Sword and Scimitar by Simon Scarrow

About the book

1565, Malta: a vital outpost between the divided nations of Europe and the relentlessly expanding Ottoman Empire. Faced with ferocious attack by a vast Turkish fleet, the knights of the Order of St John fear annihilation. Amongst those called to assist is disgraced veteran Sir Thomas Barrett. Loyalty and instinct compel him to put the Order above all other concerns, yet his allegiance is divided. At Queen Elizabeth’s command, he must search for a hidden scroll, guarded by the knights, that threatens her reign.

As Sir Thomas confronts the past that cost him his honour and a secret that has long lain buried, a vast enemy army arrives to lay siege to the island…


Reviewed by Cliffhangers

appreciation of the insight into this part of Malta’s history. Good feedback from the majority of members although too violent in it’s detail for some”

star rating ***

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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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