This is the only tour available in Malta which is dedicated to Malta’s British history. During the tour we will discuss why the British came to Malta, what happened and why they left.
The tour will begin in Vittoriosa where we will see the fortifications which date back to the times of the Knights and were later used by the British for their defensive purpose. We will visit the maze like, underground Air Raid shelters and relive the conditions of what has been referred to as the Second Great Siege of Malta. These subterranean bomb shelters were excavated in the solid rock and were extended as the war progressed.
After a short walk of Vittoriosa we will drive to Valletta by bus. We will walk to the upper Barrakka Garden which enjoys a spectacular view of the Grand Harbour (the largest natural harbour of the Mediterranean Sea), which was a British military base and the main reason why Malta came under fire as soon as Mussolini declared war on the Allied forces.
“The declaration of war has already been consigned to the ambassadors of Great Britain and France.” Benito Mussolini 1940
A walk around the streets of Valletta will take us by the Palace which was used by Napoleon Bonaparte, the second world war Victory (Soup) Kitchen, Queen Victoria’s statue and the ruins of the Royal Opera House which was destroyed at the peak of the bombings in Malta.
“This is not the end. It is not the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill 1942
After some free time for a lunch break we will walk to the lower level of Valletta to the Malta War Museum. The museum itself is situated at Fort St. Elmo, an original defensive system built by the Knights which also was modified to serve the British military purpose. Among the numerous exhibits are the fuselage of one of the legendary Gloster Gladiators and well as the E-boat (human torpedo).
“Without Malta the Axis will end by losing control of North Africa.” Field Marshal Erwin Rommel 1941