Bloody Violent History

Siege of Fort St. Elmo

Episode Summary

'St Elmo's Pay' - Maltese saying for any action in which no mercy is shown

Episode Notes

1565, a vast armada of Turkish ships carrying an Ottoman army some 40,000 strong arrives off the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta to begin a siege that will change the course of history. The action will become forever known as the Great Siege of Malta. Facing the invaders are the small band of the Hospitaller Knights of St John, marauders and throwbacks to the time of the Crusades.  

It is upon the little star-shaped fort of St Elmo that the full fury of the enemy will initially fall.  This is martyrdom and hand-to-hand fighting at its most brutal.  Everything depends on the garrison holding out.  Across Grand Harbour, atop his headquarters at Fort St Angelo, the Grand Master of the Knights Jean Parisot de Valette, watches and waits. 

So it Goes

Tom Assheton & James Jackson


Readings by David Hartley

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