1972: Ulster's Bloodiest Year, by Ken Wharton

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Steven_McLaughlin, Aug 6, 2010.

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  1. I recently had the privilege of reading and reviewing the entire raw manuscript of Ken Wharton’s upcoming Northern Ireland book, 1972: Ulster’s Bloodiest Year. The book will not be released until May 2011, but make no mistake about it, Ken has once again produced a meaty masterpiece from those grim and bleakly savage times. 1972 is Ken’s fourth forensic examination of the bitter and bloody ‘Troubles’ that defined soldiering for an entire generation of criminally overused, vastly under-appreciated and shamefully ignored unsung heroes. The pages drip with stinging emotion and angry regrets about beloved comrades lost, at the behest of a spineless government and disenchanted public who seemed at a loss as how to halt the escalating carnage and defeat an enemy that was as cunning as it was ruthless.

    1972: Ulster’s Bloodiest Year is a story that is told by the soldiers themselves, in their own language, in a series of letters, musings and conversations with the author. Ken Wharton has expertly, sensitively and meaningfully, edited, compiled and woven their unique and tragic histories into a powerful narrative that proceeds with determined force. His attention to detail and compulsive hunger to get the soldiers stories ‘out there’ is a testament to the character of the man himself. With the quartet of NI books that he has now written he is evolving into the foremost historian and most scrupulous advocate, for the blokes that served and bled in those not-so-far-away isles.

    In a gripping and authoritative voice he guides us through 1972, month by remorseless month, as one outrage after another sparks off an unstoppable firestorm that eventually engulfs the entire British Army and plunges the province into meltdown. And as both Ken and other contributors point out; when these men returned home - either dead, alive or somewhere in between – they weren’t honoured with the parades and heartfelt homecomings that they so desperately deserved and would be greeted with today.

    When Ken himself patrolled through NI in 1972 that year alone we lost 169 irreplaceable souls and scores more to violent injury; a cruel figure that even eclipses the worst of Iraq and Afghanistan combined. I am proud to be able to call Ken a friend and I’m honoured to be able to write this review for a fellow Royal Green Jacket, whose achievements as both a soldier and a writer, chronicling his journey, utterly dwarf mine.

    1972: Ulster’s Bloodiest Year is a book that pierces your conscience like a GPMG 7:62mm round punching through a brick wall. It’s noisy, it’s messy, and I defy any soldier not to be moved by it.

    The Bloodiest Year: Northern Ireland, 1972: Amazon.co.uk: Ken Wharton: Books
  2. Thank you for Informing us of that I have been greatly impressed by Ken Whartons work so far and I'm glad to hear that he is still making sure that the soldiers view of Northern Ireland surfaces over all the hollywood bias and constant leftism harping over bloody sunday.
  3. Abdiel
    Thanks mate; very flattered. There is likely to be a fifth book, but that largely depends on the publisher. If you or any of the lads on the forum can help with photos of 1972 (which will be returned by registered post to you) or even 71 or 73, please get in touch as your help is urgently wanted.

    For those of who who read my last book 'Bloody Belfast' which I thought was my best to date, the latest 'The Bloodiest Year' is twice as good.
  4. Not problem Kenny although I'm afraid I can't help you on regards to accounts as I'm not of the NI generation, I actually contacted you before my first annual camp about your second title if you remember.
    Bloody Belfast was fantastic and I have already said on this forum that if anybody has any stories of thier service in NI anything at all they should talk to you especially after the apology by Cameron for Bloody Sunday and sickening pictures of ambulance chasers whom have got wealthy off the entire tradgedy. The world needs to know that it was a one off event and that the British Army's level of restraint in NI was nothing short of phenominal how many other militaries could have put up with what they had to endure, not many methinks.
  5. Abdiel
    Thanks anyway, mate and yes I do remember your contact earlier; much appreciated.
    Any of the lads on the forum who has photos of the period are encouraged to make contact with me; full recognition will be given.
    Warmest best wishes
  6. I'm sorry but he lost me with the title, 1689 was perhaps Ulsters bloodiest year with around 10,000 casualties at the siege of Londonderry and the battle of Newtownbutler, both in Ulster. Earlier colonial Norman/English/Viking battles and the constant internecine celtic contretemps in Ulster would also have kicked 1972 and perhaps 1689 into a cocked hat, them boys didn't f@ck about.

    1972 was a shit time in Ulster and i'm not belittling those who served there but if you want to write history then start with the facts and perhaps some of the figures.
  7. Are you missing the point? The book is about the bloodiest year of the troubles. Not in history, not of the 17th century, not in the history of Ireland, but of the troubles. If you can't see that, then perhaps I'm missing the point. How about '1972, The Bloodiest Year of the Troubles, But Not Of Ireland Because 1689 Was Worse' Would that qualifier suit you? Not sure whether or not you are just being obtuse or what? I'll take criticism but your comments are just ridiculous.