Fortress Malta by James Holland

About the book

In March and April 1942, more explosives were dropped on the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, smaller than the Isle of Wight, than on the whole of Britain during the first year of the Blitz. Malta had become one of the most strategically important places in the world. From there, the Allies could attack Axis supply lines to North Africa; without it, Rommel would be able to march unchecked into Egypt, Suez and the Middle East. For the Allies this would have catastrophic. As Churchill said, Malta had to be held at all costs. FORTRESS MALTA follows the story through the eyes of those who were there: young men such as twenty-year-old fighter pilot Raoul Daddo-Langlois, anti-aircraft gunner Ken Griffiths, American Art Roscoe and submariner Tubby Crawford – who served on the most successful Allied submarine of the Second World War; cabaret dancer-turned RAF plotter Christina Ratcliffe, and her lover, the brilliant and irrepressible reconnaissance pilot, Adrian Warburton. Their stories and others provide extraordinary first-hand accounts of heroism, resilience, love, and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of World War II.

Reviewed by  Andover Library Reading Group:

Some found the technical and political daunting, the human interest was interesting, especially about the age of some of the pilots and the endurance of the Maltese people.

Star rating: ***

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1 thought on “Fortress Malta by James Holland”

  1. Review by Everton Reading Group:
    Impressively factual, but lacked a certain continuity with the characters. Despite being very knowledgeable on the historical side, it did not go far enough to sustain interest.
    Star rating: **

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