Guerilla Days In Ireland: Tom Barry's Autobiography
by Tom Barry
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Guerilla Days in Ireland' is a fascinating memoir of the Irish struggle for Independence from the commander of the Third West Cork Flying Column. Guerilla Days in Ireland is the extraordinary story of the fight between two unequal forces, which ended in the withdrawal of the British from twenty-six counties. Seven weeks before the truce to the Anglo-Irish War of July, 1921, the British presence in County Cork consisted of 8,800 front line infantry troops, 1,150 Black & Tan soldiers, 540 Auxiliaries, 2,080 machine gun corps, artillery and other units; a total of over 12,500 men.
Against these British forces stood the Irish Republican Army whose Flying Columns never exceeded 310 riflemen in the whole of County Cork. These flying columns were small groups of dedicated volunteers, severely commanded and disciplined. Constantly on the move, their paramount objective was merely to exist; to strike when conditions were favorable, to avoid disaster at all costs. In Guerilla Days in Ireland Tom Barry describes the setting up of the West Cork Flying Column, its training, and its plan of campaign. Tom Barry was born in 1898. In June 1915 he joined the British Army, not to secure home rule for Ireland or to fight for Irish freedom of for freedom of small nations - just to see what war was like. In the summer of 1920 he became Training officer to the Third (West) Cork Brigade. Tom Barry fought on the republican side of the Civil War, was imprisoned and escaped. In the late 1930s he was Chief of Staff of the IRA He died on 02 July 1980.
- Mercier Press, January 1981
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