A new book by Exeter alumna Kate Werran (1991, Modern History) reveals an extraordinary forgotten episode of the Second World War. An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy is the incredible story of a Second World War shoot-out between black and white American soldiers in a quiet Cornish town that ended up putting the UK-US ‘special relationship’ itself on trial. The subsequent court martial into what tabloids labelled a wild west mutiny became front page news in Great Britain and the USA.
For three long days the story raged before the turbulent war-torn world moved on and forgot forever amid ever-escalating D-Day preparations. This account of a shocking drama the authorities tried to hush up has been painstakingly pieced back together for the first time thanks to new archival research. When slotted into its unique context, extracted from wartime cabinet documents, secret government surveys, opinion polls, diaries, letters and newspapers as well as testimony from those who remember it, the story offers a rare and stunning window into a little-known dark side of the American Invasion. By breathing new life into a vanished trial, it reveals a rare and surprising insight into the wider story of how Britain reacted to soldiers of the Jim Crow army when they came to stay.
Kate’s interest in this little-known story was sparked when she was a child. One summer, holidaying in her father’s home town, she put her fingers in decades-old bullet holes left in a war memorial and asked herself why were the holes there? Finally, in this book, she attempts to provide the answer.
An American Uprising in Second World War England will be published by Pen and Sword History in April. To find out more about the book and to order a copy click here.