National Geographic : 1940 Aug
Wanderers Awheel in Malta 257 Malta, Mediterranean Danger Spot and Melting Pot Only 20 minutes' flying time from Italian Sicily, this strategic naval base is a steppingstone between Gibraltar and Suez. Great Britain gained possession in 1814. "Stepchild of the Mediterranean," Historians Have Called Malta Before the coming of the British, Malta was ruled by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and French. Actually there are three small islands in the group-Malta, Gozo, and Comino-but usually they are referred to simply as Malta. Italy casts a covetous eye on the tiny area, whose deep, rock-sheltered harbors seem built to order for a modern fleet.