Churchill’s Army 19391945: The Men, Machines and Organisation
At first glance this looks like a coffee table book, but the author is a well-respected military historian who has created a necessary guide to the British Army in the Second World War from the very top (Churchill and his generals) down to the men and women on the front line.
Starting with Churchill’s own military and political careers (which were varied and extensive) and explaining how they influenced his decisions (both good and bad – it isn’t uncritical) the book giv ves pen-portraits of leading g commanders then look ks at the regiments and corp ps. There are plenty of illustrations of things that might help interpret old family photographs, with chap pters on uniforms and personal nal equipment, badges and medals, personal weapons, artillery, tanks and vehicles.
Churchill also supported the creation of special forces from the commandos and airborne forces to the Long Range Desert Group, SAS and Chindits, which are well covered as are the auxilliary forces such as the Home Guard (most of whom were young men, though at least one 8484-yearyear-old Sudan veteran gotg in) and the AuxilliaryA Territorial S ervice and other wo omen’s units. As the generation thatt did National Service fades s away, we’ve become less faamiliar with our armed d forces and have less understandingunderst of their ethos, structure and methods, making it harder for family historians to understand what their soldier ancestors went through. This is an excellent introduction that will flesh out their records and experiences.