Hey Sy, a friend with good military connections tells me that U.S. special operations forces were covertly involved in the Knights of Malta's stalwart defense of the island in 1565 against the Ottoman Turks. Lifting the siege was easy because the Turks turned tail when they saw those Ma Deuce .50 caliber machine guns. The hard part was finding the time machine, but apparently Hollywood had some lying idle.
But, Sy, be careful!: There is no truth to the nasty rumor that the Knights wanted to seek supernatural assistance by offering a Black Mass, but were unable to find any virgins among the U.S. special operators.
Seriously, looking forward to the New Yorker article that will lay this all out. Good luck to those celebrated fact-checkers.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.