This book looks excellent, I just ordered a copy...
From the author:
Your readers may be interested to know of the recent publication of Caribbean Wars Untold which is published by the University of the West Indies Press. It is written by a Belizean and tells the story of the contribution the Caribbean people (including Belizeans) to the Mother Country- Britain at her time of need.
The book was sold out in the first two weeks and it is now into a second reprint.
Caribbean Wars Untold
Humphrey Metzgen and
The contribution made to Britain’s wealth by her Caribbean colonies is well known. Far less known – indeed dismissively ignored – are the contributions made over the centuries by West Indians to Britain’s hard won military victories, most notably in the two World Wars.
To redress this injustice the two authors, Humphrey Metzgen and John Graham have collaborated on a book Caribbean Wars Untold: A Salute to the British West Indies as a tribute to every Caribbean; to whom the book is dedicated
The book tells the story of little known but savage conflicts in a seemingly peaceful corner of the globe. Indeed during the Second World War, the Caribbean became for a time the most dangerous sea in the world, with 97 German and 6 Italian U-boats operating in the area and with remarkable success.
Why was the Caribbean so vital to the Allies’ war-effort? And why was the area such a rewarding hunting-ground for enemy submarines? What were the experiences of the islands’ inhabitants during those years, and of their temporary populations of refugees? Why were daring and spectacular submarine attacks launched against small, sleepy island harbours? This new age of Caribbean maritime warfare was as impassioned as the old, with the same dangers, the same heartless inhumanity but with the same acts of heroism and sacrifice.
There is however much more to this book. It expands its survey of the Caribbean at war by tracing the fortunes of those who set out to serve Britain and her Empire in her years of peril. With a long and honourable tradition of naval and military endeavour that included campaigns overseas and a deep sense of solidarity with Britain, many West Indians volunteered to play a role in or alongside the Armed Forces; but, faced with reluctance, obstruction and prejudice, not all succeeded. The stories of those men and women who fought officialdom before they could fight the enemy provide an interesting new angle on the history of the World Wars. Indeed this book contains many personal accounts previously unpublished, the fruit of extensive research and interviews with veterans.
The text opens with Columbus in 1492 and takes the reader up to the surrender of Germany in 1945, through four hundred and fifty-three years of rivalry and bloodshed between European Powers over the economic wealth and military and naval importance that the West Indies provided. These stories, coupled with life on the plantations and those of the slave populations, are skilfully woven together and provide the reader with a comprehensive study of a region that has had a long, eventful but neglected martial history. The final chapter deals with the lasting consequences that these events, and the two World Wars in particular, have had on the West Indies and on Britain herself.
Messrs Metzgen and Graham expect their work to be of great importance to historians and students of history, as well as those wanting to learn about this important period in the history of the West Indian people.
- The book is of interest to all the Caribbean people but particularly those in Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, St Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, St Kitts & Nevis and the British Virgin Islands as well as those living in the UK and Canada.
- The authors are available for interviews by contacting in the first instance M/s Donna Muirhead at the UWI Press.
- Photographs of the authors are enclosed or are available.
Brief Biographies of the authors
Humphrey Metzgen was born in Belize, schooled in Barbados and worked most of his life in Britain as a corporate executive at Times Newspapers, as well as board director of several leading companies operating in television broadcasting, electronics communications and corporate finance. Prior to this he was a parachute officer in the British Army. He currently divides his time between business interests in the UK and the family home in the Caribbean. He is married to Gilly and has two grown-up children.
John Graham, a Major General in the British Army, enlisted as a Private during the Second World War and his long and eventful career thereafter took him to over sixty countries and into a variety of those conflicts which were a feature of the Cold War. Much of his service was in the Parachute Regiment and in the Persian Gulf. In 1991 he retired to Barbados where, dismayed by the general lack of recognition of the contributions made by West Indians over many years to his own country Britain, he and his regimental colleague, Humphrey Metzgen, set out to remedy this neglect: hence this book.