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The Real Dad's Army: The Story of the Home Guard Paperback – 3 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (3 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445606887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445606880
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 571,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'A fascinating history' THE DAILY MAIL 'Wonderful stories - a well-written account of the last line of defense' THE DAILY MIRROR 'No one like Norman Longmate manages to convey with such verve and authority many of the most intriguing aspects of the Home Front in the Second World War' JULIET GARDINER 'Just how close the TV was to reality is amply demonstrated in Norman Longmate's affectionate tribute to the men who served in the real Dad's Army... the Germans may never have invaded, but Longmate's book contains enough examples of quiet heroism to suggest that had they done so they might have been in for a nasty surprise.' THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Norman Longmate's finely illustrated and produced volume... is full of true stories every bit as entertaining as the hit TV series' SOLDIER MAGAZINE --The Daily Mirror

About the Author

Norman Longmate, ex-Private 'F' Company, 3rd Sussex Battalion, Home Guard, joined 'Dad's Army' at the same age as the fictional character 'Pike', seventeen. To this day he contends that the much-loved sitcom was remarkably accurate in it's portrayal of life in the Home Guard. After the war he read modern history at Worcester College, Oxford and went on to work as a journalist and radio producer of history documentaries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has written more than twenty books, mainly on the Second World War. For this book, and many others, he made requests through regional newspapers for veterans to contact him with their memories. To this day he maintains a massive archive of original recordings and letters. He was historical adviser on the hugely popular Channel 4 TV show, THE 1940 HOUSE. His other books include DOODLEBUGS: THE STORY OF THE FLYING BOMBS ('Full of sad, funny and harrowing anecdotes' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, 'Consolidates his position as the most evocative historian of the 1940s Home Front' THE TIMES); AIR RAID: COVENTRY 1940 ('The definitive account' COVENTRY EVENING CHRONICLE); THE HOME FRONT ('A wonderful book' JENNY UGLOW); HOW WE LIVED THEN: A HISTORY OF EVERYDAY LIFE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR ('The best social chronicle of the period I have read' THE SPECTATOR, 'A marvelously comprehensive panorama of the six shattering years misses nothing... Excellent' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH); IF BRITAIN HAD FALLEN ('An excellent and fascinating book' THE SCOTSMAN); THE WORKHOUSE ('Finely researched' THE SPECTATOR, 'A readable and impressively-researched history of the workhouse - comprehensive and moving' PUNCH); ISLAND FORTRESS: THE DEFENSE OF GREAT BRITAIN, 1603-1945 ('An enthralling account' JAN MORRIS, THE INDEPENDENT, 'An excellent study. Elegantly written, constantly fascinating narrative history at its best' THE GUARDIAN); THE BOMBERS: ROYAL AIR FORCE AIR OFFENSIVE AGAINST GERMANY, 1939-45 ('An exceptionally good book' THE FIELD). He lives in London.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I realize that this book is presented as a "popular history", but after all the editions and printings it has gone through, isn't it time for a little fact-checking? For example, in the chapter on weapons used by the HG, it is claimed that the SMLE rifle “was accurate up to 1,600 yards”. 600 would already be optimistic.
Longmate describes the Browning M1917 medium machine gun as a “heavier two-man version” of the Browning Automatic Rifle, which is not very enlightening (and plain wrong technically), and also claims that it had a rate of fire twice that of the BAR (actual rate was 450-600 rpm).
He further states “In 1941 tommy-guns were no sooner issued than they were withdrawn again for use by the Commandos”. Apparently in one or two cases some Thompson submachine guns were in fact withdrawn again after issue to the HG, but as a general statement that is clearly incorrect. Thompsons were distributed to the HG on a remarkably generous scale for such an expensive weapon; according to the official monthly returns, they had no less than 43,017 of them by March 1942, after which they were gradually replaced by Stens.
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By Eamonn P Keogh on 9 July 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ros on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brother thought it a good interesting book. He was pleased to get it as a birthday gift. He liked the fact it had some reproduced photographs in it.
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