GREAT BRITAIN: Home Guards Again

In Britain's darkest hour after Dunkirk, Winston Churchill called on his countrymen to defend their island home by joining an unpaid citizens' militia, which he christened the Home Guard. Nearly 2,000,000 Britons stepped forward. Armed at first with pitchforks, pikes and shotguns, they guarded Britain's coasts until the fear of invasion passed. When the Home Guard stood down in 1944, it was a tough, well-drilled fighting force, bristling with Tommy guns, dagger bayonets and U.S. .300-cal. rifles.

Prime Minister Churchill, who likes to be prepared, asked the House of Commons to re-establish the Home Guard. His reasoning: as the U.S....

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