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Blue-Water Empire, By Robert Holland


From cricket on the square in Corfu to the pubs of Valletta, banks in Gibraltar to bases in Cyprus, Britain's piecemeal imperium in the Med left enduring traces across the sea.

This expert and engrossing history balances the military and cultural sides of the "Anglo-Mediterranean order".

In Egypt (a semi-colony for 70 years), Israel or north Africa, Britain's role in today's upheavals cannot be understood without a grasp of the port-based outposts the Royal Navy held.

From war to tourism, this odd, patchwork empire still makes waves.