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New publication. Out now from Allotment Hut.

Long Road to Berlin

Most people have heard of ‘Lord Haw Haw’, who, in his final incarnation was William Joyce. But very few people have heard of the woman who recruited him to German wartime radio. That was the actress and political activist, Dorothy Eckersley.

Eckersley lived an adventurous, intense life. An actress, society beauty, and mother of three children, she was in turn, an active socialist, communist, then national socialist. Following in the footsteps of her Suffragette mother, Dorothy was a long term member of the Independent Labour Party. But the failure of the 1929 Labour government under Ramsay MacDonald, led to her becoming an enthusiast for Soviet Communism. Yet that, too, proved not to be enough for the utopianism that she craved.

A visit to Nazi Germany, and attendance at the Reichsparteitag converted her to national socialism, and she became an ardent admirer of Hitler. In the summer of summer of 1939, she left England for Germany, having already sent her teenage son to school there. It was the beginning of five dangerous years.

The story of Dorothy Eckersley’s Long Road To Berlin is now told for the first time in a new book from Allotment Hut Booklets, which can be bought via the ‘Shop’ here.

More Free Stuff!

In July 1943, Mussolini’s regime fell and the new Badoglio government quickly took Italy out of the Axis and into a new alliance with the Allies. The situation in Italy was confused, but soon a civil war broke out in the German occupied part of the country. The history of the Partisans and the new ‘co-belligerent’ Army supporting the Allies, has been reasonably well covered in English. Less has been written about the various forces which came into being to support Mussolini’s new ‘Italian Social Republic’. In 2010, I published an article in the now defunct magazine, Military Illustrated, about the various Fascist para-military groups which fought the Partisans. That article is now available here as a free PDF:

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