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Michael Collins And The Anglo-Irish War: Britain's Counterinsurgency Failure [Hardcover]

Item : Michael Collins And The Anglo-Irish War: Britain's Counterinsurgency Failure [Hardcover]
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Category : Books
Author Author : J. B. E. Hittle
ISBN-10 ISBN-10 : 1597975354
ISBN-13 ISBN-13 : 9781597975353
Publisher Publisher : Potomac Books Inc.
Pages Pages : 320
Binding Binding : Hardcover
Item ID : 100092701

As leader of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and then the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Michael Collins developed a bold, new strategy to use against the British administration of Ireland in the early twentieth century. His goal was to attack its well-established system of spies and informers, wear down British forces with a sustained guerrilla campaign, and force a political settlement that would lead to a free Irish Republic.

Michael Collins and the Anglo-Irish War reveals that the success of the Irish insurgency was not just a measure of Collinss revolutionary genius, as has often been claimed. British miscalculations, overconfidence, and a failure to mount a sustained professional intelligence effort to neutralize the IRA contributed to Britains defeat.

Although Britain possessed the worlds most professional secret service, the British intelligence community underwent a politically driven and ill-advised reorganization in early 1919, at the very moment that Collins and the IRA were going on the offensive. Once Collins neutralized the local colonial spy service, the British had no choice but to import professional secret service agents. But Britains wholesale reorganization of its domestic counterintelligence capability sidelined its most effective countersubversive agency, MI5, leaving the job of intelligence management in Ireland to Special Branch civilians and a contingent of quickly trained army case officers, neither group being equippedor inclinedto mount a coordinated intelligence effort against the insurgents. Britains appointment of a national intelligence director for home affairs in 1919just as the Irish revolutionary parliament published its Declaration of Independencewas the decisive factor leading to Britains disarray against the IRA. By the time the War Office reorganized its intelligence effort against Collins in mid-1920, it was too late to reverse the ascendancy of the IRA.

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