To the Last Man

The Home Guard in War & Popular Culture

Malcolm Atkin

The Home Guard was formed in 1940 to fight an uncompromising and essentially suicidal campaign that was to buy a few hours grace for the regular forces to re-group after a German invasion.
Date Published :
September 2019
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
30 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781526745934
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6 inches
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Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
$49.95

Overview
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The Home Guard was formed in 1940 to fight an uncompromising and essentially suicidal campaign that was to buy a few hours grace for the regular forces to re-group after a German invasion. But the Dad’s Army TV series has led to a serious distortion in the perception of the Home Guard and, as Malcolm Atkin reveals in this thought-provoking and meticulously researched book, its image was manipulated from its earliest days.

Using official documents, contemporary histories, stories, artwork and poetry, and comparing these with post-war films and histories, he takes a unique perspective. He explores how the myths of the Home Guard arose and were exploited by official propaganda and the wartime and post-war media. He also shows how the strong sense of gallows-humour amongst its volunteers – which fits in with a long tradition of self-deprecating humour in the British army – was taken out of context and became the basis of the TV series.

To the Last Man strips back the myths and forensically analyses how the modern perception has evolved. The result is a new, gritty, sometimes shocking, appreciation of the role that the Home Guard was expected to play in the Second World War.

About The Author
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Malcolm Atkin is a former head of the Historic Environment and Archaeology Service for Worcestershire. After becoming a leading authority on the English Civil War, he has more recently made a special study of home defence and the development of British intelligence during the Second World War. His many publications include Cromwell's Crowning Mercy: The Battle of Worcester, The Civil War in Evesham: A Storm of Fire and Leaden Hail, Worcestershire Under Arms, Worcester 1651, Fighting Nazi Occupation: British Resistance 1939-1945, Myth and Reality: the Second World War Auxiliary Units and Section D for Destruction: Forerunner of SOE.

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