Jellison, Charles A.
Title BESIEGED: THE WORLD WAR II ORDEAL OF MALTA, 1940-1942.
Publisher University of New Hampshire / University Press of New England, (Hanover, NH), 1984, first edition.
Seller ID 16678
288 pp, large 8vo (9 3/16" H), hard cover in dust jacket. Map endpapers, b&w photos, map. ISBN 0874513138 "During the early years of the Second World War, the tiny island of Malta withstood months of incessant heavy bombing and blockade by the Axis powers. Because of its strategic location and excellent harbor facilities, retention of Malta was of utmost importance for the British. Conversely, its surrender or neutralization as an offensive base was given the highest priority by the enemy. For more than two years this lonely outpost (the sole British base between Gibraltar and Alexandria) was subjected to the heaviest sustained bombing ever unleashed upon so small an area, while its people were increasingly deprived of food, medicine, and virtually all other necessities of life by the ever-tightening stranglehold of the Axis blockade. This fine narrative conveys in a lively, moving fashion the effects of that extraordinary period on the populace of Malta. This is not a military history, but rather extremely readable social history set against the backdrop of military events. It deals principally with the effect of the blockade upon island life, and is the first book to present the Maltese war experience from a Maltese point of view. It recounts the story of how a simple, deeply religious people who had never experienced modern warfare reacted to the brutal, grueling ordeal of a war that was none of their making. Growing out of the author's interest in and extended visits to Malta, the book's special features include extensive use of material from diaries and personal recollections extracted from dozens of interviews with actual participants in the drama. " Small faint scuff to fore-edge of textblock, minor wrinkling at bottom of spine, a few tiny soiling marks on rear board. Dust jacket has light edge wear/wrinkling - mainly at top/bottom of spine and flap-folds, light rubbing, tiny scuff on front panel. VG+/V G