Facing the Bear

Scotland and the Cold War

Trevor Royle

A gripping and unique perspective of the Cold War which shows how Scotland would have been a major theater of war in the event of WWIII
Date Published :
April 2022
Publisher :
Illustration :
16pp color & b/w plates
No associated books available.


Between the end of the Second World War and the collapse of Communism, confrontation with the Soviet Union was an everyday reality. As part of NATO’s response, Scotland played a key role in the alliance’s forward maritime defence strategy, aimed at containing the Soviet threat from naval and air forces. During this period 10 per cent of the UK’s naval and air forces were based in Scotland, and there was a substantial US presence as well as top secret satellite and command stations.

In this book Trevor Royle paints a fascinating portrait of this extraordinary period, examining not just the wider military and political contexts, but also showing how the defence industry brought huge economic benefits, how CND maintained a high-profile presence, and how anti-nuclear sentiments underpinned much of the left’s thinking in Scotland and contributed to the hegemony enjoyed by the Labour Party in Scotland during the Cold War.

About The Author

Trevor Royle is a broadcaster and author specialising in the history of war and empire. He is Associate Editor of the Sunday Herald and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Trevor's books include The Flowers of the Forest: Scotland and the First World War and A Time of Tyrants: Scotland and the Second World War.

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