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Malta 1565: Last Battle of the Crusades (Trade Editions) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. August 1998

4.0 von 5 Sternen 3 Kundenrezensionen

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Taschenbuch, 28. August 1998
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Synopsis

The siege of the island fortress of the Knights Hospitaller by the Turkish army is one of the greatest sieges in military history. As well covering the campaign itslef, the book also illustrates the changing nature of warfare in the period with increasing reliance on musketry and artillery.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Tim Pickles, a Yorkshireman by birth, now resides in New Orleans, USA. He worked for many years as a figurine modeller but now specialises as an historical consultant, battle co-ordinator and costume designer in the film industry. He was one of the founders of the Napoleonic Association, undertaking the role of Wellington, commanding British forces at re-enactments between 1990 and 1995.

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Format: Taschenbuch
The Great Siege of Malta was one of the most epic battles of the Wars of Religion. To date, the most popular book on this topic has been Ernle Bradford's "The Great Siege". While a gripping and highly readable account, it fell far short on providing specific details of the conflict. Despite this, it was responsible for developing my strong interest in the battle, and remains a personal favorite.
When I first heard of impending publication of Mr.Pickles work - and by Osprey Publications no less, reknowned for their level of research - I went so far as to pre-order it, sight unseen. Unfortunately, the initial high hopes held for this book were quickly dashed.
There are no new insights offered, and the level of historic detail is wanting. Armchair military historians are offered little in the way of explanation of unit organization, tactics, logistics or command structures. Indeed, in some ways the book is a step backward, in that its maps, while colorful, contain incorrect dates, events and troop locations.
Evidence of a general sloppiness of research is further reflected in the sparse bibliography, which ignores such critical contemporary works as Bosio's "History of the Order of St. John", as well as more modern efforts like John Guilmartin's "Gunpowder and Galleys." How this surprisingly short list of references got past the eye of Dr. David Chandler, the highly respected editor of the Osprey series, is a source of wonder.
Finally, the author's proposed rules for wargaming the Siege betray his unfamiliarity with the medium; if attempted, the amount of die rolling required by a game player would quickly send them to the hospital with a wrist injury. Its best to just pass them by.
Its not that this so much a 'bad' book, as much as its just so... mediocre. Primarily, it boils down to a retelling of Bradford's tale, but with some flashier pictures and a far heavier hand. A disappointment.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of the very best of the Osprey Campaign series. The author succinctly describes the strategic background to the campaign, opposing plans, leaders and the forces involved. Order of Battle information is a bit sketchy. Once the Turks arrive, it became a bitter fight to the finish between two experienced and fanatical forces. This story is very interesting for military professionals to study because the outcome of the siege was close throughout, requiring imaginative use of "combat multipliers" and sound generalship. Both the heroism and leadership of La Valette are well told by the author. The maps depicting the key actions are excellent. Perhaps there are some minor errors (and what work of history is without error or omission?), but in this book there is a pathos of a long ago battle that is brought to vivid life by the author.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This book is a very fine example how alive history can be - if it is told with passion and an eye for all the little details besides the bare numbers, dates and names usually found in history books. Also, the fabulous illustrations add to the whole captivating experience. This book is like one of those great Hollywood movies from the past - colorful in every detail, with big heroes and mortal confrontations, traitors and spies, and all sorts of unexpected twists and turns of fate. Of course you know that the good guys will win eventually ,but the suspense keeps you at the edge of your seat. This might well be the best book yet in the already exceptional Osprey Military Campaign Series.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b536f9c) von 5 Sternen 13 Rezensionen
21 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8b54bc6c) von 5 Sternen A Well-Told Tale of Heroic Leadership 7. Juni 2000
Von R. A Forczyk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of the very best of the Osprey Campaign series. The author succinctly describes the strategic background to the campaign, opposing plans, leaders and the forces involved. Order of Battle information is a bit sketchy. Once the Turks arrive, it became a bitter fight to the finish between two experienced and fanatical forces. This story is very interesting for military professionals to study because the outcome of the siege was close throughout, requiring imaginative use of "combat multipliers" and sound generalship. Both the heroism and leadership of La Valette are well told by the author. The maps depicting the key actions are excellent. Perhaps there are some minor errors (and what work of history is without error or omission?), but in this book there is a pathos of a long ago battle that is brought to vivid life by the author.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8b54bcc0) von 5 Sternen Historically Incorrect, Badly Researched & Illustrated 26. September 2012
Von CWL - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Those who gave high reviews about this book should read "Empires of the Seas" by R. Crowley, to get a real understanding and feel for the times, antagonists and sheer desperation and terror felt by both sides during one of the most important battles of the Renaissance. The siege defined how the Mediterranean looks to this day and needs to be told correctly.

