Today the Miami Herald announced that “Aurora Trust, a not-for-profit ocean exploration and education foundation, has solved a World War II British mystery” with its discovery of a long-missing submarine.
“On May 8, 1942, under the cover of darkness, the British submarine HMS Olympus (N35) was attempting to leave the British Naval Base in the Grand Harbor of Malta, a tiny island nation just south of Sicily and north of Tripoli that was blockaded by the Germans and Italians.”
Subjected to prolonged bombing and blockading by first the Italians and then the Germans, the small island of Malta was considered to be of strategic importance in the Mediterranean, and endured two years of air and naval attacks, known as the Siege of Malta. For its heroism during the ordeal, the entire island of Malta was awarded the George Cross, the civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
For more on the role of Malta during the war, check out this fascinating web site.
For a gripping fictional account, I recommend a recently released thriller, The Information Officer, by Mark Mills, which sets a tense thriller during the siege.