An epic page-turner filled with tales of courage, desperation, endurance and intrigue, brought to life by eyewitness accounts and expert research.
For over three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence.
Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and diseases. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells and a barrage from immense floating batteries.
This is military and social history at its best, a story of soldiers, sailors and civilians, with royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, priests, prisoners-of-war, spies and surgeons, all caught up in a struggle for a fortress located on little more than two square miles of awe-inspiring rock. Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History is an epic page-turner, rich in dramatic human detail - a tale of courage, endurance, intrigue, desperation, greed and humanity. The everyday experiences of all those involved are brought vividly to life with eyewitness accounts and expert research.
'A fascinating, well-crafted account of a siege that defined Britishness' Andrew Lambert, BBC History Magazine
Roy and Lesley Adkins are husband-and-wife historians and authors of widely acclaimed books on naval and social history, including Jack Tar, Trafalgar, The War for All the Oceans and Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England, which have been translated into seventeen languages. They are Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Royal Historical Society, as well as Members of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. They live in Devon. See www.adkinshistory.com
The siege that changed the course of British History . . . Well-researched and briskly written . . . worthy of the most melodramatic Hollywood blockbuster — Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
The Adkins . . . have captured the tortured and contested story of this solitary rock with aplomb . . . The Adkins's page-turning account makes you feel as if you were there amid the smoke, blood and gunpowder — Catholic Herald
A definitive new book . . . it recounts in detail the stirring story of the conflict and Lord Heathfield's key role in ensuring a momentous British victory — Sussex Express
The Adkins bring the siege vividly to life, especially the everyday experiences of all those involved in the struggle . . . An epic page-turner — Julian Stockwin
Fascinating and timely — Daily Mail
Never loses sight of the human story at the heart of an extraordinary international incident — History Revealed
Fascinating . . . an enthralling and colourful history told with human stories at its heart — Family Tree
Another epic and illuminating look at Britain's past from Roy and Lesley Adkins, masters of the historical narrative. Ordinary mortals in extraordinary circumstances leap off the pages — Quarterdeck
Highly readable . . . With plenty of drama to draw upon and an impressive commitment to research, this is a book to delight the military history enthusiast — History of War
A fascinating, well-crafted account of a siege that defined Britishness — Andrew Lambert, BBC History Magazine
Well written history, excitingly told. Why not get yourself a copy? — J J Alcantara, Gibraltar Chronicle
The husband-and-wife historian team once again exhibit their talent for enlivening British history . . . Many readers will wonder why this episode hasn't been made into a movie, with all the heroics of soldiers, civilians, and, especially, families . . . The story is as compelling as it is fantastic - page-turning history of one of the most important eras of Western civilization — Kirkus Reviews
This intense account portrays the heroism and sufferings of the defenders while offering interesting vignettes that cover intriguing personalities on both sides. The Adkinses have created an absorbing examination of an important episode in British and European history — Jay Freeman, Booklist
A page-turning tale of one of the era's longest and most significant sieges, described from the perspective of those who lived through it . . . a well organized, fast-paced book — Publishers Weekly
This detailed account of possibly one of the greatest events in British maritime history ... as important to Britain as was the Siege of Stalingrad to the USSR in World War Two ... The authors ... give a superb social history dimension to the official military archives ... This book is thoroughly recommended — Martin Hazell, South West Soundings
A page turner that vividly recounts the titanic, but little known, behind-the-scenes struggle between England, France and Spain that so dramatically influenced world events during the American Revolution — History 500
Gripping, dramatically paced and thoroughly researched history of the dogged defense of Gibraltar — Washington Times