I bought this book to supplement other books I have for this topic and so that I would have access to maps and illustrations of the forces in conflict (Osprey's main strength), but this book is lacking in both. Most of the illustrations are not even from the correct era, with prints of 14th-15th and 17th Centuries. These are NOT accurate to show how Malta and the Defenders or the Turks looked during this battle. I think Pickle just used whatever illustrations he had on-hand with no care for accuracy. Anyone doing an internet search for "siege of Malta" will find better and contemporary illustrations of the event. Strange why Pickle/Osprey did not conduct proper research as so much material exists.

Worse of all, the illustration & maps of Fort St. Elmo are incorrect! Whoever "researched" Fort St. Elmo used the 17th Century rebuild, which differed dramatically from the actual fort used during the siege. Fort St. Elmo of 1565, was a small star-shaped fort (4-point star) to which Italian engineers added a small detached ravelin to protect the weakest point. Every contemporary print of the Siege clearly shows this 4-point star fort, yet Pickle/Osprey chose to incorrectly use the 17th Century rebuilt version. Why does it matter? 1. Because it is simply bad research and incorrect. 2. The weakest point of the original fort & ravelin was where the Turks actually managed to enter the fort. 3. Readers would better understand the brilliant defense conducted by the defenders of such a small and inadequate position. 4. The entry point provided by Pickles/Osprey is incorrect and not even at the right location, so the account given in this book is wrong. 5. The latter fort would probably have been strong enough to resist the siege.

What it comes down to is that this book is historically and materially incorrect. If you buy & read this version, you not only get a boring & watered-down account of the action, but you won't even learn what actually happened.

Shame on you, Tim Pickles and Osprey.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8b54bf9c) von 5 Sternen Just about decent, despite bias and mistakes 20. Dezember 2014
Von JPS - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This title could have been good. Instead, it is just about decent, because the facts of the siege are well told. So this is certainly not a five star book, nor is it worth four stars.

However, it also has a strong tendency to “hype up” events and present the Knights of Saint John as paragon of chivalry fighting against the forces of evil which, at times, is so excessive that it becomes almost laughable. So the first problem with this book is that it essentially fails to capture the religious fanaticism that existed on both sides among at least some of the combatants and, perhaps more generally, the fact that there were no “goodies” and “baddies”, contrary to the impression that is given.

The siege and defence of Malta can be, as has very much been portrayed as “heroic” although this is only part of the story, and the fame and glory it brought to the Order is largely a function of the fact that it was successful. What the author fails to emphasise, although he does admittedly allude to it, is that the Order brought this onto itself and onto the Maltese because of its relentless attacks of Ottoman shipping. This was seen as “piracy”, of course, by the Ottomans, just like the Christians qualified the Moslem raids on their coasts as piratical. The point here is that there is some uncertainty, to say the least, as to whether the Ottomans really had some kind of “grand plan” for a seaborne invasion of Italy or whether they simply wanted to eradicate what they saw as a nest of pirates that was disrupting their shipping.

Another related point is that La Valette, the Grand Master, was, in the pure tradition of the Military Orders, a fanatic. He is often presented as a fearless leader, which he certainly was, who had the wisdom to know that the Ottoman storm would come and who therefore did his outmost to prepare for the inevitable invasion and attack. This is, to some extent, a rationalisation after the facts. Even more excessive is the statement that, thanks to La Valette’s actions, “Europe would never be Muslim.” He seems, in fact, to have provoked the invasion and siege of Malta, and the island’s defences were not fully ready – far from it – by the time it came, if only because the Order lacked sufficient money to do so and the Christian powers’ enthusiasm to fight the Ottomans in the Mediterranean was somewhat lukewarm.

