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The 43 Group : Battling with Mosley’s Blackshirts

Beckman, Morris
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Published: July 1, 2013
ISBN: 9780752499420
224 pages, 30 black & white illustrations, 16 black & white plates

£9.99

Oswald Mosley decided he could carry on where Hitler and Mussolini had left off. On street corners his fascist speakers would proclaim `not enough Jews were burned at Belsen’. Enter the 43 Group.

In a ferocious, bloody and brilliantly covert five-year campaign, they destroyed the Mosleyites. The membership of the Group was almost entirely made up of British servicemen, the original 43 members quickly swelling to more than 300 and including a Battle of Britain ace, a VC winner – and Vidal Sasson! The Groups philosophy of the `3 D’s’ – Discuss, Decide and Do it – were quickly manifested on the streets of London, with thousands of fascist meetings and rallies sent packing. The Group was organised in ‘wedges’ of a dozen or so.

These wedges would attend a BUF rally and at a given signal would storm the speaker’s platform, attacking BUF stewards and speaker. The members’ military background ensured tight discipline and brutally effective actions. This, combined with a number of spies within the fascist ranks, ensured the 43 Group almost always came out on top, closing down two-thirds of all fascist activity in the UK until its simultaneous demise with organised fascism in Britain in 1950.

As capitalism falters, fascism is gathering strength in Europe today. This book is a timely reminder of how it gathers that strength – and one way of stopping it.

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