The Great Siege: Malta 1565 Paperback – Apr 3 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is Muslem against Christian, both dedicated to fight to the death, the attackers in flowing robes that caught fire easily when the defenders, who were wearing armour and chain mail in sweltering heat and sun, rolled hoops of fire into their midst. It is seige warfare, psychological warfare, religion vs religion, men vs men, and men vs germs. Polictical betrayal, bravery, heroics, bad strategys and brilliant tactics.
The author has done excellent research, the core of the book is a scholarly work with references and sources, but done in such a way as to become a great story, not a boring read. Brings it all to life and death, an easy and interesting read at 232 pages of story. This is not just for military history buffs, but for anyone who likes a good story.
I couldn't put the book down. I hungrily read chapter after chapter. The tale of how the Knights of St. John defended this strategically important island from the onslaught of a Turkish force was fascinating. The Turks in the 1500s were a powerful nation whose dominance spread far and wide. The Knights of St. John held the island of Malta, strategically positioned to enable the Sultan to conquer Europe. Interstingly, the clash also pitted Moslems against Christians in a struggle that even has relevance to current events.
A huge force of 200 ships and 40,000 men attempted to overthrow the Knights of St. John whose force numbered about 9,600. The naval and ground battles, the heroism, the strategy, and all the stories leap off the pages. The author brings this centuries-old historical event to life, based on historical research that presents facts and figures which support the story he tells. This is a masterpiece.
Yes, it should be a movie--to rival Ben Hur and a few other box office hits. It is said that to be successful, every movie must have strong characters, violence, and sex. No sex in these pages, but the strong characters and their heroic feats will hold your attention from cover to cover.
Suggestion: go to a web site where you can view a map of Malta to understand the relative position of the locations described so vividly.
For those with a little imagination, "The Great Siege" will be the best war movie you'll never see. Whether you like fiction or history, this book is sure to please.
In the 1950s and 1960s Ernle Bradford wrote a number of books about significant events in Mediterranean history, ranging from the ancient classical period, like Ulysses and the Odyessy, to the battle of Thermopolye, to the Crusades, to 15th and 16th events like the siege of Constantinople and the siege of Malta. Many of Bradford's books are still in print. They are all very good. Some are excellent.
This book - and audio book - on the siege of Malta in 1565 falls into the excellent category. Bradford was a very good writer and his prose adapts well to narration. Simon Vance is a very good audio book reader, with good diction, phrasing and overall presentation.
This particular piece of history, with the overtone of the conflict between Islam and the West and the Ottoman Sultan viewing the attack on Malta as a jihad against the Christians, is still relevant today. The historical events are fascinating and Bradford relates them extremely well. This is popular historical writing at its best.
Bottom line: an excellent historical audio book. I have a forty minute commute to/from work and I typically spend my commute time listening to audio books. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
I see that a few commentators have suggested that this piece of history would make an excellent movie. I agree; it would. But I just can't see Hollywood making a movie out of this; for one thing, the outnumbered Christians (i.e.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Fantastic read, full of detail and background. The analysis of the Ottoman leadership conflicts was very insightful. Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Dover
I read this first when still a late teenager. It is a truly remarkable account of a watershed in European history marking, effectively the point at which the Ottoman control of the... Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2013 by James White
In the mid 1500's the Ottoman Turk Suleiman the Magnificent was a septagenarian, but he still was the most powerful ruler in the world. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by George R Dekle
wow. i read the great siege for a critical book review in world history class, and it sure was boring. it may have been the worst book i have skimmed, ever. Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by devin
In the spring of 1565, two great armies met on the battlefield of an island in the heart of the Mediterranean. This war came to be known as the Great Siege of Malta. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2002 by Jonathan Moore
Great Siege: Malta 1565 is simply one of the those books you cannot put down. The pace is frenetic. It gallops the entire way through. Malta, the home of the Knights of St. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2002 by nto62
I just don't know how this story has escaped the clutches of Hollywood. The Great Siege of Malta has to be one of the most amazing conflicts of military history. Read morePublished on June 11 2001 by Sailoil