Staplehurst, 1st ed., 1996. 192 pp., frontis., cold., plates + numerous b&w photo-ills., + ills. D.j., 28 x 22cm. Crease to f.f.e.p., (blank) o/w FINE. From the earliest migrations of pre-historic man to NATO base in the Cold War, Gibraltar has always had a pivotal role in European history. The Rock has been a continuing source of friction between Britain and Spain, a cornerstone of the British Empire and vital strategic base in World War II. Sixteen times it has been besieged – four times it has succumbed to the aggressor. This history traces the long and stormy story of Gibraltar. The political and social development of the city is revealed but it is as a military fortress and naval base that Gibraltar will be familiar to most of its visitors. The history is explained in the context of the many remaining fortifications and buildings which make Gibraltar one of the most important heritage sites in the western Mediterranean, particularly for those interested in military history. A visitor's guide to exploring Gibraltar is also included.