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The Black and Tans
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The Black and Tans: British Police and Auxiliaries in the Irish War of Independence, 1920-1921

D. M. Leeson


This is the story of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries — the most notorious police forces in the history of the British Isles. During the Irish War of Independence (1920–1), the British government recruited thousands of ex-soldiers to serve as constables in the Royal Irish Constabulary — the Black and Tans — while also raising a paramilitary raiding force of ex-officers — the Auxiliary Division. From the summer of 1920 to the summer of 1921, these forces became the focus of bitter controversy. As the struggle for Irish independence intensified, the police responded to ambushes and assassinati ... More

Keywords: Ireland, Britain, Black and Tans, police, Auxiliaries, War of Independence, reprisals

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199598991
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199598991.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

D. M. Leeson, author
Assistant Professor of History, Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada