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A Time of Tyrants: Scotland and the Second World War [Hardcover]

Trevor Royle
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 21.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2011
Acclaimed military historian Trevor Royle examines Scotland's role in the Second World War. The country's geographical position gave it great strategic importance for importing war materiel and reinforcements, for conducting naval and aerial operations against the enemy and for training regular and specialist SOE and commando forces. Scotland also became a social melting pot with the arrival of Polish and eastern European refugees, whose presence added to the communal mix and assisted post-war reconstruction. In addition to the important military aspects - the exploits of the army's renowned 15th Scottish and 51st Highland Divisions in Europe and North Africa and the role played by the RAF and the Royal Navy from Scottish bases - Scotland was also hugely important as an industrial power house and the nation's larder. The war also had a huge impact on politics, with national centralization achieved through the creation of the Scottish Office and the Scottish Grand Committee. With the emergence of the post-war Labour government and the welfare state, nationalism went into decline and the arrival of socialist hegemony, especially in the west, paved the way for the command politics which dominated Scotland for the rest of the century. Based on previously unseen archives in the Scottish Record Office, A Time of Tyrants is the first history of the unique role played by Scotland and the Scots in the global war to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn Ltd (1 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843410559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843410553
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 540,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Royle is a distinguished military historian and he has an outstanding grasp of strategy, and the ebb and flow of combat on a grand scale, yet he never forgets that wars are essentially about ordinary people living, fighting, surviving and often dying in very stressful times' --Herald

'Trevor Royle is the acknowledged expert on Scottish military history … a significant book worth reading.' --Scottish Field

'If you want a work which covers the complete tale of Scotland in the Second World War, Time of Tyrants is as good as it gets.' --Scottish Legion News

About the Author

Trevor Royle is a broadcaster and author specialising in the history of war and empire. His most recent books include Patton: Old Blood and Guts and Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660. He is an associate editor of the Sunday Herald and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Timely 31 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Trevor Royle has written a most interesting account of Scotland's contribution to the Allied effort in the Second World War. Unlike Northern Ireland, Scotland has never had an Official History for the period and Mr Royle has done a remarkable job in filling part of this literary gap, although inevitably that has created its own challenges.

Broadly researched, Time of Tyrants paints a sweeping brush of Scotland's military, industrial, economic, political, cultural and social contribution to the war in an engaging and coherent style. There are times however, when this cogency is corrupted and the chronology in particular becomes very confusing. In addition, there are also a surprising number of errors in the text. Some of these are clearly typos but others are fundamental and demonstrate a failure of knowledge, proof-reading or editorship.

The social, cultural and political aspects are especially well covered but the industrial and economic aspects rather less so, which given the importance of Scotland's manufacturing capability to the war effort, especially munitions, is unexpected. In particular, there is little mention of ports, warehousing and imports, nor indeed, any mention of the railways. The book would certainly benefit by reducing the space on overseas army deployments to enable a greater focus on Scottish defence operations and the mobilization and support of Scottish units in Scotland. Whilst the introduction of too much detail relating to manufacturing outputs, imports, munitions production, transportation, defence deployments and bases would interrupt the lucid flow of the structure, a selection of appendices and supporting footnotes would add enormous value to a book of this nature.

Overall, I enjoyed Time of Tyrants and would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in Scotland's history in the 21st century. It would be a delight to assist Mr Royle in honing the next edition because it deserves the extra polish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
very good read
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