La Valette eventually became the Grandmaster of the Hospitallers in their new home of Malta and in 1565 Malta became the focus of Suleiman, who viewed conquering this rock as a necessary tactic in his strategy for the conquest of Europe.
In 1565 Malta was the key to Europe. The Ottoman Empire had extended its control over most of the Mediterranean. If the island of Malta could be captured, it could become the staging port for the invasion of the soft under-belly of Europe. Holding the key were the Knights of St. John and the people of Malta. The Turks had driven the Knights from Rhodes and now sought to drive them from Malta in one extraordinary battle: The Great Siege of Malta. The harbours that defied the Ottoman forces are just as impregnable today. And the Mediterranean under its ancient sky is as blue as it was when cut by the bows of the Ottoman galleys.
Coming back to the victory of 1565 in Malta, it is also worthwhile mentioning the often overlooked fact that the merit for such an achievement belongs first and foremost to the Maltese population of the time. Perhaps, few people realise that the majority of the defenders were Maltese and that the Knights of St John and other foreign soldiers assisting them were fewer in number.