Wasted Years, Wasted Lives, Volume 1

Wasted Years, Wasted Lives, Volume 1 : The British Army in Northern Ireland 1975-77

4.5 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
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Over the past several years, Ken Wharton, himself a former soldier, has been prolific in his coverage of the Troubles which spread their tentacles far from the streets ands fields of Northern Ireland. Over 4,000 people died in or as a consequence of them and it cost the lives of over 1,300 British soldiers - a fact which is unacknowledged by the MOD - and the lives of over 300 policemen and women. This is Ken's sixth book about the period and he draws on meticulous and detailed research, first-hand testimony of the soldiers who trod the same streets as himself, and an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the near 30 year period of murder, violence and civil war. The first-hand accounts help us to understand and examine the fears of the young soldiers who patrolled the dangerous streets of the Ardoyne and New Lodge, of Andersonstown, Turf Lodge and Ballymurphy and of the Creggan in Londonderry and the Derrybeg in Newry. Warton looks at the Loyalist paramilitaries and treats their sectariansim and mindless murder with the same contempt with which he treats the Republicans. He does not mince words about the Irish-Americans and their political stooges in the US Government, judicial system and the ordinary '7th generation Irishmen of the American East Coast.'

This is a book not just for soldiers, but for anyone who wishes to look back and try and understand the madness inflicted upon several generations of innocent Irish and British people. In years to come, historians - both social and military - will reflect on this period of insanity with a greater knowledge than hitherto. If you wish to know how it felt to be an innocent sectarian victim, or an off-duty soldier or policeman or a young lad from Leeds, Liverpool or London hard targeting through the Lower Falls, then this book is a must read.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 428 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 39.62mm | 875.43g
  • Solihull, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 75 b/w photos, 3 maps
  • 1909384550
  • 9781909384552
  • 1,028,659

Review quote

Ken Wharton captures the authentic voice of the British soldier at the height of what is generally known as the Irish Troubles but was in fact a war ... A master storyteller, he produces a rich and magnificent tapestry. Packed with new information and telling detail, Wasted Years is not just a gripping narrative but also an important contribution to military and Irish history. * Toby Harnden, bestselling author of Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh and Dead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards & the Defining Story of Britain's War in Afghanistan * Nobody does Northern Ireland like Ken and nobody tries harder to tell the stories of the men that soldiered and died, policed and patrolled, cried and bled, or lived and wept on the Emerald Isle than he. * Steven McLaughlin, bestselling author of Squaddie * A powerful testament to the plain soldier of the British Army. That hero speaks out in these pages. He and she held the line during the dark years. Their victory, their courage and their humanity remind us that in human affairs, yes, sometimes the good guys really do win. * Kevin Myers, bestselling author of Watching the Door: Cheating Death in Belfast in the 70s * Ken Wharton's remarkable work rolls on, a monumental feat of history writing. * Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Bomber Boys and 3 Para * The spirit of honour, brotherhood, superlative soldiering and true grit lives on in Ken Wharton's new volume about The Troubles. Read it - lest we forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice, fighting the scourge of terrorism across the water. * Damien Lewis, bestselling author of Zero 6 Bravo and Firestrike 7 *
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About Ken Wharton

Ken Wharton is in his mid-60s but retains a youthful, though deeply knowledgeable and experienced view of the Northern Ireland troubles. It was said by one military historian that: '... nobody does Northern Ireland quite like Ken Wharton.'

Living on Australia's sun-kissed Gold Coast, he divides his time between there and his native UK. He returns to Britain as often as he can and still makes an annual pilgrimage to Ulster to lay his own ghosts and to remember the fallen of Britain's forgotten war.

A former football referee in the tough West Yorkshire League and with 500 skydives under his belt, he retains a young man's view of the world, whilst at the same time, retaining his grip on reality.
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Rating details

18 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 78% (14)
4 6% (1)
3 11% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 6% (1)
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