Kitson’s Irish War: The brigadier behind Britain’s dirty war in the North

In a new history of the early days of the Troubles, barrister David Burke paints a picture of the man in charge of the British army’s operations as cold, solitary and utterly ruthless

Brigadier Frank Kitson: a new history argues that, as head of the British army in the North between 1970 and 1972, his colonial mindset and heavy-handed tactics made the Troubles even bloodier than they should have been

Kitson’s Irish War: Mastermind of the Dirty War in Ireland

By David Burke

Mercier, €16.99

In 1971, Brigadier Frank Kitson published a military manual called Low Intensity Operations that contained one of the worst predictions ever made. “The fact that the [British] army is so heavily engaged in Ireland now,” he wrote, “makes it unlikely that it will be involved in exactly this task between 1975 and 1980 – because it is reasonable to hope ...