The Siege of Derry 1689: The Military History
This is a study of one of the most iconic episodes in Irish history, the Siege of Derry. The war cry of ‘No Surrender!’ was first used in 1689 by the inhabitants of Londonderry as James II’s army laid siege to the city for 105 days during which almost half the city’s population died.
Although the Siege of Derry has been written about recently by Carlo Gébler, Doherty, who wrote the excellent The Williamite War in Ireland 1688−1691, concentrates on the military situation. He uses contemporary accounts and official records superbly, often to discredit many of the myths that have grown up around the siege and in the process underlines his deep knowledge of seventeenth century warfare in general and siegecraft in particular.
He attempts to rehabilitate Robert Lundy, commemorated as a traitor to the city, as a soldier who acted according to the military conventions of the day. He also contends that the siege was the turning point of the Williamite war, effectively ending James’s best chance of being restored to his thrones and examines how the besieging army might have achieved success.
This is an excellent addition to our understanding of this period.