One of the "top picks for specialized military history" - California Bookwatch
Gibraltar is not only an archetypal fortress, preserving in its dominating topography and walls, bastions and emplacements a rich testament to extended periods of human conflict, but it is also a unique record of the evolution of the sciences of fortification and associated defensive structures over a period of more than six centuries. Gibraltar has a complex and varied military history, lying as it does at the gateway to the Mediterranean and the meeting points of the continents of Europe and Africa. Its history, always shaped by its unique combination of strategic position and topography, begins in ancient times with successive occupations by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. It then passed through Arab, Castilian and Spanish hands, and has been a British possession since 1704. The Rock served as a base for Nelson's fleet in the Napoleonic Wars and, in World War II, for the Royal Navy's Task Force 'H' and as as a vital stopping place for supply convoys plying to and from the East through the Suez Canal and supporting the Allied effort in the Mediterranean Theater. An unprecedented amount of tunnelling took place on Gibraltar, making it a veritable warren that housed aircraft hangars, ammunition stores, hospitals and even a secret chamber (the Stay-Behind Cave) that was to be manned as an observation post in the event of a hostile takeover.
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Darren Fa was born in Gibraltar 1966. Darren is a member of the Fortress Study Group, The Ordnance Society and the Coast Defence Study Group. Deputy Director of the Gibraltar museum, he has also prepared numerous papers, articles and talks on Gibraltar's local and natural history, and is co-editor of Gibraltar Heritage, a bi-annual magazine.
Clive Finlayson was born in Gibraltar in 1955. Educated at Gibraltar Grammar School, he completed a BSc at the University of Liverpool, UK, and went on to obtain a DPhil from the University of Oxford. A former managing director of the Gibraltar Tourism Agency, in 1991 Clive became Director of the Gibraltar Museum. The author lives in Gibraltar.
“This volume will prove fascinating, not only for the CDSG members who recently visited Gibraltar, but for anyone interested in the history of fortifications. Finlayson and Fa, director and deputy director of the Gibraltar Museum respectively, are more than qualified to tell the long and involved story of the defense of Gibraltar, and they have illustrated it with many well-chosen paintings, maps, plans, and photos... This excellent book on a very important subject is highly recommended to anyone interested in fortifications.” ―Bolling Smith, Coast Defense Journal
“The authors provide a clear story of how things progressed through period drawings, photographs and superb artwork of Adam Hook. Overall, this is a superb book on what has to be one of the most interesting and fortified pieces of real estate on the planet. Highly recommended for all.” ―Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com
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