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Isle of Man at War 1939–45 (ePub)

Military P&S History > Social History WWII World History > UK & Ireland > Towns & Cities in World War Two

By Matthew Richardson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Your Towns & Cities in World War Two
File Size: 19.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 158
Illustrations: 25
ISBN: 9781526720740
Published: 4th October 2018


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Isle of Man at War 1939-45 presents the remarkable story of the Manx people, and their homeland, in the most destructive conflict of the twentieth century.

Few people are now aware of the extraordinary role that this small island played in assisting the allied war effort. Yet for six years, a place best known for motorcycle racing and as a holiday playground became a heavily armed fortress. Hundreds of airmen, soldiers and sailors were trained in readiness for combat. Thousands of enemy aliens were imprisoned behind the barbed wire of its camps, alongside those of British birth who were deemed to be a threat to security.

Top secret radar was developed, and the Island's merchant fleet played a vital role at Dunkirk and D-Day. On battlefields around the world, gallant Manxmen fought bravely, whilst at home, in spite of the pressures which total war brought to society, there was a perhaps surprising tolerance for those with pacifist beliefs. Likewise, though there was increased government control in almost all areas of life, these were times of great advancement for Manx democracy.

The story is told in the words of those who were there - some of these eyewitnesses speaking for the first time about their experiences, and among them the last survivors of that generation. Their accounts bring a freshness and immediacy to this remarkably vivid narrative.

Article: 'Book details the story of the Manx during WWII' as featured by

Manx Independent, 1st November 2018 – words by Sam Turton
 Matthew Richardson

About Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson is Curator of Social History at Manx National Heritage. He has a long-term interest in military history and has published several outstanding books on the subject including 1914: Voices from the Battlefields, The Hunger War: Food, Rations and Rationing 1914-1918 and Eyewitness on the Somme 1916. He also has a keen interest in the history of the Isle of Man TT and, in addition to producing several acclaimed exhibitions on this subject, worked with Dave Molyneux on The Racer’s Edge: Memoirs of an Isle of Man TT Legend.

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