A major reassessment of a key aspect of British strategy and defence policy in the first half of the twentieth century.
The main contribution of this new study is an investigation of the role of Malta in British military strategy, as planned and as it actually developed, in the period between the mid 1920s and the end of the war in North Africa in May 1943. It demonstrates that the now widely accepted belief that Malta was 'written off as indefensible' before the war was mistaken, and focuses on Malta's actual wartime role in the Mediterranean war, assessing the numerous advantages, many often ignored, that the British derived from retention of the island. The conclusions made challenge recent assertions that Malta's contribution was of limited value and will be of great interest to both students and professionals in the field.
'Dr Douglas Austin's book is a major contribution … For everyone interested in Malta's contribution to the Second World War, the book is essential reading, for he provides us with a broad understanding of British defence thinking about Malta.' - Sunday Times of Malta, August 29th 2004
'The well written narrative is accompanied by extensive references, an excellent bibliography and a thorough index. It deserves to be read and carefully studied by all who are interested in the wartime history of the George Cross Island.' - R.A.F. Historical Society Journal
'This is an important read for anyone interested in the European war or British strategic thought.' - The NYMAS Review
1. The Base at Malta in the 1920s 2. The Failure to Strengthen Malta's Defences, 1930-35 3. Malta in the Abyssinian Crisis, 1935-36 4. Prelude to War, 1936-39 5. Final Preparations for War 6. The Threat of Invasion 7. The Initial Onslaught 8. The German Intervention in the Mediterranean 1941 9. Malta's Contribution to 'Crusader' 10. The 1942 Siege of Malta 11. Malta's Contribution to the Recovery of North Africa 12. Conclusion
This series publishes studies on historical and contemporary aspects of land power, spanning the period from the eighteenth century to the present day, and will include national, international and comparative studies. From time to time, the series will publish edited collections of essays and ‘classics’.