to the effective work on the ground of the section in locating and digging by the sappers, and the officer's examination and handling of the bomb to make it safe. The success then depended on the courage, the self-discipline, the technically adept and methodical manner of the officer, a lot of luck to take the right prompt decisions, as well as his hunch of unexpected flaws in the enemy's design.

As Malta has an area similar in size to Greater London, and not more than two sections (n° 127 and 128) operated on Malta against six RE bomb disposal Companies in London during the Second World War, when during March and April 1942 alone, the bomb tonnage dropped on the island was double the total for the whole of the worst year of the Blitz on London, and the workload was at least ten times the average for a bomb disposal section across all theatres of war, this book has a potentially wide interested reading audience.

On the up side, S.A.M. Hudson (including a word by Maj.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Well Written and Researched on BD 18 July 2011
By Bomb Man58 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author S.A.M. Hudson has put together an extremely well researched and interesting account of the work of the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal (BD) teams working on the island of Malta during WW2.

The Royal Engineers were at the forefront of BD work during the London Blitz and while most accounts of WW2 BD work seem to focus on the work of BD during the Blitz, this book looks at this campaign in another theatre of war, as the RE teams had to not only contend with the bombs dropped by the German Luftwaffe, but also those of the Italian Regia Aeronautica as well.

With a small availability of trained personnel on Malta, as well as tools and resources like transport, the RE teams made good with what they had and got on with the job. The escalation of the air raids on the island resulted in numerous unexploded bombs and the teams were working in all weather conditions to render bombs safe. The author has painstaking pieced together a first-hand account of the various problems confronting the two BD Officers as they struggled to attempt to respond to the incraesing number of UXB reports around the island.

I liked this book as it put the reader right there next to the BD Officers and their troops, excacvating shafts to get down to bombs, picking through the rubble and making a life or death call to firstly locate the bomb and then uncover it and make it safe, then recover the item and remove it for disposal. Disposal normally consisted of rolling the dufuzed bomb off the cliffs at a certain part of the island. The work of these men was totally appreciated by the hapless citizens of Malta, especially when the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica combined their resources to keep up a non-stop schedule of air raids and bombings of the island.

Many years have passed and there may be one or two countries around the globe who can since lay claim to being the 'most bombed place on earth', but one thing is sure, the military science of BD still requires the qualities of personal courage, capacity to think outside the box and the need to press on regardless to achieve the task of making a bomb safe. I have a small library of books on BD during WW2 and most of them focus upon BD during the London Blitz, however this book looks at another campaign and different challenges that was the campaign on Malta.

In summary a well researched and written account of BD during WW2 in another theatre of war. The book contains stories and accounts of how the BD personnel approached a very dangerous and unpredictable job in itself, compounded with being attacked while in the middle of their work at the same time. Well done, S.A.M. Hudson!
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