GC Ladies of Lascaris, Forgotten Heroes Of Malta’s War

This is an untold story of life under siege and the courage of civilians and military personnel. The story of ‘Christina of George Cross Island’ is moving, inspiring, sad and joyful, also being the story of “Star of Straight Street”. – Most Strongly Recommended

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NAME: GC Ladies of Lascaris, Forgotten Heroes Of Malta's War
FILE: R2789
AUTHOR: Paul McDonald
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 322
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War 2, Second World War, World War II, Malta, Mediterranean, 
North Africa, blanket bombing, air defence, siege, civilian volunteers, air plotters

ISBN: 1-52674-545-3

IMAGE: B2789.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y9wyludn
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:  This is an untold story of life under siege and the courage 
of civilians and military personnel.  The story of 'Christina of George Cross 
Island' is moving, inspiring, sad and joyful, also being the story of “Star of 
Straight Street”. - Most Strongly Recommended

For years after the war people in cafes around Malta still talked about a brilliant RAF photo 
reconnaissance pilot and his stunning girlfriend and yet she was to die alone and be buried in a
shared grave, their story, and that of all the other RAF woman plotters, remaining untold. Now she 
is reborn in this new book, together with the words of her comrades and the story of their life in 
besieged Malta.

As long as Malta survived and hosted the submarines, torpedo boats, gunboats and maritime attack 
aircraft, the Axis forces in North Africa would never win because their supply convoys from Italy 
and Sicily would be interdicted and decimated. That vital survival was against all the odds. Daily, 
a huge Axis air armada dropped tons of bombs indiscriminately on civil and military targets on the 
island. Daily, RAF aircraft took off to intercept the enemy at overwhelming odds. In the early stage 
the three iconic Sea Gladiator biplanes “Faith”, “Hope” and “Charity” took on the combined might 
of the Luftwaffe and the Italian bombers. Ground crews worked round the clock to ensure the 
maximum number of fighters were available to battle for Malta. The anti-aircraft guns threw up box 
barrages around the most critical targets, civilians took cover where they could and the beautiful 
ancient architecture of Malta was steadily rendered into rubble. Convoys with their RN escorts battled 
through Axis attackers to provide food, fuel and supplies to all the people of Malta GC. So many 
stories of great courage and hardship with a determination to keep fighting odds that others might 
have buckled under.

However, one of the most critical groups in the fight were the Ladies of Lascaris, the RAF plotters 
who tracked the incoming enemy hordes and the handful of RAF and FAA pilots who were the 
critical defence. There were 53 civilian female plotters, some as young as fourteen, six, including 
Christina Ratcliffe, receiving decorations for gallantry.

The story of these ladies at war is in itself worthy of a book but there was so much more to them. 
Christina was an English singer and dancer who became an aircraft plotter in underground RAF 
operational headquarters beneath the Lascaris Bastion in Valetta. With her were other British and 
Maltese ladies. The full story is how they lived, worked, played and died and it is an emotional story.

This is one of those books that deserves a very wide readership because it is a human story of a society 
at war and the young women who learned to plot the aircraft during the daily raids. It will of course 
appeal to military history enthusiasts and professionals because it is such an important untold story, 
but it should be read by a wider audience as an untold story of courage and determination with its 
unique picture of life under the most intense bombing ever conducted, its part in victory in the 
Mediterranean and eventually in Europe.