The Lads from Stalag 29 (Paperback)Danny McFaul (author)
Paperback 172 Pages / Published: 14/10/2011
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The years of National Service cover almost two decades from 1945 to 1963. During that time 2.5 million young men were compelled to do their time in National Service with 6,000 being called up every fortnight. Some went willingly while others were reluctant. A few were downright bloody-minded as they saw little difference between their call up and the press gangs of Britain's distant past. At first public opinion was behind the idea of peacetime conscription or national service as they call it. It was clear in the immediate post war political landscape that Britain had considerable obligations and only a limited number of men still in service. Overnight the national servicemen had to learn a new language. !Fatigues!, 'Blanco', 'spit n polish', 'rifle oil', 'pull throughs' and the dreaded 'bull' and 'jankers'. Once they had been shaved from the scalp and kitted out all within a few hours of arrival, the rookie National Servicemen all looked identical even if back in the barrack room every man was still an individual. The arena for the breaking in of these young men was the parade ground. In squads they learnt how to obey orders instinctively and to react to a single word of command by coping with a torrent of abuse from the drill Instructors. After basic training the raw recruits would be turned into soldiers, sailors and airmen and they would be posted to join regiments at home or abroad. Nearly 400 national servicemen would die for their country in war zones like Korea and Malaya. Others took part in atomic tests on Christmas Island or were even used as human guinea pigs for germ warfare tests. There are tragic stories also of young men who simply couldn't cope with military life and the pain of separation from their families. For some suicide was the only way out.
Publisher: Upfront Publishing
Number of pages: 172
Dimensions: 210 x 148 x 14 mm
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