Operation Pedestal: The Fleet That Battled to Malta 1942 (Hardback)Max Hastings (author)
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The master historian of the Second World War produces another nail-biting volume that reads with the pace and style of fiction, this time spotlighting the brutal battle of attrition that secured Malta’s survival.
An epic, intimate new account of one of the greatest naval dramas of World War II, from number one bestselling historian Max Hastings.
Operation Pedestal was a crucial relief mission that became an epic, bloody naval battle and a pivotal moment in the Second World War. In 1942, the Luftwaffe had a stranglehold on Malta. In the months of April and May, they dropped more bombs on the island than on London in the entire Blitz. British attempts to bring in supplies and reinforcements were failing with heavy losses, and the people on Malta were closing in on starvation as the Axis attempted to force their surrender.
Operation Pedestal saw an armada of fifty British ships, painstakingly loaded with food and medical supplies, ammunition and fuel, attempt to fight its way in convoy to the island. The ensuing battle was brutal on both sides, Italian submarines and German planes dealing serious damage alongside the naval skirmishing. Over the course of a few fierce days, Britain scraped a victory and ensured Malta's survival - though at the loss of a horrifying number of ships and lives. It was an emblematic moment when, in the cruel accountancy of war, the price was worth paying.
In his signature brilliant style, Max Hastings gives a thrilling narrative of this little-known but crucial naval battle, retelling the intense action which perfectly encapsulates the spirit and power of the Royal Navy, surely the fiercest and most iconic fighting force of WW2.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 770 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 41 mm
'Over this past year of pandemic, we've lost so much. People have died, great institutions have gone under, life itself seems permanently altered. Yet one certainty remains: Max Hastings still churns out military histories, and they continue to be outstanding. This book like all the others ... is a cracker. With his usual combination of sensitivity to human suffering and superb dramatic instinct, Hastings has given us a gripping tale ...The immediacy of this book obliterates the cold detachment that time's passage usually allows ... We feel in our bones torpedoes hitting home ... the four-day ordeal British sailors endured ... is a drama superbly told ...The delight lies in the detail, the percussive power of tiny facts ...is what makes Hastings such a superb storyteller' - The Times
'Superb ... as ever Hastings gives excellent pen portraits of the personalities involved ... Hastings has written many wonderful books ... but few combine so well his unique gifts as a historian: an understanding of human nature, a nose for a telling quotation, and the ability to write gripping prose' - The Sunday Telegraph
'The white-knuckle ride of Hastings's gripping narrative ... is a high-octane adventure served up with torpedoes, Stuka dive bombers and catastrophic U-book attacks ... heart-stirring ...memorable ... and highly readable' - The Sunday Times
'One of the most dramatic forgotten chapters of the war, as told in a new book by the incomparable Max Hastings' - The Daily Mail
Praise for Chastise:
'A virtuoso performance from a veteran military historian. It is a white-knuckle narrative that brings clarity and insight to a much-loved tale, as well as offering a vital corrective to the drum-thumping conclusions of earlier books.' - Sunday Times
'Hastings recounts the actual raids with dramatic intensity ... He brings us into those Lancasters, flying perilously low, straight into flak ... Superb.' - Times
'Thoughtful and gripping ... This is a fine book combining great storytelling with a deep appreciation of the melancholy and waste that march in step with glory.' - Patrick Bishop, Telegraph
'What is at stake in this revision of the old glorious narrative is something important. The debate over whether this particular raid mattered is, in miniature, the wider historiographical debate over the morals and efficacy of the whole bombing war ... A powerful parable which might instruct us in our own confused times.' - Spectator
'Hastings, who is a master of his craft, unfolds the story skilfully ... It doesn't matter how many times you have seen the film, or heard the story, this book is gripping from start to finish' - Keith Lowe, Literary Review
'A riveting account that also shines a light on the fact that more than 1,400 civilians died in the floods that followed ... It's a monumental read' - Sun
'A fine book about that moonlit Dambusters' raid of 76 years ago, a worthy tribute to the men of 617 Squadron - and their hapless victims' - Sunday Express
'A remarkable book ... Combining formidable narrative power with equally potent explanatory insight, it situates the Dambusters Raid in the broader strategic context of World War II' - Washington Post
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