The Irish Army draws its traditions from three sources: the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War. The Rising was the symbolic assertion of nationhood in arms; the War of Independence gave material substance to that claim; in the Civil War, the Army evolved from a guerrilla force to the legally constituted military arm of an independent Irish government. The reconstituting of the peace-time Army following the end of the Civil War coincided with nearly 20 years of peace and stability. But the outbreak of World War II placed neutral Ireland under immense strain. The Army was required to maintain a constant state of preparedness in exceptionally delicate circumstances. In particular, Irish Army intelligence under Colonel Dan Bryan distinguished itself. The post-war period has been dominated by service with the various United Nations peace-keeping missions overseas and by the necessity for increased border deployment since the revival of the Northern troubles in 1969. The author's previous published works include "Neutral Ireland and the Third Reich".