by Anthony Barne, edited by Charles Barne,
Barnsley, Eng.: Pen & Sword / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2019. Pp. xvi, 324+.
Illus., maps, appends. $49.95. ISBN: 1526759705
A Personal Window on the War
The scion of an upper class British family, Anthony Barne (1906-1996) followed family tradition – his father had died in the Great War – and joined the British Army. With war clouds looming, shortly before the outbreak of World War II, he began a diary which he maintained faithfully through the entire war.
During which Barne rose to command the 4th Hussars, of which Churchill was a veteran and honorary colonel, and Churchill frequently corresponded with Barne, checking up on “his” regiment and its wartime experiences. Barne saw front line service and staff duty in North Africa and Italy.
Barne’s diary offers a wonderful window into the war as experienced by an upper class Briton. His view of how the war was going often changed from day to day, reflecting the on-the-ground, here-and-now character of his entries, which covered the war on an almost daily basis, and which he does not appear to have edited or “corrected” at all. Barne often comments about commanders and soldiers and politicians, weapons, personal finances, the enemy, Britain’s allies, his efforts to maintain contact with his wife and their infant and more.
Churchill’s Colonel throws interesting light on life and soldiering in the British Army during the Second World War.
Note: Churchill’s Colonel is also available in several e-editions.
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