The Great Siege Audiobook by Ernle Bradford


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Listen to this audiobook free with a 30-day trial. Go to Title: The Great Siege Subtitle: Malta 1565 Author: Ernle Bradford Narrator: Simon Vance Format: Unabridged Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins Language: English Release date: 11-01-12 Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Ratings: 4.5 of 5 out of 429 votes Genres: History, European Publisher's Summary: Suleiman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire and the most powerful ruler in the world, was determined to conquer Europe. Only one thing stood in his way: a dot of an island in the Mediterranean called Malta, which was occupied by the Knights of Saint John, the cream of the warriors of the Holy Roman Empire. A clash of civilizations was shaping up, the likes of which had not been seen since Persia invaded Greece. Determined to capture Malta and use its port to launch operations against Europe, Suleiman sent an armada and an overwhelming army. A few thousand defenders in Fort Saint Elmo fought to the last man, enduring cruel hardships. When the Turks captured the fort, they took no prisoners and mutilated the defenders bodies. Grand Master La Vallette of the Knights reciprocated by decapitating his Turkish prisoners and using their heads to cannonade the enemy. Then the battle for Malta began in earnest: no quarter asked, none given. The Great Siege is not merely a gripping tale of brutality, courage, and tenacity but the saga of two mighty civilizations struggling for domination of the known world. Ernle Bradford (19221986) was a prominent British historian specializing in the Mediterranean world and naval history. He served in the Royal Navy for the duration of World War II and later traveled throughout the Mediterranean, living for a while on Malta. He was a BBC broadcaster and magazine editor, as well as the author of many acclaimed books, including biographies on Cleopatra, Hannibal, and Caesar. Members Reviews: Stirring tale of courage and endurance Suleiman the Magnificent, at the start of his reign, captured the island of Rhodes and allowed the Knights Hospitaller to leave in good order. They re-established themselves on the island of Malta, and their sea raids once again became a threat to Ottoman shipping. At the end of his reign, Suleiman launched a massive campaign to oust them again - and open up Sicily, Italy, and Southern Europe to attack. The siege failed: Suleiman's generals and admirals failed to reckon with the grit and almost superhuman determination of Jean de Valette, the Grand Master of the Order of Saint John; or with the fanatical devotion of his men and the courage of the Maltese people themselves. The siege was supposed to last a few weeks; it lasted nearly four months, until the Ottomans, broken by disease and beginning to run short of ammunition and provisions - and facing the belated arrival of Christian reinforcements from Sicily - gave up and left. You don't have to take sides in the struggle (though Ernle Bradford certainly does) to appreciate this stirring tale of human courage and endurance. Simon Vance narrates the story with his usual crystal clarity and deft pacing. This older book bears comparison with the more recent "Empires of the Sea" by Roger Crowley, narrated by the equally fine John Lee. Bradford focuses entirely on Malta, and provides a more detailed look at some aspects of the siege; Crowley covers the larger story, from the time of the corsairs through the Battle of Lepanto that finally broke the Ottoman sea power for good. If you had to pick one, I would go with Crowley's. But if you want to revisit the story of the Great Siege from a slightly different angle, this is an excellent choice. Malta the key to the Mediterranean Sea Ernie Bradford did an excellent job researching and telling this story of the greatest siege in history.

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