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Just like other countries, Malta was hit hard in both world wars. The islands location in the center of the Mediterranean has always been an attractive target to hit and eventually take over by military installations ever since history has been recorded.
Even before the world renowned Great Siege in 1565, all rulers wanted to get hold of the Maltese islands to be used as a military base conveniently situated between the African and European continents.
World War II was however what really brought the country to a standstill. Back then a British Colony, the Maltese struggled to make ends meet when faced with continuous bombardments which destroyed practically all prominent buildings and left thousands of dead.
Between 1940 and 1942, Italian and German Air forces attacked with rage and it was only thanks to the bravery of the Royal Air Force and Navy along with determination of the Maltese population that the island kept holding on.
Unfortunately, this came at a high price. Thousands of soldiers and civilians died in barracks, in the streets or at sea.
Their memory lives on through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who manage, amongst others the Naval Cemetery in Kalkara. This peaceful place in the final resting site of thousands of sailors but also a number of soldiers and civilians who died in both World Wars. Average age is 26 years.
May we remind you that this is a place where heroes are resting. Therefore visitors are expected to show utmost respect during the visit and to wear appropriate clothing.