Ferocious Times: The IRA, the RIC, and Britain’s failure in 1919-1921.

Article


Silke, A. 2016. Ferocious Times: The IRA, the RIC, and Britain’s failure in 1919-1921. Terrorism and Political Violence. 28 (3), pp. 417-434.
AuthorsSilke, A.
Abstract

The 1916 Rising was, in military terms, a shambolic failure. Despite the fact that Britain was locked in a gruelling struggle with Germany, the Rising was still utterly crushed within a week. How then, in the aftermath of victory against Germany, did Britain fail to win the subsequent struggle with the IRA between 1919 and 1921? This article assesses some of the key factors which played out in the conflict, drawing particular attention to the IRA’s focus on the RIC and the consequences of this and then, later, how distorted perceptions of the proximity of success ultimately undermined British commitment. One of the most remarkable features of the conflict was the widespread belief among many on the British side (and more than a few in the Republican camp) that the IRA was on the verge of total defeat when the truce was agreed in 1921. The IRA had suffered heavy casualties and were running low on weapons and ammunition. Yet, somehow the movement prevailed. This article aims to shed light on how and why that happened.

KeywordsAnglo-Irish conflict; counter-insurgency; IRA; RIC
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Journal citation28 (3), pp. 417-434
ISSN0954-6553
1556-1836
Year2016
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09546553.2016.1155929
Publication dates
Print19 Apr 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited03 May 2016
Accepted17 Feb 2016
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Terrorism and Political Violence on 19.04.16, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09546553.2016.1155929
LicenseAll rights reserved (under embargo)
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