A narrative history of the Home Guard from its creation in May 1940 to the end of the Second World War. The enduring popularity of the BBC TV series Dad's Army has focused attention on one of the strangest and least military armies ever formed - The British Home Guard. What started as an improvised band of volunteers, had grown by 1942 into a conscripted, disciplined and well-equipped force with a strength of nearly two million men. Norman Longmate, an ex-member of the Home Guard and an authority on wartime Britain, has collected together a wealth of hilarious anecdotes as well as all the unlikely facts to produce the first popular history of the Home Guard to be written since the war.
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'A fascinating history' --Daily Mail
'Wonderful stories - a well-written account of the last line of defense' --Daily Mirror
Norman Longmate, ex-Private 'F' Company, 3rd Sussex Battalion, Home Guard, joined 'Dad's Army' at the same age as the fictional character 'Pike', seventeen. To this day he contends that the much-loved sitcom was remarkably accurate in it's portrayal of life in the Home Guard. After the war he read modern history at Worcester College, Oxford and went on to work as a journalist and radio producer of history documentaries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has written more than twenty books, mainly on the Second World War. For this book, and many others, he made requests through regional newspapers for veterans to contact him with their memories. To this day he maintains a massive archive of original recordings and letters. He was historical adviser on the hugely popular Channel 4 TV show, The 1940 House. His other books include DOODLEBUGS: THE STORY OF THE FLYING BOMBS ('Full of sad, funny and harrowing anecdotes' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, 'Consolidates his position as the most evocative historian of the 1940s Home Front' THE TIMES); AIR RAID: COVENTRY 1940 ('The definitive account' COVENTRY EVENING CHRONICLE); THE HOME FRONT ('A wonderful book' JENNY UGLOW); HOW WE LIVED THEN: A HISTORY OF EVERYDAY LIFE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR ('The best social chronicle of the period I have read' THE SPECTATOR, 'A marvelously comprehensive panorama of the six shattering years misses nothing... Excellent' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH); IF BRITAIN HAD FALLEN ('An excellent and fascinating book' THE SCOTSMAN); THE WORKHOUSE ('Finely researched' THE SPECTATOR, 'A readable and impressively-researched history of the workhouse - comprehensive and moving' PUNCH); ISLAND FORTRESS: THE DEFENSE OF GREAT BRITAIN, 1603-1945 ('An enthralling account' JAN MORRIS, THE INDEPENDENT, 'An excellent study. Elegantly written, constantly fascinating narrative history at its best' THE GUARDIAN); THE BOMBERS: ROYAL AIR FORCE AIR OFFENSIVE AGAINST GERMANY, 1939-45 ('An exceptionally good book' THE FIELD). He lives in London.
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Book Description Arrow Books, 1974. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st ed. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX009909830X