The British army was almost unique among the European armies of the Great War in that it did not suffer from a serious breakdown of discipline or collapse of morale. It did, however, inevitably suffer from disciplinary problems. While attention has hitherto focused on the 312 notorious ‘shot at dawn’ cases, many thousands of British soldiers were tried by court martial during the Great War. This book provides the first comprehensive study of discipline and morale in the British Army during the Great War by using a case study of the Irish regular and Special Reserve batallions. In doing so, Timothy Bowman demonstrates that breaches of discipline did occur in the Irish regiments but in most cases these were of a minor nature. Controversially, he suggests that where executions did take place, they were militarily necessary and served the purpose of restoring discipline in failing units. Bowman also shows that there was very little support for the emerging Sinn Fein movement within the Irish regiments. This book will be essential reading for military and Irish historians and their students, and will interest any general reader concerned with how units maintain discipline and morale under the most trying conditions.
This is a major new history of the British army during the Great War written by three leading military historians. Ian Beckett, Timothy Bowman and Mark Connelly survey operations on the Western Front and throughout the rest of the world as well as the army's social history, pre-war and wartime planning and strategy, the maintenance of discipline and morale and the lasting legacy of the First World War on the army's development. They assess the strengths and weaknesses of the army between 1914 and 1918, engaging with key debates around the adequacy of British generalship and whether or not there was a significant 'learning curve' in terms of the development of operational art during the course of the war. Their findings show how, despite limitations of initiative and innovation amongst the high command, the British army did succeed in developing the effective combined arms warfare necessary for victory in 1918.
When war broke out in 1939 over 20,000 Irishmen were serving in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force with the greatest proportion in the Army. During the war this rose to over 120,000, suggesting that about 100,000 enlisted during the war. Nine earned the Victoria Cross; three members of the Royal Navy, including a Fleet Air Arm pilot, four soldiers, including a member of the Australian forces, and two RAF pilots. The author looks at the seven Irish regiments in campaigns across the globe, at Irish soldiers across the Army, at Irish sailors from the Battle of the River Plate to the final actions against Japan, and at Irish airmen from the first bombing raids of the war to the closing days of war. Included are outstanding personalities such as the Chavasse brothers, who earned three DSOs, three DSCs and two MiDs, Bala Bredin, Corran Purden, Brendan 'Paddy' Finucane, Blair Mayne and Roy Farran, the latter pair highly-decorated SAS officers. There are also Irish generals, such as Paddy Warren who died while commanding 5th Indian Division in Burma and Frederick Loftus Tottenham, who commanded 81st (West African) Division, not to mention giants such as Alexander, Auchinleck, Montgomery and McCreery. Irish women are not forgotten in the book which also takes a brief look at the Irish in other Allied forces, including a most unusual volunteer for the US Navy whose application to serve had to be approved by President Roosevelt. He was William Patrick Hitler, a nephew of Germany's führer.
Sent to France in August 1914, the North Irish Horse (NIH) was the first British reservist regiment to see action Ð at Le Cateau Ð before fighting as rearguard on the long retreat to the outskirts of Paris. Over the next four years they fought with distinction, playing a role in many of the major battles, including Ypres, Somme, Passchendaele and Cambrai, and were heavily involved in the final Advance to Victory.?How fitting that this, the first history of this famous cavalry Regiment's superb record in The Great War, should be published to coincide with the centenary of the conflict. It not only describes the Regiment's actions by squadron but concentrates on the officers and men; their backgrounds, motivation and courageous deeds and sacrifices. The author places the Regiment's achievement in the context of the overall war and reflects on the effect that unfolding political events in Ireland had on the Regiment and its members.?The North Irish Horse in the Great War draws on a wealth of primary source material, much unpublished including war diaries, personal accounts, letters and memoirs. In addition to compiling this long overdue account of the NIH, the author succeeds in painting a valuable picture of The Great War at the fighting end.
