What was the Home Guard? Who were the men and women who served in it? And what can be said of their real role and significance once the popular myths have been stripped away? Despite the fame of the Home Guard - of Dad's Army - the true story of this wartime organization tends to be neglected. The myths obscure the reality. Stephen Cullen's aim in this thoroughgoing new study is to cut through the misunderstandings in order to reassess the Home Guard and its contribution to Britain's war effort - and to deepen our understanding of the men and women who were members of it. He sets the Home Guard in the long historical context of domestic defence planning, then focuses on the preparations made before the outbreak of the Second World War. In detail he traces the changing role of the Home Guard during its wartime existence as it adapted to meet the multitude of challenges it faced - from civil defence and intelligence gathering to training for guerrilla warfare.
After studying at the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, Dr Stephen M. Cullen taught economics, history and politics at independent schools. He has published many papers, articles and reports on twentieth-century history, in particular on the world wars, fascism and the Home Guard. His books include The Last Capitalist: A Dream of a New Utopia, Children in Society: A Libertarian Critique, Cohort of the Damned: Armed Collaboration in Wartime France - The Milice Francaise and Home Guard Socialism: A Vision of a People's Army.