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Guerilla Days in Ireland: A Personal Account of the Anglo-Irish War Paperback – October 28, 2000

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1568331966 ISBN-10: 1568331967

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Barry's book has long been an international classic... heartily recommended. (Irish Independent )

...worth reading, re-reading, having and holding...well-described action and feeling, what happened and why. (Irish Press )

About the Author

Tom Barry was born in 1898. He fought on the Republican side of the Civil War and in the late 1930s was Chief of Staff for the IRA. He died in 1980.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Roberts Rinehart (October 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568331967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568331966
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,188,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bran Dubh on July 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
The incredible career of Tom Barry and that of the West Cork Flying Column is an inspirational example of what virtually untrained volunteers fighting for their families and their country can achieve, even in the face of overwhelming odds. The British had over 12,500 men in West Cork chasing after about 310 IRA Volunteers...and never defeated them. Barry discusses many military topics and personal thoughts which the student of Irish warrior traditions will find extremely helpful. Members of many guerrilla movements around the world have read and profited from the lessons in this book including Che Guevera (whose last name was "Lynch" thanks to his Irish grandfather) and the early Jewish guerrillas in the Irgun and Lehi. Anyone interested in understanding the mindset of Irishmen bent on taking a stance and fighting for what they believe in, will be well rewarded for reading this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By An admirer of Arthur Guinness on January 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
For the third reviewer : you don't need to be English , Russian , German or American to understand and condemn nazi or stalinist atrocities ; similarly , you don't need to be an Irishman to realize Britain's unfair , oppressive and intolerant rule of Ireland , not yet finished by the way . There's ample historical evidence of all kinds of wrong doing by the British during their centuries-long illegal occupation of Ireland , denial of elementary basic rights to the Irish (catholics obviously)and the establishment of an unnatural separation of the North from the South that it is still unresolved .

Like any other country in the world , Britain has had brilliant pages in history and also dark , shameful ones , with their handling of the Irish case probably being the worst - to day .

As for the book , I'll only say this : don't miss the opportunity to learn how a small group of determined men (basically peasants)were led with brilliance to defeat a much bigger , stronger and modern army . Probably much to the dismay of some , still today .
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This on the scene writer grimly reveals the unbelieavable atrocities the English purpetrated on the Irish people in this century. This book is a beginning to the understanding of the relations between the English and the Irish. The actions taken by armed mercenaries, English military, and English puppet police against the Irish people in their own country is appalling and brings to mind Hitler's treatment of the Jews in Europe twenty years later. A must read for all who seek an understanding to the Anglo/Irish situation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Mosher on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Tom Barry fought with the British Army during the First World War, the Irish Republican Army during the war with England (1919-1921), and the anti-Treaty forces of the IRA during the Irish Civil War (1922-1923). Imprisoned by the Free State government in Dublin for his role in that civil war, he nevertheless returned to the ranks of the IRA and served as its Chief of Staff in the 1930s. He published these memoirs in 1949, at a time when Ireland was, at last, a Republic that until recently had been under the leadership of Eamon DeValera, Barry's longtime leader in these conflicts.

In an interesting historical moment of irony, the author heard the news of the 1916 Easter Rising the following May, as he served with the British Army expedition in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) as that army attempted but ultimately failed to relieve a British Army besieged in the city of Kut by Ottoman Turkish forces. By the summer of 1919, having returned to his native Cork from the war, Barry was inspired by that 1916 Rising to first learn more of his own country's history and its struggles with England, and then to join the Irish Republican Army just as the volunteers were re-arming and resuming their drilling to defend the Irish Republic created in the wake of the 1918 general election.

The IRA in this period found a number of its most important leaders and its most effective fighters from "rebel" Cork, and the fighting pursued in the fields, lanes, and city streets of County Cork made it the most important arena in the contest between Irish Republicans and the "forces of the crown." Prominent names were also to be found among the British commanders that Tom Barry and others would face in Cork.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D Sparkman on November 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tom Barry's name will always be a part of Irish history. Despite his prickly personality, his fight against the British and his psychological strength enabled him to hold out against a far better trained, equipped, and more numerous enemy.
This book begins with Barry's new-found consciousness of his Irish patriotism, which leads him to join the IRA in Cork in order to fight the British. A detailed explaination of recruitment for a guerilla army and its training follows, with particular attention paid to the greivances of the Irish population against the occupying British. This leads to Barry's account of the Third Brigade's actions against the British in west County Cork, which were always spellbinding, if not also possibly partisan in nature and controversial in execution. This is understandable for a partisan guerilla commander, who was always under pressure, not just from the British, but also from their Irish syncophants and his own enemies within the Irish nationalist movement as well. Anyone who ever rooted for an underdog will be heartened by this story.
Barry's fascinating life did not end at Crossbarry. His account of his journey to Dublin to meet with the leaders of the nationalist movement reads as good a spy thriller as anything Michael Collins did, which is to say, the best. And his account of his VERY short imprisonment during the post-independence days is not only thrilling, but funny as well.
One receives a huge insight into the workings of the Irish personality by reading this book. As a historical document, it is first class, if one reads carefully past Barry's biases. As a guerilla war manual, it also is valuable, if somewhat dated (one wonders what would have happened if the British had had radios at Crossbarry).
The book belongs on the shelves of anyone interested in Ireland, guerilla warfare, or just plain thrilling military reading. Tops!
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