IRELAND'S FORGOTTEN LEGACY In 1914-1918, two hundred thousand Irishmen from all religions and backgrounds went to war. At least thirty-five thousand never came home. An award-winning collection of veterans' stories as told by the families, with military records, surviving documents and letters.
On 4 August 1914 following the outbreak of European hostilities, large sections of Irish Protestants and Catholics rallied to support the British and Allied war efforts. Yet less than two years later, the Easter Rising of 1916 allegedly put a stop to the Catholic commitment in exchange for a re-emphasis on the national question. In Ireland and the Great War Niamh Gallagher draws upon a formidable array of original research to offer a radical new reading of Irish involvement in the world's first total war. Exploring the 'home front' and Irish diasporic communities in Canada, Australia, and Britain, Gallagher reveals that substantial support for the Allied war effort continued largely unabated not only until November 1918, but afterwards as well. Rich in social texture and with fascinating new case studies of Irish participation in the conflict, this book has the makings of a major rethinking of Ireland's twentieth century.
Osprey's examination of the Irish Regiments and their involvement in World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945). The tens of thousands of Irish soldiers who fought in the British Army in World War I gained a fierce fighting reputation, distinguishing themselves at Ypres, Gallipoli, the Somme, and Palestine. On the first day of the Somme, only three divisions succeeded in achieving their objectives: the seizure of the Schwaben Redoubt by the Ulster brigade, against all the odds, vividly demonstrated how this reputation was won. Despite the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, Irishmen continued to volunteer for the British Army in World War II. Again, their war record was distinguished; units included the famous 38th Irish Brigade who fought in North Africa and Italy, and the Irish Guards who won a total of two Victoria Crosses, 33 Military Crosses, and 90 other military medals. Providing the first concise, illustrated history of the Irish Regiments in both World Wars, this book covers their uniforms and insignia, as well as battle histories and proud service records.
This volume synthesises the latest scholarship on First World War veterans in post-war Britain and Ireland, investigating the topic through its political, social and cultural dynamics. It examines the post-war experiences of those men and women who served and illuminates the nature of the post-war society for which service had been given. Complicating the homogenising tendency in existing scholarship it offers comparison of the experiences of veterans in different regions of Britain, including perspectives drawn from Ireland. Further nuance is offered by the assessment of the experiences of ex-servicewomen alongside those of ex-servicemen, such focus deeping understanding into the gendered specificities of post-war veteran activities and experiences. Moreover, case studies of specific cohorts of veterans are offered, including focus on disabled veterans and ex-prisoners of war. In these regards the collection offers vital updates to existing scholarship while bringing important new departures and challenges to the current interpretive frameworks of veteran experiences in post-war Britain and Ireland.
The First World War was the biggest conflict in Irish history. More men served and more men died than in all the wars before or since that the Irish fought in. Often forgotten at home and written out of Irish history, the Irish soldiers and their regiments found themselves more honoured in foreign fields. From the first shot monument in Mons to the plaque to the Royal Irish Lancers who liberated the town on Armistice Day 1918, Ronan McGreevy takes a tour of the Western Front. At a time when Ireland is revisiting its history and its place in the world, McGreevy looks at those places where the Irish made their mark and are remembered in the monuments, cemeteries and landscapes of France and Flanders.
Nuala C. Johnson explores the complex relationship between social memory and space in the representation of war in Ireland. The Irish experience of the Great War, and its commemoration, is the location of Dr Johnson's sustained and pioneering examination of the development of memorial landscapes, and her study represents a major contribution both to cultural geography and to the historiography of remembrance. Attractively illustrated, this book combines theoretical perspectives with original primary research showing how memory literally took place in post-1918 Ireland, and the various conflicts and struggles that were both a cause and effect of this process. Of interest to scholars in a number of disciplines, Ireland, The Great War and The Geography of Remembrance shows powerfully how Irish efforts to collectively remember the Great War were constantly in dialogue with issues surrounding the national question, and the memorials themselves bore witness to these tensions and ambiguities.