The Home Guard had 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those who were too young or too old to join the regular armed services or those in reserved occupations.
Immortalised in the British television comedy Dad’s Army, which followed the formation and running of a platoon, this armed citizen militia’s role was a far more serious affair, that of acting as a secondary defence force in case of invasion by the forces of Nazi Germany.
Some rather more secret roles included sabotage units who would disable factories and petrol installations following the invasion. Members with outdoor survival skills and experience could be recruited into the Auxiliary Units, an extremely secretive force of more highly trained guerrilla units with the task of hiding behind enemy lines after an invasion, emerging to attack and destroy supply dumps, disabling tanks and trucks, assassinating collaborators, and killing sentries and senior German officers
We have reissued as a tribute to the Home Guard many of the better books offering high quality of instruction to recruits, showing Tactics – How to handle guns and use the rifle and bayonet and All that was needed to know about unarmed combat. Also, importantly, many of the fascinating ‘Regimental Histories’ of the battalions that were produced privately just after the War.
THE GUILDFORD HOME GUARD 18th May 1940 – 31 December 1944
Though gently mocked as TV’s ‘Dad’s Army’, the Home Guard was a deadly serious bid to thwart an expected German invasion in the Second World War. This unit history of the Guildford Home Guard explores the unit’s history chronologically.
Listing of first and Stand Down officers, Disposition and Weapons in the Defence of Guildford Nodal Point (Nodal Points were towns and villages that were designated as a series of strong points to block use of the road network by invading Nazi German forces). Awards for Meritorious Service are usefully included in the appendices.