We will be joined in-person by one of the most acclaimed military historians, Max Hastings, to tell the gripping tale of his new book Operation Pedestal.
Max describes the story of this epic battle at sea as one of the most extraordinary tales he has ever recounted. In August 1942, beleaguered Malta was within weeks of surrender to the Axis, because its 300,000 people could no longer be fed. Churchill made a personal decision that at all costs, the ‘island fortress’ must be saved. This was not merely a matter of strategy, but of national prestige, when Britain’s fortunes and morale had fallen to their lowest ebb.
Operation Pedestal describes catastrophic ship sinkings, including that of the aircraft-carrier Eagle, together with struggles to rescue survivors and salvage stricken ships. Most moving of all is the story of the tanker Ohio, indispensable to Malta’s survival, victim of countless Axis attacks. In the last days of the battle, the ravaged hulk was kept under way only by two destroyers, lashed to her sides. Until the very last hours, no participant on either side could tell what would be the outcome of an epic of wartime suspense and courage.
Please note, this event is now taking place in the bookshop on TUESDAY 12TH OCTOBER.