Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh
About this deal
Ebooks fulfilled through Glose cannot be printed, downloaded as PDF, or read in other digital readers (like Kindle or Nook). Drawing on secret documents and interviews on South Armagh's recent history, Harnden told the inside story of how the IRA came close to bringing the British state to its knees.
While the book is based on a lot of interviews and a fair amount of secondary reading (as evinced by the bibliography), it is not properly referenced. That makes me all the more aware of how much care has been taken to really explain certain things that I don't think would make sense otherwise, apart from a perspective. At times the chapters are alternately chronological or thematic with the discussion skipping forward or back in time. The author provides numerous accounts from former serving members of the British Army and RUC confirming that, due to the level of threat from the Provisional IRA in South Armagh, they only left the likes of the heavily fortified Crossmaglen barracks by helicopter and even the garbage bins had to be emptied by the same method.
Toby Harnden was appointed Irish Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph in 1996, after first joining the newspaper as a reporter in London. Bandit Country is a must-read for any Republican or anyone interested in the history of South Armagh.
I have to confess that as an American I knew very little of the conflict outside of Tom Clancy's Patriot Games. Given the level of detail on various operations - successful and unsuccessful - one can't help but marvel at the sheer scale of the inventiveness and determination that a small group of individuals could display in the face of Empire, regardless of how one feels on the political or moral logic of the armed campaign. Loses points for its slight - and in the light of recent conclusive official confirmation of systematic British Army-RUC-UDR-Loyalist collusion, absolutely ridiculous - bias towards 'official' viewpoints on the sources of violence and evidence of security force misconduct and injustice towards the Nationalist community.However, the victims of the violence on both sides are humanised allowing us to never really feel at ease with the killing and maiming - thankfully. These were dangerous times, not just for Republican activists or Catholics but for lawyers, journalists, and human rights campaigners.
Very few books about the Troubles focus on an area and bring the conflict down to the level of families, farmhouses and fields. And each commented on it favourably…Harnden is to be commended for striking the balance that he did. It also gives an insight of the British soldiers that should not have been allowed patrol such an area due to their youth and time ahead of them in their life. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item.Regardless of the semantics, the cat and mouse games, the watch towers, the endless measures and countermeasures make for a fascinating read.
The actions of the British Army and the IRA are not presented in a glamorous or sensationalist manner - instead they are presented clearly, dispassionately and with a certain detachment.Collins had at one time been the chief Provisional IRA 'intelligence officer' in the nearby city of Newry but had agreed to turn Queen's Evidence, aka Supergrass, against his former comrades.