13 November 2020
New book from Pen and Sword examines what it was like to serve in the British Army during WWII.
After covering what it was like to serve in Korea, using soldiers’ own testimonies, author James Goulty has turned his attention to the experience of the British Tommy in WWII. In The Second World War Through Soldiers’ Eyes you can discover a soldier’s view of life in the British Army from recruitment and training to the brutal realities of combat. Using first-hand sources, James Goulty reconstructs the experiences of the men and women who made up the citizen’s army. Find out about the weapons and equipment they used; the uniforms they wore; how they adjusted to army discipline and faced the challenges of active service overseas.
What happened when things went wrong? What were your chances of survival if you were injured in combat or taken prisoner? While they didn't go into combat, thousands of women also served in the British Army with the ATS or as nurses. What were their wartime lives like? And, when the war had finally ended, how did newly demobilised soldiers and servicewomen cope with returning home?
The British Army that emerged victorious in 1945 was vastly different from the poorly funded force of 865,000 men who heard Neville Chamberlain declare war in 1939. With an influx of civilian volunteers and conscripts, the army became a citizens force and its character and size were transformed. By D-Day Britain had a well-equipped, disciplined army of over three million men and women and during the war they served in a diverse range of places across the world. This book uncovers some of their stories and gives a fascinating insight into the realities of army life in wartime.
- 208 pages. Paperback
- ISBN 978-1-5267-8171-0
James Goulty’s previous book, Eyewitness Korea, deal with the experience of British and American soldiers in the Korean War, which ran from 1950-1953 and was the first major conflict after WWII. Today the Korean War of 1950-1953 is overshadowed by later twentieth-century conflicts in Vietnam and the Middle East, yet at the time it was the focus of international attention. It threatened to lead to a third world war, and although fought on a limited scale, it still involved over a million men under UN command and even more on the Communist side. It left the American and British troops who took part with a range of intense recollections that often marked them for the rest of their lives, and it is these experiences that James Goulty drew on in this eyewitness history of the conflict. He used social documents, letters, diaries, regimental histories, memoirs, oral histories and correspondence to show what the war was like for those who took part. Their accounts vividly contrast the American and British experience as seen through the eyes of individual servicemen, and they throw fresh light on the relations between the UN forces on their different attitudes, tactics, training and equipment, and on the tensions that developed between them.
- 272 pages. Hardback
- ISBN 978-1-4738-7090-1
You can find these titles in book stores and at www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
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