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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.