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Churchill’s Underground Army

Churchill’s Underground Army Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review April 2014 Title Churchill’s Underground Army
Author John Warwicker Publisher Frontline Books
Published 2013 ISBN 9781848327177
Format 266 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $29.95


Subtitled "A History of the Auxiliary Units in World War II", Churchill's Underground Army offers readers a glimpse into clandestine cells of ordinary Britons secretly trained in sabotage and intelligence gathering during WWII.

Drawing on previously unpublished documents, author John Warwicker dedicates most of the first half to the Auxiliary Units' conception and formation.

Weaving together anecdotes and history, the second half highlights the extraordinary details of these units.  For example, advanced training manuals were cleverly disguised as old calendars as well as The Countryman's Diary 1939.  "The ironic, and barely disguised threat implied in the careful wording on the nondescript cover, is significant for all to see now. …

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Although an excellent historical account, Warwicker's final chapter, "Auxunits and the Rudolph Hess Mystery", goes off on a bit of a tangent and smacks more of conspiracy theory than scholarly inquiry.

Illustrations and period photographs balance the author's account.  Two appendices, bibliography, and index complete this fine publication.

Decidedly recommended!

With thanks to Casemate for the review copy.