The Fighting Irish: The History of the Extraordinary Irish Soldier
This book tells the extraordinary story of the Irish soldier serving outside Ireland, fighting for and against the British, fighting for and against Napoleon, fighting in America and around the globe in two world wars—and still serving in demanding UN peace-keeping campaigns. It is told in the dramatic words of the soldiers, gathered from diaries, letters and journals from archives—and interviews with veterans—in Ireland and across the world.
There are tales of exile in France, storming Spanish cities for the Duke of Wellington, military adventures in Mexico and Argentina, winning Victoria Crosses in Russia and China, death-defying charges in the American Civil War, slaughter on the Western Front, deception in the Second World War, surviving torture in Korea, desperate last-stands in the Congo, and sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This book is the first one-volume popular military history of the Irish soldier fighting abroad. There is no other such book.
The first-hand experiences—the lost voices—of Irish soldiers fighting around the world, taken from diaries, letters and interviews with veterans.
A truly global appeal with substantial Irish immigrant populations in their millions in the USA, Britain, Canada, and Australia.
A natural sequel to the critically acclaimed Highlander.
Tim Newark is the author of several well-received crime and military history books. In 2007, he published The Mafia at War/Mafia Allies (Greenhill/Zenith), which involved extensive archival research in London, New York, Washington, and Sicily. It was very well reviewed by Mafia authorities and praised for its depth of research. This was followed by his myth-busting biography of legendary gangster Lucky Luciano (St Martin’s Press/Mainstream), now published in paperback in US as Boardwalk Gangster to coincide with the second season of the hit HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire.Most recentl...
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Dough Beattie MC, 1 R IRISH, author of 'Task Force Helmand’
"From the Flight of the Wild Geese to small unit actions in Afghanistan in the 21st century, Tim Newark captures in vivid detail the essence of the Irish soldier, his treacheries and loyalties, his humour and sadness, but above all his devotion to his fellow Irish soldier. ‘The Fighting Irish’ is a must read for anyone wanting to know how such a small nation can provide some of the world’s finest fighting men. "
Dr Matthew Bennett, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
"You don’t have to be Irish to be moved by this exciting tale of Irishmen serving in the wars of the last 300 years. The spirit of the ‘Wild Geese’, as the Irish exiles are known—as often to be found fighting against the British as for them—have a proud history of fierce individualism and devoted loyalty to their chosen cause. Tim Newark brings both a journalist's and historian’s eye to the material, much of it new research, and sheds fascinating light on the topic. "
Charles Messenger, author of ‘Call to Arms’
" Full of rattling good stories which typify the Irish warrior, whether fighting for or against the British. "
" From the Battle of the Boyne to the mountains of Afghanistan, Tim Newark tells the story of the Irish fighting man with wit, clarity and scholarship. No-one could do it better, reminding us that despite being a neutral country, Ireland has provided some of the world’s toughest, bravest and most dedicated soldiers."
Professor Gary Sheffield
"Fighting Irish is a wonderfully readable piece of narrative history."
" ...as refreshing as it is informative and entertaining, Newark leans on the diaries and letters of individual combatants to tell their stories and in doing so gives the reader an intimate and immediate panorama of the Irish soldier's experience...Reading this fascinating book over the St Patrick’s Day festivities would be as good a way as any and better than most, to celebrate what it is to be Irish"
"Encapsulates Ireland’s international military tradition [and] sheds light on forgotten history… It is this fighting spirit that is rightly celebrated in this book."
The Irish Times
"For a neutral country, Ireland claims a remarkable military tradition… In The Fighting Irish, Tim Newark tells the story of these men in their own words, drawing on soldiers’ memoirs, letters, diaries, interviews and blogs. The breadth of the study is ambitious, encompassing soldiers in ‘Irish’ units in European, British and American armies, and Irish army units in the service of the United Nations, as well as mercenaries, chancers and ideologically driven republicans... During the 19th and early 20th centuries there were few major conflicts at which Irishmen were not present; and not infrequently, as in the Boer War, they were to be found on both sides. Newark’s method of navigating through this morass is to write short, pacy, chapters that draw heavily on first-hand accounts. This approach works well in providing colour and first-hand perspective…"
BBC History Magazine
"Tim Newark’s The Fighting Irish is to be welcomed, exploring as it does frequently overlooked—and often truly startling and dramatic—personal narratives… Newark has highlighted a giddying range of historical experience, to impressive effect."