With the fall of France in the summer of 1940, Britain was faced with the prospect of invasion and occupation. Britain’s comparatively small army was overstretched, and in dire need of expansion and re-equipment, having abandoned most of its modern equipment at Dunkirk. In these circumstances, the creation of the Local Defence Volunteers, later called the Home Guard, was a symbol of the country’s will to resist Nazi Germany. But the Home Guard lacked equipment, weapons, and training. To a large degree, it was up to these civilian volunteers to organise matters for themselves. It was in this context that a group of veterans of the recently ended Spanish Civil War stepped forward to make a significant contribution to the training of the Home Guard. These men, who had fought with the International Brigades and the revolutionary militias, saw in the Home Guard the beginnings of a ‘People’s Army’. This little booklet attempts to outline the Home Guard socialists’ vision, and looks, in detail, at their writing and their concept of the Home Guard as Britain’s People’s Army
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