In this fully illustrated introduction, acclaimed historian Dr Aaron Edwards provides a concise overview of one of the most difficult and controversial actions in recent history. Updated and revised for the new edition, with full-colour maps and 50 new images, this is an accessible introduction to the complicated yet fascinating history of modern Britain's longest military campaign.

Basics, the book includes the following over 144 pages. 

Table of Contents


Background to War

Warring Sides


The Fighting

The World Around War

How the War Ended

Conclusion and Consequences


Further Reading


Spanning 38 years of the 'Troubles', the British Army's deployment in Northern Ireland (code named Operation Banner) was one of the most difficult and controversial in its recent history. Over 10,000 troops were on active service during much of the campaign, which saw armoured vehicles, helicopters and special forces deployed onto the streets of Ulster. In this book, Dr Aaron Edwards considers the strategic, operational and tactical aspects of Operation Banner, as the Army's military objectives morphed from high-profile peacekeeping into a covert war against the IRA. Using personal testimony from both sides of the sectarian divide, as well as insights from the soldiers themselves, he presents an authoritative introduction to the Army's role in the Troubles, providing expert analysis of Operation Banner's successes and failures.

I accept that this is cut and paste from Osprey, it introduces and explains the book very well. I read this over a weekend, and was enthralled from cover to cover. My limited knowledge of The Troubles was based on overheard talk about news items from the 70s, my father being British with a brother in the army,  those news items, later books and movies. 

Reading this, I was impressed at how balanced it was, not favouring either side, how it manages to summarise almost forty years of conflict in a readable manner, and that it is very well written, acknowledging the reader, and explaining points that may otherwise be lost amongst the volume of information presented. I would definitely read another of Dr Aaron Edwards' books if given the opportunity. 

There were a few points that stood out to me, the killing of a young mother in front of her child, the  massive overkill of some of the roadside IED used, a 400lb bomb for a vehicle, see images, and the use of two bombs when one would have sufficed, and the use of the SAS in a covert role. 

Also, I did not appreciate the range and number of groups involved and how they were aligned. And the depth of feeling against rivals. 

A well crafted, well written book on a difficult subject. Easily recommended. 



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