What he in fact managed to do was to force the hand of the Spaniards, and of the Spanish Viceroy of Naples in particular, who had to come to his help. However, what looks in retrospect as an extremely high risk gamble almost failed as the Viceroy hesitated to commit to the defence of Malta the limited numbers of troops with which he was supposed to defend Naples and Sicily and almost arrived too late. In military terms, therefore, the Spanish hesitations were perfectly understandable in purely military terms, even if it was indefensible to “abandon” fellow Christians, and members of a religious Order in addition, to their fate and let them be slaughtered by the Ottomans.

An additional point that the author has entirely avoided is a discussion of the Maltese themselves. The Knights ruled the islands as a sovereign State and with a heavy hand. The local population clearly had no say in the matter regarding the Order’s very aggressive and antagonistic policy against the Ottomans and did have to suffer multiple Muslim raids prior to the Great Siege. They, perhaps more than the Order’s members, were the real - and the largely unsung - heroes of the Siege if only because they had something to lose (their homes and families) and they had not vowed their lives to fight against the Muslims contrary to the Order’s members.

Then there are some rather awful blunders and mistakes. One reviewer has already listed one of them. The fort of Saint Elmo at the time of the siege was not the very elaborate and state-of-the-art structure that is illustrated in the book. This is the plan of the fort that replaced the one destroyed during the siege and which was a smaller, simpler and weaker stronghold. In fact it was only after the siege that the defences of the island really became formidable as money poured into the Order’s coffers because it had survived the Ottoman onslaught. Ironically, these superb defences which are the ones you can visit nowadays never had to be used.

A second blunder is a claim on the very first page of the book about the Muslims falling “more and more under the control of the warlike descendants of Genghis Khan’s Mongols. This simply omits that the Mamluks of Egypt resisted the Mongols very successfully and defeated them several times so that Egypt did not fall to the Mongols who also did not manage to permanently occupy Syria.

A third and just as surprising blunder is the claim that “the last Christian forces left Palestine”…”and gave up their toe-hold on Cyprus” so that only the Order of Saint John remained in the East. Here, either the author has not done his research properly or he is being somewhat “creative” with the facts. The Christians did not give up Cyprus, far from it. It remained a Christian Kingdom ruled by the Lusignan dynasty until the second half of the 15th century when it was taken over by Venice who governed it until the Ottomans conquered it in 1570. Accordingly, the Order of Saint John was certainly not the only remaining Christian power in the East after the loss of Palestine. For instance, Lesbos belonged to the Genoese until 1462 and Venice would hold on to Crete for over four centuries until the second half of the 17th century.

The title also lacks a bibliography, which as far as I am concerned always “earns” a book a “black mark” since it prevents the reader from going any further as she/he might be tempted to do if the book manages to arise more than a passing interest. Three stars, mainly because the factual narrative of the siege is well told, despite all the glitches mentioned. The plates are acceptable and competent, although not great and I must confess that I never been a fan of Christa Hook’s blurry-faced characters.
HASH(0x8b54e4e0) von 5 Sternen This book was excellent! 13. Januar 2016
Von Kevin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book was excellent! I wasn't very familiar with the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 before reading this, but I'm looking forward to finding books with a more comprehensive overview. Osprey's campaign books are excellent at providing some background and aftermath of the battles, but now I'm looking for more. Not that this book didn't deliver, but because it delivered so well!

As usual with Osprey's titles, the maps and images were extremely helpful in pulling the reader in. My only complaint is that the two-page spread maps contain detail which gets buried in the gutter of the book. Not much, but there is an item in the legend which appears missing from the map, until you realize you have to dig your finger into the gutter to reveal it. But even that was a minimal distraction from the excitement of the book.

The wargaming chapter at the end of the book was an interesting addition.

Contents:
Origins of the Campaign
Plans and Preparations
Opposing Commanders
Opposing Armies
The Crescent on the Horizon
The Attack on St. Elmo
Fort St. Michael
Crisis and Reprieve
Turkish Troubles
Mdina
Relief at Last
Aftermath
Malta and the Order Today
Wargaming the Siege of Malta
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8b54e4f8) von 5 Sternen Don't waste your money 27. Juni 2015
Von Donald Ray - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
The written account is interesting. The maps are not that helpful. The drawings are fuzzy in detail (especially with regard to clothing and costumes) and are sometimes amateurish with regard to body proportions. The engravings used are not that helpful. The book is poorly put together: pages have come loose. Osprey needs to get back its earlier quality.
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