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The Home Guard: Training Pocket Manual

The Home Guard: Training Pocket Manual

Editor: Lee Johnson
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
'The Home Guard: Training Pocket Manual' is a great addition to any military loo reading collection... A compendium of various Home Guard training manuals (The Home Guard Training Manual, Home Guard Drill and Battle Drill, and Advanced Training for the Home Guard), it gives a fantastic insight into the training methods for what was an extremely large proportion of the military in WW2 (4,000,000 men served in the Home Guard between 1940 and 1945, with 1,700,000 men serving at its peak).

What makes the book fascinating is the wide range of advice and equipment expected to be used. As the rear echelon (until any potential invasion), the Home Guard was severely under-resourced. In the beginning, members of the Home Guard were even issued pikes rather than rifles. This led, in the best traditions of British eccentricity and innovation, to ever-resourceful members coming up with jury-rigged solutions to replace the weapons that hadn't been issued.

Advice about what to do in the event of an enemy airborne landing, how to lay ambushes in a range of scenarios through to how to defend a factory complex bring to life the real worries the Home Guard faced. Modern perception has been coloured by the humorous but not necessarily historically accurate Dad's Army; this has allowed later generations to write off this large body of men as ineffective and haphazard. Although there might well have been those who fell into this category, there were also large numbers of men who had fought in the trenches of WW1 and who were highly experienced and courageous veterans. Anxious to do their bit for the war effort, this book highlights the contribution they would have been able to make if it had ever come to the crunch of a successful German invasion.

Available on Amazon for £8.99 in hardback (probably better for the 'loo library'!) or £6.60 on Kindle, this will make a great present for the doctrine geek in your life...

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