The Great Siege: Malta 1565 by Ernle Dusgate Selby Bradford
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Now that was a hell of a siege!
I picked up The Great Siege: Malta 1565 by Ernle Bradford without knowing much about Malta and nothing about the siege of 1565. The book isn't too long and I figured it would be a nice diversion. It proved to be WAY more than that!
The Ottoman Empire tried to invade the island of Malta, then held by the Knights Hospitaller, as a means to set up a base for their fleet in order to make further attacks upon western Europe. The Knights and their stalwart allies the native Maltese were outnumbered three to one (more by some estimates) by a seemingly invincible Turkish force.
The blood, guts and gore, not to mention the utter desperation of it all, is captured so very well by Bradford. This is a legitimate nail-biter! Bradford teases out the tension without dragging out the action, and what action! His descriptions of the battles are excellent. His character sketches put you in the shoes of those making the fateful decisions and those carrying out the orders of an epic battle fought in a past distant and hazy enough to make accurate portrayals quite difficult.
If I recommended this any more I'm afraid I'd pull a muscle!
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