Who were the black and tans

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who were the black and tans

The Black and Tans by Richard Bennett

Very conflicted about this book. Its a discussion of the Irish battle for Independence, using the force the British created to fight the IRA, the Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve. Although it sounds like a good Whiskey, but it turned out to be crew of angry WWI veterans, who took their many frustrations out on the Irish populace. Since the IRA were fairly indiscriminate killers too, it makes for sad reading. It boils down to a series of outrages and Reprisals that just makes the whole struggle a festival of violent insanity.

I usually go into the facts of the book in this section. But it really is just story of one crime after another, usually alternating the miscreants between the Freedom Fighter/Terrorist/IRA volunteers and the RIC, although the IRA does manage to assault more actual combatants. The RIC, usually reacting to a criminal act, often just burn and loot the area where the crime occurred in Reprisal. Even as the British Anti-Terror intelligence police got better and better at penetrating the IRA, and seem to have it almost destroyed, the political tables are turned. The Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries, another group of Unruly Armed police had alienated most pro-British sentiment, at home and abroad(The USA was and IS the main source of IRA funds). After trying to snuff out the IRA with even more violence, the forces were withdrawn or stood down by 1922, and real negotiations for Irish Independence were underway.

This book is not too challenging for junior readers, but the constant tale of Semi-random (calling this war clearly directed on either side is ridiculous)Violence may be too much for a smart but sensitive kid, its just on almost every page. I found myself just disgusted with every character in this book, from Michael Collins to Lloyd George. And since this is a story of murders, bombings, and house burnings, very few battles or skirmishes, this is not great for Gamers/Modellers/Military Enthusiasts, except maybe for fans of death cults. Its a good book on a topic that will make you wonder how Ireland is so nice now, and know why Northern Irelands troubles were robust for so long. A rec- but a qualified one. I read often about the use of controlled violence- reading about uncontrolled violence is very depressing.
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Who were the Black and Tans? (Actual footage of attacks)

Historian and author David Leeson says the Black and Tans weren't as bad as everyone portrays. National Library of Ireland.
Richard Bennett

Black and Tans

But some Irish-Americans have given the "Black and Tan" flavour a reception that is cold to the point of frigidity, complaining of its associations with one of the most notorious forces ever seen in Ireland. The Vermont-based company, unaware of origins of the name, based the new flavour on a drink that uses stout. The ice-cream launched in the US this month but it is now debatable whether Ireland will get a taste. It is difficult to know whether the arrival of Black and Tan flavour ice-cream could cause controversy and outcry in Ireland, but it would certainly generate a great deal of conversation and debate. Although the Black and Tans force was deployed for only a couple of years, from to , nationalist Ireland still associates it with murder, brutality, massacre and indiscipline in the years leading to southern Ireland's independence.

Their colloquial name derived from the makeshift uniforms they were issued because of a shortage of RIC uniforms—green police tunics and khaki military trousers, which together resembled the distinctive markings of a famous pack of Limerick foxhounds. When Irish republican agitation intensified after World War I , a large proportion of the Irish police resigned. They were replaced by these temporary English recruits—mostly jobless former soldiers—who were paid 10 shillings a day. The Black and Tans took revenge the same afternoon, attacking spectators at a Gaelic football match in Croke Park, Dublin , killing 12 and wounding Black and Tan. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback.

To renew a subscription please login first. When the republican campaign against the Royal Irish Constabulary RIC and others thought sympathetic to Dublin Castle became more violent and successful in late , the police abandoned hundreds of rural facilities to consolidate shrinking ranks in fewer, fortified stations. The pressure exerted directly on RIC men, their families, friends and those who did business with them resulted in unfilled vacancies from casualties, resignations and retirements. The role of the RIC as a largely domestic police force with strong community ties had been steadily compromised since by more aggressive tactics against nationalists and heavier reliance on the military. Faced with the need for more, better-prepared men wearing police uniforms, the government augmented RIC numbers and capabilities by recruiting Great War veterans from throughout the UK. The Black-and-Tans were sworn as constables to reinforce county stations and their experience with weapons and tactics gave the RIC a tougher edge. They were never regarded as ordinary Irish constables, by the communities in which they served or by other policemen, and are popularly remembered for brutality and the militarisation of the police.

Ireland was in a state of chaos from the Irish war of independence that begun in IRA attacks against the British authorities, and particularly against the Royal Irish Constabulary RIC , intensified forcing many policemen to resign through fear of assassination and social ostracism.
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Most of the recruits came from Britain, although it also had some members from Ireland. The nickname "Black and Tans" arose from the colours of the improvised uniforms they initially wore, composed of mixed khaki British Army and black RIC uniform parts. The Black and Tans became known for their attacks on civilians and civilian property. The issue of Home Rule was shelved with the outbreak of World War I , and in Irish republicans staged the Easter Rising against British rule in an attempt to establish a republic. In January , the British government started advertising in British cities for men willing to "face a rough and dangerous task", helping to boost the ranks of the RIC in policing an increasingly anti-British Ireland. There was no shortage of recruits, many of them unemployed First World War army veterans, and by November about 9, men had joined.


  1. Kristian V. says:

    The Black and Tans (Irish: Duchronaigh), officially the Royal Irish Constabulary Special The Black and Tans were sometimes confused with the Auxiliary Division, a counter-insurgency unit of the RIC made up of former British officers.

  2. Meenemopho1989 says:

    The Black and Tans as a subject still arouses controversy in Ireland.

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