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Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History

Price: Standard £12, Senior Citizens £8, Children £8

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Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History

Roy Adkins, Lesley Adkins



10:00am 1h
The Gibraltar Garrison Library (Festival HQ)

For more than three-and-a-half years, from 1779 to 1783, Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history and would be known as the Great Siege. Thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and disease, with very ordinary people enduring extraordinary events. Roy and Lesley Adkins discuss their latest book, Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History, for which they tracked down many undiscovered and neglected sources. Rich in dramatic human detail, the everyday experiences of those involved are brought to life with eyewitness accounts, and the action includes an attempted invasion of England, naval battles, shipwrecks, fantastic floating batteries, a daring sortie into Spain and the creation of Gibraltar’s first tunnels. This is military, naval and social history woven together, with soldiers, sailors and civilians, royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, deserters, prisoners-of-war, spies and surgeons, all caught up in an epic struggle.