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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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A Village Tale – the Impact of War Office Ownership of Salisbury Plain Upon the Village of Imber during World War II


Abstract: The story of Imber’s recent past is an account of government departmental manoeuvring to gain an unforeseen advantage by refusing to permit its tenants to return to their homes after being evicted during World War Two. For almost one hundred years, the population of this remote village in the west of England’s Salisbury Plain was in decline due to its total reliance upon the diminishing agricultural sector. In 1897, the War Office commenced the acquisition of land and developed facilities in the east of Salisbury Plain, which were accompanied by a policy of considerate coexistence to avoid misunderstandings between the residents and the Army. Although Imber was not initially impacted by the Army’s presence, subsequent further land purchases resulted in the residents becoming its tenants. In 1943, American troops arrived to prepare for D Day, and Imber residents were evicted to provide an extensive training area. Whilst many villagers believed that they were doing their duty in departing, many also considered that they had been promised that they would eventually be permitted to return. However, the War Office soon began to recognise the advantage of troops being able to manoeuvre freely over Salisbury Plain without needing to take villagers’ requirements into account. After the war, politicians and other parties challenged the War refusal to allow Imber villagers to return, but the prolonged debate was eventually lost, and they were never again permitted to live in their old homes.

Keywords: World War Two, War Office, D...

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