Malta was not Rhodes, Malta is a hard rocky island, “ 18 miles long by 9 miles wide,” 4 but it does have a grand harbor on its northeast coast and here the Hospitallers found a few old fortifications and a couple of fishing villages. This would be their new base of operations. Immediately, galleys put to sea, the Knights were back to their old game of preying on Muslim shipping along the coast of Africa.
True to their original mission, a new hospital was established and began to repair the existing fortification. In 1551 Malta was attacked, but the fortifications were to strong.
It is 1565, the Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, his generals and admirals, as described briefly as part of the opening, devised a plan to establish a base of operations by capturing Malta and making it a spring board to launch new campaigns against Rome itself and possibly to Spain to avenge the loss of the Moorish kingdoms.