An amazing collection of eyewitness accounts of the British experience in World War II. First-hand narratives are drawn from every rank of the army and every corner of the conflict to create a moving and illuminating story of the greatest war of this century.
Fascinating, moving, frightening, sometimes comic, this selection of eyewitness accounts has been edited into chronological order to form a magnificent oral history of the British and Commonwealth forces at war.
We follow some 60 interviewees from the Army, RAF and Navy from 1939 to the Battle of Britain, the Desert War, the fall of Singapore, the Italian campaign, D-Day, to the occupation of Germany and the war in Burma. We hear from fighter pilots, nurses, gunners, commandos, Chindits and paratroopers. Their experiences on land, sea, in the air…and in some cases as prisoners of the Germans or Japanese are unique testimony from some remarkable men and women.
‘To understand the New Zealand experience of war, this is the book to read.’
‘A book that keeps you coming back for more, Five Shillings makes up for those conversations we never seemed to have with those who came home…’
-North and South
‘This is a superb cohesive account of events which made history… Veterans will read it with relish, younger readers with awe at the incredible scale of the conflict…’
‘For the general reader with an interest in the Second World War, I can think of no better starting point from which to grasp the huge scale of the war and yet its dimension in terms of the individual. For the specialist reader, there are countless personal insights.’
-Vincent Orang, BA Ph D, MRAe.S
Reader in History,
University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand
About the author
Richard Campbell Begg served in the Royal Navy 1939-45 then returned to his native New Zealand where he practised as a GP.