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Defending the Rock: Gibraltar and the Second World War
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Nicholas Rankin
Defending the Rock: Gibraltar and the Second World War by Nicholas Rankin at Abbey's Bookshop,

Defending the Rock: Gibraltar and the Second World War

Nicholas Rankin


Faber & Faber

European history;
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000;
Second World War


672 pages

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Two months before he shot himself, Adolf Hitler saw where it had all gone wrong. By failing to seize Gibraltar in the summer of 1940, he lost the war.

The Rock of Gibraltar, a pillar of British sea-power since 1704, looked formidable but was extraordinarily vulnerable. Though menaced on all sides by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Vichy France and Francoist Spain, every day Gibraltar had to let thousands of people cross its frontier to work. Among them came spies and saboteurs, eager to blow up its 25 miles of secret tunnels. In 1942, Gibraltar became US General Eisenhower's HQ for the invasion of North Africa, the campaign that led to Allied victory in the Mediterranean.

Nicholas Rankin's revelatory new book, whose cast of characters includes Haile Selassie, Anthony Burgess and General Sikorski, sets Gibraltar in the wider context of the struggle against fascism, from Abyssinia through the Spanish Civil War. It also chronicles the end of empire and the rise to independence of the Gibraltarian people.

By:   Nicholas Rankin
Imprint:   Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   535g
ISBN:   9780571307722
ISBN 10:   0571307728
Pages:   672
Publication Date:   June 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nicholas Rankin worked for 20 years for the BBC World Service, winning two UN awards and becoming Chief Producer. His previous books include biographies of Robert Louis Stevenson and the war-correspondent George Steer, Churchill's Wizards, a study of camouflage, deception and black propaganda in both world wars, and Ian Fleming's Commandos, the history of a WW2 naval intelligence unit. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in London and Kent.

'Highly readable . . . Rankin has chosen an unusual vantage point to view the wider war, and told his story well.' Guardian '[A] much needed history.' Times Literary Supplement 'Rankin is a wonderful storyteller.' The Times

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