This book is the most graphic and poignant of the start of what is known as the "troubles" in the north of Ireland. The whole events that led to the beginning of strife in this part of Ireland lead from the authorities refusing to allow the civil rights afforded to the Catholic population, and also banning several peaceful civil rights demonstartions, the last one leading to the events to be known as "Bloody Sunday", where british paratroopers shot dead 13 unarmed civilians, and fired over 107 rounds of high velocity ammunition into a crowd of civil rights demonstrators.
The "Battle of the Bogside" was a prelude to these traumatic events, when the Protestant police force, the RUC, and the even more hated and sectarian "B specials", tried to break into the "no-go" areas in the Catholic bogside. The unarmed Catholic population defended their neighbourhood with everything they could use as weapons, this at a time when the IRA was unarmed and unorganised. The people themselves, and the children, went up to the rooftops of the flats, and held off the RUC and "B" specials for 3 days. They used stones, bricks, paving stones and petrol bombs to hold off the police, who in turn drenched the area in CS gas and fired countless rubber bullets at the defenders.
In the end, the Bogsiders scored a remarkable victory, holding off the much heavier armed and superior numbered RUC, who in turn had to hand over their authority to the british army, who were sent to take over the authority of policing the areas.
At the time, they were welcomed as neutral combatants, protecting the Catholic neighbourhoods from the shooting and burning of their homes by the police and "B" specials. However, in the end, they proved to be much worse than the police ever were, using such excessive force that culminated in the massacre at Bloody Sunday.