The Second World War Through Soldiers' Eyes: British Army Life 1939-1945

The Second World War Through Soldiers' Eyes: British Army Life 1939-1945

by James Goulty


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'What was it really like to serve in the British Army during the Second World War?

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 ‘citizen’s 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781592984
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 07/08/2016
Sales rank: 1,085,484
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

James Goulty holds a masters degree and doctorate in military history from the University of Leeds, and he has a special interest in the training and combat experience of ordinary soldiers during the world wars and Korean War. His previous publications include Second World War Lives: A Guide for Family Historians and The Second World War through Soldiers Eyes: British Army Life 1939-45.

Table of Contents

List of Plates vi

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Call-Up and Training 1

Chapter 2 Life on Active Service 40

Chapter 3 Enduring Active Service 75

Chapter 4 Prisoner of War Experiences 113

Chapter 5 Casualties and Medical Matters 145

The Aftermath, c. 1945-1946 169

Bibliography 180

Index 192

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