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Title: Malta in the First World War : an appraisal through cartography and local newspapers
Authors: Schembri, John A.
Gauci, Ritienne
Furlani, Stefano
Mizzi, Raphael
Keywords: World War, 1914-1918 -- Malta -- Cartography
Malta -- Historical geography -- Maps
Geopolitics -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Schembri, J. A., Gauci, R., Furlani, S., & Mizzi, R. (2017). Malta in the First World War: An appraisal through cartography and local newspapers. In J. Wallis. D. C. Harvey (Eds.), Commemorative Spaces of the First World War: historical geographies at the centenary (pp. 68-82). London: Routledge.
Abstract: This chapter explores the experience of Malta during the First World War. While the island saw no direct hostilities, the war affected Malta in the form of services rendered to the British Empire and to the Allied war effm1 due to its strategic loca­tion. The chapter explores the historical geography of Malta's involvement in the First World War through the analysis of three maps and illustrated with contem­porary images to present the geographies of Malta as its land uses were affected by the war. Details of hospital sites, capacity, and main function together with the upgrading of vital roads, at a scale of 1 :175,000 in Sir W.G. Macpherson's His­tory of the Great War ( 1921) are utilised. By using the map and information from other sources, and the resource Google Maps Engine GIS-Lite, an interactive web­based database has been developed, which will provide users with possibilities to explore Malta's overlooked contribution to the Great War effort as has been de􀀚el­oped that will provide users with interactive possibilities to explore information pertaining to Malta's contribution to the Great War eff01i. Two other maps present a detailed comparative study of2-inch scale maps (I :31,680) of Malta produced m the early decades of the twentieth century: in 1910 (before the conflict) and 1923 (after the war). The differences in land-use development demonstrate the public, military and other works performed on land and on the coast in order to enhance the island's services both during the war and in its immediate aftermath. These ser­vices can be divided into three: the northern hospital facilities, the southern-based new fuel installation depot; and, the seaplane base at the southern extremity. The changes that affected the main harbours, in order to accommodate wartime needs, will also be reviewed. In addition, a contemporary newspaper study revealed interesting elements of how the war affected the local population.
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