9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A very compelling read - highly recommended,
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This review is from: Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 (Hardcover)
Anyone with the slightest interest of the war in the Mediterranean should find this book a staggering achievement. It effortlessly combines the best elements of social and military history to provide a lucid and enthralling account of Malta's struggle to survive 1940-43. By following the lives of various people on the island we are given different perspectives of what life was like for those living through Malta's dark period of bitter struggle. I wasn't so sure that such an approach to writing history could be so rewarding for the reader, but Holland has done superb job. Not only do we get all the usual details of military problems (convoys/lack of military hardware etc..) but also the personal struggles of the pilots and ordinary folk living on the island. I knew that the people of Malta suffered terribly during the war, but this book also made me realise how remarkable their victory against overwhelming odds actually was. In retrospect Malta should have been a pushover for the Axis powers (the island was a low priority during the Battle of Britain), but the fact that it held out for so long is testimony to the strength and determination of it's people. This book is a fitting tribute to those who gave themselves to this struggle and a reminder of why the whole island was awarded the George Cross - the highest honour awarded for civilian bravery.