My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A very insightful view of the supplementary policemen that were sent out to Ireland to support the Royal Irish Constabulary. With mass unemployment for unskilled ex-squaddies from the Great War, it was attractive money. A generation of young men who had not been apprentices of any trade due to fighting in Europe.
The British government could take their pick of the many young veteran applicants. And they did. The most hardened and thuggish of the chosen crop, was the better in the eyes of the recruiters. This combined with drinking and a lack of respect for their R.I.C. supervision would lead to dire consequences.
There was not enough dark green (almost black) R.I.C. uniform for the reserves. So there was a mixture of kit between R.I.C. dark green and British Army service dress Khaki. Hence the nickname, Black and Tans.
This historical account gives a remarkable insight into the infamous men of the supplementary police (Black and Tans) assisting the R.I.C. against the Irish Republican rebels in the Independence struggle. It takes a look at some of the aspects of the struggle from the perspective of the rogue policemen and forms a picture of how their brand of diabolical community policing turned more and more of the indigenous population against the continued rule of Britain.
The Black and Tan Summer: Ireland's Turbulent Year of 1920
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