In the Ranks of Death: The Irish in the Second World War, Richard Doherty

In the Ranks of Death: The Irish in the Second World War, Richard Doherty

We start with an examination of the numbers of Irish men and women who served in the British armed forces during the war. This isn't as clear-cut a topic as one might think, and quite a wide range of figures have been suggested over the years - some based on detailed research and some with more political motivations in mind. Doherty has worked on this problem before, and produces a coherent argument in support of his own figures, although a true figure will probably not be known until the individual service records are opened up in 2045!

Doherty then moves on to look at the motivation of the Irish volunteers - conscription wasn't introduced in Northern Ireland, and Eire remained neutral throughout the war, so just about everybody from southern Ireland who fought was a volunteer (although some were officially conscripted as British citizens residence in England, Scotland or Wales they did have the option to return to Ireland). Amongst the key motives were a desire to fight Hitler, a family association with a particular army regiment or the Royal Navy, a wish for adventure or a more mercenary desire for pay.

After this Doherty moves on to look at some of the key campaigns and events of the war, starting with brief general descriptions of the event before producing more detailed examinations of the number of Irish servicemen involved and their more notable actions. This book should serve as a valuable reminder of the scale of the Irish contribution to final victory and of some of the most impressive acts of individual heroism.

1 - Rumours of War
2 - To the Sound of the Guns
3 - Let Slip the Dogs of War!
4 - In the Painful Field
5 - The Signs of War Advance
6 - Give Signals to the Fight
7 - Expectation in the Air
8 - All the Lofty Instruments of War
9 - Remember with Advantages
10 - In Far Foreign Fields
11 - Retrospective
Appendix I - Summary of the Service of Irish Formations and Units
Appendix II - Irish deaths in HMS Glorious and her Escorts, June 1940

Author: Richard Doherty
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010

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