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Title: Feeding the besieged
Other Titles: Besieged. Malta 1565
Authors: Buttigieg, Noel
Keywords: Knights of Malta -- History
Order of St John -- History
Malta -- History -- Siege, 1565
Siege, 1565 -- Food supply
Rationing -- Malta -- History -- 16th century
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Malta Libraries and Heritage Malta Publication
Citation: Buttigieg, N. (2015). Feeding the besieged. In M. Camilleri, (Ed.), Besieged. Malta 1565 (pp. 117-125). Malta: A Malta Libraries and Heritage Malta Publication.
Abstract: Since time immemorial, siege warfare required the blockade of supply lines or the physical encirclement of a settlement to intercept any provisions from reaching the besieged, then wailing for the decimation of the same people through starvation or disease. The Jack of food and drink could diminish the collective effort of the combatants; therefore, stockpiling and the distribution of food reserves deserve some attention. The geography of Malta influenced the nature of preparations required to supply food and drink for a long-drawn siege. Both the Order of St John and the Ottomans were aware of the limited natural resources available in Malta. The archipelago concurred to a 'land of hunger', sterile to the point that its agricultural output could not sustain the population for more than six months.' Apart from a civilian population, the Grand Master had to provide for all the foreign soldiers engaged to fight in the siege. For the Ottoman commanders, supplies had to be ferried from distant supply stations. Victuals lost due to rough seas or corsairing activity was another reality the had to contend with. The consequences of bad provisioning preparations and management of reserves had to be avoided at all cost.
ISBN: 9789993257325
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsTTC

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