'Yank' Levy

Guerrilla Warfare
  • Guerrilla Warfare

  • 1941. Britain is under some of the heaviest air raids of the Second World War. Concerns about Nazi paratroopers landing in Britain and invading take hold in the hearts of the British citizenry. The Home Guard has been mobilised to defend against airborne assault – and it needs training. ‘Yank’ Levy is brought in to Osterley Park to teach guerrilla warfare, from practical experience in the Spanish Civil War. ‘Yank’ trains soldiers of the Home Guard how to use surveillance, defend against tanks and armoured vehicles, how to fight in towns and across country and against a well-supplied, highly-trained and mobile occupying force. His book, Guerrilla Warfare offers such sound advice as: ‘Whether you go to a tea-party or to work on your allotment…take your rifle with you. Don’t leave it downstairs for a German to grab if he enters the house’ and ' Your motto should always be: ‘Finish them! Then a quick get-away, and another ambush some place else’’

Bert Levy was born in Canada in 1897, moving shortly afterward to the USA. When asked about his education he answers: 'my real education was in the school of hard knocks'. He was a deck hand or stoker in the Merchant Service in 1916 and early 1917. He returned to seafaring in 1939 and early 1940 but when there were no submarines about, the sea did not interest him. His own notes read: 'Mexico, 1920-1, and some gun-running; Nicaragua, 1926, some gun-running'. He served in the International Brigade in Spain, joining early in 1937, and becoming an officer in the machine-gun company of the British Battalion. He was captured and spent six months in General Franco's prisons. He joined the staff of the Osterley Park School for the Home Guard in August, 1940, also lecturing to the Home Guard at the War Office No. 1 School.

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