AS PROMISED - SAMPLE CHAPTER FROM SCOTTISH MILITARY DISASTERS - > Book Extract

*This one’s not on an article of mine on a military theme, but I think it’s interesting - Selling Nova Scotia

** Those who enjoyed reading about the Royal Scots’ Armistice Day battle with the Bolsheviks in 1918 might be interested in the same fight as seen from a Canadian viewpoint - Canada’s Winter War

*** Read about the blunder that made Canada an easy target for invasion from the United States - Undefended Border

**** Read about the Second World War's  Lord McHaw Haw                                                 

***** Serious questionmarks over the official version of one the British Army's most dearly held legends - The Real Mackay?

******** It's been a while since I posted a new article. This one's called Temptation

******** Read about how the most Highland of the Highland regiments during the Second World War fared in the Canadian Rockies - Drug Store Commandos.

********* January 2016 marks the centenary of Winston Churchill taking command of 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front. How did the man who sacked so many British generals during the Second World War make out in his own most senior battlefield command? Find out by having a look at Churchill in the Trenches .  

********** We now have a  Guide to Scottish military museums on this site.  

*********** Just weeks before the outbreak of the First World War one of Britain's most bitter enemies walked free from a Canadian jail  - Dynamite Dillon

************ Click to read - - Victoria's Royal Canadians - about one of the more unusual of the British regiments.

************* Read an article about the Royal Scots and their desperate fight against the Bolsheviks on Armistice Day 1918 - Forgotten War A second article, looks at the same battle but through a Canadian lens .

************** The 2018 Book of the Year Award has just been announced. See Book of the Year

***************No-one has got back to me with a German source for the claim that the kilties during the First World War were known as The Ladies from Hell . See My Challenge to You

*************** *A map showing the old Scottish regimental recruiting districts can now be seen by clicking Recruiting Area Map .

***************** The Fighting Men 1746  article now includes the estimated strengths of the Jacobite clan regiments which marched into England in 1745 See Clan Strengths

**************** ** I've posted a fresh article - Scotland’s Forgotten Regiments. Guess what it's about.  

****************** The High Court Hearing in London in May 2012 attracted a lot of visitors to this site. So, I've decided to keep the link to my latest article on the massacre in the Blog section. See Batang Kali Revisited  

Why Did They Fight?
I was a little miffed at a suggestion in a history of the Royal Flying Corps that life in the trenches during the First World War offered an improvement in quality of life for the numerous slum dwellers who found themselves sent to the front line. A bit patronizing, I thought. But I think the author got the idea from a classic novel about the war in the air called Winged Victory. The point made by a fictional pilot in the book was that he couldn’t see what motivated the downtrodden slum dwellers to fight for a country that treated them so badly. Good question. The Second Boer War of 1899-1902 resulted in a flood of volunteers to fight in South Africa. But the authorities were appalled by how many of them had to be rejected because they were in such poor physical condition, rotten teeth being a particular worry (a quick survey of the newspapers for 1900 and 1901 shows that on several occasions as many as 50% of Edinburgh volunteers were rejected on medical grounds). The school dinner programme came just in time to beef up the boys who would be sent for slaughter 1914-18. And the Land Fit for Heroes promised to the survivors by Prime Minister David Lloyd George failed to materialise. The children of the warriors of the First World War were a little smarter and less trusting when the second round broke out in 1939. It was clear the status quo would not be acceptable after the war was won. It is only recently that the Establishment has dared to start taking away what they successfully fought for 1939-45. Mind you, British veterans of the fighting 1939-45 are becoming scarce on the ground. 

Shameless Plug #9 - With Wellington was among the books recommended as an excellent Christmas present by the prestigious The Society for Army Historical Research. There was another mysterious surge in sales of With Wellington last summer. At the end of May it was the third best selling book about the Peninsular War on the website of one of Britain's biggest booksellers and Number Eighteen in the table for all Napoleonic books.  Last December's  sales surge turned out to be a combination of the venerable Scots Magazine declaring it Book of the Month in its January 2015 edition and a highly favourable review in the Napoleonic Association's newsletter. Scots Magazine's reviewer, nature writer and author, Jim Crumley, declared "I don't much care for military memoirs, but I could not put this one down". Other reviewers have been equally enthusiastic - "If you are interested in the memoirs of British soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars this book is a MUST!... You don't get many Napoleonic memoirs as good as this" and "It is the most candid memoir of the British Army I have ever read... does not pull any punches ... highly entertaining, but also thought provoking..." To have a look at the full reviews check out more about With Wellington  

What do you think? Please feel free to Comment 

Duke’s Legacy
In the crime shows on television a lot of suspects seem to know exactly what they were doing on a specific day when questioned, even though the it was weeks earlier.  I have trouble now remembering what I was doing this time last week. But I do know what I was doing around sunset on 13th of July 1985 – I was jumping up and down giving a statue of the Duke of Sutherland the V-sign. There were hundreds of us hoping up and down gesticulating at the statue on the ridge above Golspie that night. The reason I know the date was the Runrig concert at Golspie co-incided with Live Aid. The legendary Gaelic rockers were belting out a lively song about the Highland Clearances named Dance Called America. Not surprisingly, it’s quite a bouncy lively tune. The crowd knew what it had to do. They turned pretty much spontaneously turned their backs to the band on stage, which could easily have been mistaken for a hay trailer, and clearly demonstrated that they knew who the statue on the column on the ridge was and the contribution he and his family had made to The Clearances. It was a memorable but moment – obviously. Oh, the reason I remember it must have been the day of Live Aid was that a blanket was carried around the crowd to collect donations.