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The Great Siege: Malta 1565 Paperback – Apr 3 2010

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Paperback, Apr 3 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher:; First Edition edition (April 3 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075929934X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759299344
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #449,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen McHenry on Nov. 23 2002
Format: Paperback
An epic tale accurately told with recounting based on manuscripts and diaries of those there, interspersed with the tales from the natives, lightly spiced with the author's understanding of life at that time, so it all comes together in a fascinating true story of the Muslem forces of Suleyman the Magnificent setting out in great strength to seize the island of Malta, in order to establish a base in the western Mediterrainian, with the purpose of pushing his empire up into the underside of Europe. The island is held by The Knights of St. John, the Hospitallers, honest-to-goodness knights in shinning armour, who carry one of the hands of the disciple John with them as a divine relic.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roger E. Herman on Dec 27 2001
Format: Paperback
First of all, I must confess to you that I normally do not read military history or battlefield stories. A book about one of the most life-changing historical events on a 122-square mile island nation in the Mediterranean Sea may be important to people on Malta, but not me. Except that I went to Malta for a vacation and was given a copy of the book by another traveler who had just finished it. "Good book," he proclaimed, so I started reading.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By doug bonforte on June 20 2000
Format: Paperback
If you like such movies as "BRAVEHEART", "BEN-HUR" and "ZULU!", this book is for you; I couldn't put it down. Although written in the early 1960's, it remains THE landmark work on the Great Siege. The author paints such incredibly vivid pictures of the principal actors, the period and the heroic battle actions that he brings the Siege to life. While the book is a bit short on specific details for the serious historian, it more than compensates for this with its crisp, almost electric pace and non-stop action. Indeed a 1999 retelling of the Siege showed clear tribute to Bradford by aping his prose, but the result was a clumsy, ham-handed effort. Stick with this one - the original - and you won't go wrong. This is storytelling at its finest.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 3 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent audio book of a book originally published in 1961 by British historian Ernle (pronounced Ern-Lee) Bradford about the Ottoman attack on the island of Malta in 1565, intended to subjugate Malta and eliminate the Order of the Knights of Malta as a player in Mediterranean military and political affairs.

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.
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