When the Union Jack was hauled down over the Atlantic naval ports of Cobh, Berehaven and Lough Swilly in 1939, the Irish were jubilant. But in London, Churchhill brooded on the 'incomprehensible' act of surrendering three of the Royal Navy's finest ports when Europe was about to go to war. Eighteen months later, Churchill was talking of military action against Ireland. He demanded the return of the ports and the Irish made ready to defend their country against British, as well as German invasion. In Northern Ireland, a Unionist Government vainly tried to introduce conscription. Along the west coast British submarines prowled the seas searching for German U-boats sheltering in the bays; British agents toured the villages of Donegal in search of fifth columnists, while their German counterparts tried to make contact with the IRA. This is a fascinating study of Ireland during the Second World War. Anybody interested in Irish affairs will have to get Fisk's book. - Literary Review .
Robert Fisk is Foreign Correspondent of the London Independent, based in the Middle East. An expert on Middle Eastern affairs and contemporary global conflicts, he has won more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent and is a seven-time winner of the British Press Award's Foreign Reporter of the Year award. He is the bestselling author of a number of books including The Point of No Return (1975), Pity the Nation (2001) and The Great War for Civilisation (2005). He lives between Beirut, Paris and Dublin.