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Belfast Diaries

A Gunner in Northern Ireland 1971-74

Belfast Diaries : A Gunner in Northern Ireland 1971-74

Author : Steve Corbett

Paperback Helion & Company 234mm x 156mm 232 pages 8pp colour photos & ills, c 70 b/w photos

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"It's a very weird sensation to be shot at… Very often you see the gunman when it's too late or you don't see him at all. You might as well just be targets on a rifle range. I often wondered if I would get through this tour ok, and even now I still do… " In the four-month period during 1971 that Gunner Stephen Corbett was stationed in Andersontown, Northern Ireland, 33 servicemen were killed by terrorist action in the province. His unit, 9 (Plassey) Bty, Royal Artillery, was attacked by a bomb, bullet or rioters on more than 400 occasions. In 1972 alone, the toll of service personnel killed was more than 100. Yet their action was never classed as a war. When the servicemen returned home there were no marches through the streets to cheering crowds. They just quietly slipped in unnoticed and carried on with their other duties. The young Gunner's notebooks detailing his two tours of duty - Andersontown, November 1971 - March 1972, and New Lodge June 1974 - October 1974 - were put in a drawer where they were to lay, untouched, for more than 30 years. Here, for the first time, this account of his service is vividly brought to life and validated through newspaper articles, intelligence reports, and surviving examples of IRA propaganda. Share in the day-to-day life of a Gunner and his 'band of brothers' as they patrol the streets of this unforgiving suburban battleground. Relive the sights and sounds of the rioting and gun battles, and the devastating losses of fallen comrades Bernie Fearns and Kim Maccunn. Especially rare are the large collection of photographs taken by the author at that time, illustrating the life of a serviceman both on and off duty. Belfast Diaries offers a unique opportunity to see this conflicted city through the eyes of an serviceman charged with peace-keeping duties at the height of 'The Troubles'; a real 'must-read' for any Northern Ireland or British Army enthusiast.

 

“Steve Corbett’s accounts of his time on the dirty, rough, mean and dangerous streets of Belfast are chilling and remind us that this was no ‘police action,’ it was no peace-keeping duty; it was a bloody war, plain and simple...I commend this book to anyone who wishes to know just what Northern Ireland was like”. Ken Wharton, author of A Long Long War: Voices from the British Army in Northern Ireland 1969-98 and five other books recounting the experience of the British soldier in NI

 

“Belfast in the 1970s during the army’s deployment to Northern Ireland was a very busy place! These are the impact-filled diaries of a soldier fighting an unknown war in his eyes; every page tells you a new story and every paragraph brings yet another life threatening situation. This book will highlight, remind and educate those who wish to learn how the thirty-eight years of Operation Banner took its toll on those who served. A truly remarkable personal experience.” Darren Ware, author of A Rendezvous with the Enemy: My Brother’s Life and Death with the Coldstream Guards in Northern Ireland

Additional Information

Publisher
Helion & Company
ISBN
9781909384071
Date of Publication
July 2013
Binding
Paperback
Book Size
234mm x 156mm
Pages
232 pages
Images
8pp colour photos & ills, c 70 b/w photos
Language
English text
Helion Book Code
HEL0372
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01926 499619

info@helion.co.uk

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