There is a certain British genius for Boys’ Own Paper military history, and Roger Crowley has it. The centrepiece of his book is the Turkish siege of Malta in 1565, and to describe a siege takes literary talent of a high order: without that, lifeless repetition becomes the order of the day. Crowley gives a third of his book to Malta, and he knows all the peculiarities of the island. The siege lasted for four months, and the outcome depended on the bravery of a little, exposed outpost, fortified at the last minute, which prevented the Turks from properly investing the main fortifications.
PB 341 pages