In 1940, the strategically vital island of Malta was Britain's last toehold in the central Mediterranean, wreaking havoc among Axis shipping. Launching an air campaign to knock Malta out of the war, first Italy and then Germany sought to force a surrender or reduce the defences enough to allow an invasion. Drawing on original documents, multilingual aviation analyst Ryan Noppen explains how technical and tactical problems caused the original Italian air campaign of 1940-41 to fail, and then how the German intervention came close to knocking Malta out of the war. Using stunning full colour artwork, this fascinating book explains why the attempt by the Axis powers to take the British colony of Malta ultimately failed.
Ryan K. Noppen is a military author and analyst originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan and holds a Master of Arts degree in European History from Purdue University. He has worked as a naval and aviation subject matter expert on projects for the US Navy, taught college courses in military history, and presently serves as the headmaster of a Christian Classical school. A scholar of Dutch, German, and Central European military history, he has published a major history of Dutch air power and has written several titles for Osprey. He lives in Virginia, USA. Graham Turner is a leading historical artist, specializing in the medieval period. He has illustrated numerous titles for Osprey, covering a wide variety of subjects from the dress of the 10th-century armies of the Caliphates, through the action of bloody medieval battles, to the daily life of the British Redcoat of the late 18th century. The son of the illustrator Michael Turner, Graham lives and works in Buckinghamshire, UK.