Fortress Malta

Fortress Malta

From The Knights of St John to World War Two

BattlefieldExperienceHistory

3rd - 8th November 2018
(6 Days)

Guide : Major General Ashley Truluck CB CBE BA

Tour price: £1,725

click here to book

Fortress Malta

From The Knights of St John to World War Two

BattlefieldExperienceHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

3rd - 8th November 2018
(6 Days)

Return flights from London, 5 star hotel, buffet breakfast, three course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and guide throughout.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: 2

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Major General Ashley Truluck CB CBE BA

Tour price: £1,725

Single supplement: £295
Deposit: £175
Price without flights: £1,575

Booking open

click here to book

Tour Introduction

This is a wonderfully varied and scenic tour of Malta – a tiny island with a warm welcome and proud military heritage including probably the greatest concentration of military fortifications in Europe. The Second World War siege will be our main focus but we also examine the indelible marks that other cultures and events have left behind: the unspoilt ancient walled city of Mdina, the renaissance architecture of the Knights of St John, the brief occupation by Napoleon and the extant Victorian fortifications. We will enjoy coastal drives and boat trips, visit superb palaces and fortresses, see underground shelters and secret command posts, and many other places of interest on this wonderful and friendly Mediterranean island. Throughout we will be based in a delightful five-star hotel situated within walking distance of the centre of historic Valetta with its heritage sites and excellent restaurants.

Background

Malta has stood at the strategic crossroads of the Mediterranean for centuries, its history shaped by successive incomers: ancient Phoenicians, Romans and Arabians, the Knights of St John, Napoleon and the British. It was the scene of two of the most cataclysmic sieges in military history: the Great Siege of 1565 when the Knights of St John held out against vastly superior Ottoman forces; and the Second World War siege of 1940-43 when British and Maltese forces and civilians together held out against the might of Mussolini and Hitler making a significant contribution to the success of the land campaign in North Africa, naval operations in the Mediterranean and, indeed, the outcome of the Second World War itself. There are striking similarities between the two sieges; the spirit of The Knights’ earlier struggle inspired their 20th Century successors to fight on against seemingly impossible odds.

Highlights

  • With Major General Ashley Truluck
  • Personal stories of the Land, Air and Sea battles
  • Superb Five Star hotel in Valetta
  • Relaxing Mediterranean winter sun themed break

"Ashley’s thorough homework and handouts were a huge component of the tour’s success. Thank you."

Itinerary

Day 1 - Fly to Malta

We land at Luqa airport – the famous RAF Bomber Command airfield of WW2 – and check-in to our elegant hotel and our base throughout the tour. We walk through the main city gate into the city centre for tea and orientation. Welcome drinks, introductory talk and meal in hotel that evening.

Day 2 – The Great Siege

Drive to the furthest tip of Valetta to visit St Elmo's Fort, the scene of the epic defence of Valetta by the Knights of St John. Subject to local scheduling, enjoy the colourful ‘In-Guardia’ parade followed by a visit to the National War Museum. We walk up into the city for a light lunch, to visit the Grand Masters' Palace and take a guided tour through Valetta’s golden streets back to our hotel.

Day 3 – From the Knights to the Victorians

We drive along the scenic north coast via eponymous St Paul’s Bay, where the saint was shipwrecked – and the scene of many historic events since. We visit the Knights’ lookout at the Red Tower high up on Marfa Ridge with splendid views out to Gozo island. Thence via the 19th century defences of Victoria Lines to Fort Rinella, to see demonstrations of Victorian soldiering, weapon firing and horse-riding.

Day 4 - The Land/Air Defences

Today we conclude our tour of the land defences and then start the story of the air defence of Malta by visiting the beautiful domed church in Mosta and learning about the ‘Mosta Miracle’ before travelling on to the evocative hill-top old barracks and hospital at Imtafa. We tour the exquisite ancient town of Mdina where we take lunch. This afternoon we move to Ta’qali with its excellent air museum - epicentre of the Air Battle and ‘the most bombed airfield of the 2WW’. Thence a drive along the dramatic Dingli cliffs to discuss their contribution.

Day 5 - The Maritime War & The Home Front

This morning we take a relaxing boat trip around Valetta’s magnificent harbours to see the site of the submarine base, discuss the Italian navy raid, the fight to save aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and the heroic Santa Maria Convoy. Disembarking at Birgu wharf for lunch, we spend the afternoon at the Malta at War Museum with its original underground tunnels telling the story of how the civilian population survived the siege.

Day 6 - Command & Control

A short walk from our hotel we find the Lascaris War Rooms, restored to give a fascinating glimpse of how the command bunker operated during Battle for Malta and as the operational HQ for the Invasion of Italy. We see the Noon Day Gun fired, which is our signal to take an early lunch, check-out or our hotel and drive to the airport for our return flight to London.

Recommended Reading List

Photo Gallery

Your Holiday Essentials

3rd - 8th November 2018
(6 Days)

Return flights from London, 5 star hotel, buffet breakfast, three course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and guide throughout.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: 2

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Major General Ashley Truluck CB CBE BA

Tour price: £1,725

Single supplement: £295
Deposit: £175
Price without flights: £1,575

Booking open

click here to book

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