The Island of Malta occupies a pivotal position in the Mediterranean, forming an outpost between North Africa and the soft underbelly of Europe. Such has been its strategic importance throughout the years that it has become one of the most fortified places in the world. Following the successful defence of the island during the Great Siege of 1565, the Knights Hospitaller built new walls and fortifications. These defences failed when Napoleon occupied Malta in 1798, and the island was retaken by the British in 1800. From this point onwards, Malta’s defences were modernised throughout the 19th century and the island’s final test came during World War II. This book examines all these different styles of fortification from the 16th to the 20th century.
'The Key to Malta' · The Knights of St John: Arrival and Survival · Construction and Reconstruction · The Outer Ring · Malta under the British: 1800-1940 · The Second Siege: 1940-43 · Malta as an Archaeological Site · The Sites Today · Bibliography and Further Reading · Glossary · Index