The Black and Tans British Police and Auxiliaries in the Irish War of Independence, 1920-1

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-11-25
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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This is the story of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, the most notorious police forces in the history of the British Isles. During the Irish War of Independence (1920-1), the British government recruited thousands of ex-soldiers to serve as constables in the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Black and Tans, while also raising a paramilitary raiding force of ex-officers - the Auxiliary Division. From the summer of 1920 to the summer of 1921, these forces became the focus of bitter controversy. As the struggle for Irish independence intensified, the police responded to ambushes and assassinations by the guerrillas with reprisals and extrajudicial killings. Prisoners and suspects were abused and shot, the homes and shops of their families and supporters were burned, and the British government was accused of imposing a reign of terror on Ireland. Based on extensive archival research, this is the first serious study of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries and the part they played in the Irish War of Independence. Dr Leeson examines the organization and recruitment of the British police, the social origins of police recruits, and the conditions in which they lived and worked, along with their conduct and misconduct once they joined the force, and their experiences and states of mind. For the first time, it tells the story of the Irish conflict from the police perspective, while casting new light on the British government's responsibility for reprisals, the problems of using police to combat insurgents, and the causes of atrocities in revolutionary wars.

Author Biography

D. M. Leeson received his PhD in History from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada in 2003.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Mapsp. xiii
List of Abbreviationsp. xv
Note to the Readerp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
The Two-Headed Ass: Coalition Policy and Coalition Policing in Irelandp. 4
Policyp. 5
The Irish ulcer, 1886-1919p. 5
Insurgency: January 1919 to July 1920p. 8
The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act, 9 August 1920p. 12
Policingp. 15
Peelers: The Royal Irish Constabularyp. 16
The Black and Tansp. 24
Major General Tudor and the Auxiliary Divisionp. 30
'The dark hours are dreaded': The War of Independence in West Galwayp. 39
Beaten to the ropes: winter and spring, 1919-20p. 40
Shoot to kill: summer and autumn, 1920p. 43
'You are going to suffer now': winter 1920-1p. 56
Disturbed and restless: spring 1921p. 59
Drastic measures: summer 1921p. 64
Constabulary in Khaki: The Black and Tansp. 68
'Ex-servicemen of good character and physique'p. 69
'Jail-birds and down-and-outs'p. 82
'A career of adventure and bloodshed'p. 88
Dr Tudor's Beast Folk: The Auxiliary Divisionp. 96
ŠThese ex-officers will be called Temporary Cadets'p. 97
Who were the Auxiliaries, really?p. 103
Temporary gentlemenp. 112
Armed bandsp. 118
A corps de luxep. 125
One-Sided War: Police and Auxiliaries in Combatp. 130
'A volley of shots rang out'p. 130
Assassinations and ambushesp. 134
Barracks and encounter battlesp. 141
Defeat and surrenderp. 147
'Come out, Sinn Fein!': Analysing Police Reprisalsp. 157
Counting the costp. 158
'Hellish laughter .and shouts of revenge'p. 166
'Come out to be shot'p. 176
By persons unknownp. 182
The Devil's Work: Explaining Police Reprisalsp. 191
'A fratricidal vendetta'p. 192
. No man's landp. 203
'Courage wears a uniform'p. 210
Let the murderers beginp. 214
Conclusionp. 223
Notesp. 229
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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