Ireland during the "Emergency."

Discussion in 'Others' started by St. Ives, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. St. Ives

    St. Ives Member

    Apologies if this has been placed inappropriately.

    Ireland’s involvement in WW11.

    As suggested by Gurbill I have decided to start this thread on Ireland and its history in relation to the Second World War.

    Even though my Grandfather (John Ronan) fought in the trenches (and survived!) in the First World War, I know relatively little about the Ireland of this time or for that matter the Ireland of the Second World War.

    But after doing some research on the Internet I have learned that it was an extremely fascinating period in our history, full of intrigue and political manoeuvring.

    As we all know Ireland (Eire) was effectively neutral during WW11 but nonetheless many of its citizens took a very pro-active approach and joined up with UK regiments to help bring an end to an unjust war. But here the period from 1939 – 1945 was known as “the Emergency.” Incidentally, I came across this link about a wonderful book that goes into great detail about this:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1405000104/026-4358748-8347623

    Some other interesting stuff I came across during my research:

    Many believed the Germans planned to invade the UK via Ireland.

    Apparently there was no conscription in Northern Ireland during this period. Check out the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Northern_Ireland.

    You’ll need to scroll down until you come across the following quote:

    "During World War II, the Stormont government called on Westminster to introduce conscription several times, as this was already the case in Britain. The British government consistently refused, remembering how a similar attempt in 1918 had backfired dramatically as nationalist opposition made it unworkable. Much of the population of serving age were either in essential jobs or had already joined up voluntarily, making the potential yield of conscription low."


    Here are some other interesting links.

    The following one is a wonderful introduction to the Ireland of this period.

    http://www.skynet.ie/~dan/war/eire.htm


    Here’s a great one about a book on German spies in Ireland:
    “A new book by a Saint Louis University historian uncovers the little-known story of German spying in Ireland during World War II. Dr. Mark Hull's "Irish Secrets: German Espionage in Wartime Ireland 1939-1945" profiles the spies and reveals the covert operations, some of which remained classified to this day.”
    http://www.slu.edu/readstory/more/1963


    Do any of you have any stories or anecdotes you wish to share the Ireland of WW2?
     
  2. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    Another book is Ireland during the Second World War by Ian S Wood
    ISBN 1 - 84067 - 418 - 0
    Aye
    MalcolmII
     
  3. St. Ives

    St. Ives Member

    Thank you Malcome.

    I found the following review of this book here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1840674180/026-4358748-8347623

    Sounds like a good read. Here's the review:

    "The claustrophobic years of the Second World War were a crucial watershed for neutral Ireland and the Irish. Neutrality was the key to Irish Prime Minister de Valera's foreign and domestic policy. Enforced economic hardship and isolation were seen by many as a blessing in disguise, hastening the new states coming of age. Many long lasting developments, such as the creation of a Central Bank signaled the beginning of the end of economic dependence on Britain. Neutrality ensured Britain, and more specifically Churchill, viewed Ireland with suspicion and barely concealed anger. Threats and inducements were used to persuade Ireland to allow the reoccupation of the Treaty Ports. Fear of IRA activity lead to increasingly draconian legislation. German spies were rumored to be forging links with an increasingly well-armed and militant IRA. Increased tension between Northern Ireland and the bombings of Belfast and Dublin raised questions about the viability of Ireland Neutrality."
     
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    A question about the Irish Army between the world wars.
    Did ex-members of the old British-Irish regiments (Munsters, Leinsters etc) join the new Irish Army and were they allowed to wear their medals earnt in the Great War?
     
  5. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    A question about the Irish Army between the world wars.
    Did ex-members of the old British-Irish regiments (Munsters, Leinsters etc) join the new Irish Army and were they allowed to wear their medals earnt in the Great War?
    Hi Owen,

    Try posting on the Irish Army forum for an answer. See:
    http://www.irishmilitaryonline.com/main.php?id=home

    Regards, Gerry in Bali
     
  6. handtohand22

    handtohand22 Senior Member

    Check out the thread....Was Ireland Neutral?

    Check out the first chapter on my site for details on the prevalent feelings of Irish people in N Ireland, Eire and GB at the start of WWII.

    http://coleraine-battery.tripod.com
     
  7. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread on Ireland, probably the most comprehensive book on Ireland during the emergency is 'In Time of War' by Robert Fisk (1983). Amongst other things this gives a lot of detail about German (and British!) invasion plans.
     
  8. St. Ives

    St. Ives Member

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread on Ireland, probably the most comprehensive book on Ireland during the emergency is 'In Time of War' by Robert Fisk (1983). Amongst other things this gives a lot of detail about German (and British!) invasion plans.

    Sounds perfect. I will add this to my wish list also. Thank you.
     
  9. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    Amongst other things this gives a lot of detail about German (and British!) invasion plans.

    It makes sense to have at least had a plan.

    If Ireland was invaded by the Germans, it would have meant that they would have a much simpler job to bomb the industrial heart of England and Scotland, forced the requirement for a wider air defence & early warning network and allowed the Germans to strike the atlantic convoys for longer on their slow journey. The only sensible thing to do would be to invade/reenforce the south as soon as possible and before they get to Ulster. Waiting until they had taken the whole island would have made it much more difficult to re-take it as that would have required an amphibious assault, one of the most difficult military operations possible.

    I does bring the question, if that was the case and with memories still relativly fresh of British rule, would they have been greeted as invaders or liberators?
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Check out the thread....Was Ireland Neutral?

    Check out the first chapter on my site for details on the prevalent feelings of Irish people in N Ireland, Eire and GB at the start of WWII.

    http://coleraine-battery.tripod.com

    Great website, learnt alot from it.
    Often wondered about the Nationalists and thier role.
    The Coleraine- Battery, great unit they were.A fitting tribute.
     
  11. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    It makes sense to have at least had a plan.

    If Ireland was invaded by the Germans, it would have meant that they would have a much simpler job to bomb the industrial heart of England and Scotland, forced the requirement for a wider air defence & early warning network and allowed the Germans to strike the atlantic convoys for longer on their slow journey. The only sensible thing to do would be to invade/reenforce the south as soon as possible and before they get to Ulster. Waiting until they had taken the whole island would have made it much more difficult to re-take it as that would have required an amphibious assault, one of the most difficult military operations possible.

    I does bring the question, if that was the case and with memories still relativly fresh of British rule, would they have been greeted as invaders or liberators?

    General Dan McKenna, Chief of the Defence Force, knew that only with British help could an invasion of Ireland be repulsed and being a realist had come to some agreement with the British forces in NI that if Ireland was invaded in the south the British Army could come to his aid only after his forces had engaged the enemy. To this end they had radio communication channels to each other's HQs

    Aye
    MalcolmII
     
  12. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    General Dan McKenna, Chief of the Defence Force, knew that only with British help could an invasion of Ireland be repulsed and being a realist had come to some agreement with the British forces in NI that if Ireland was invaded in the south the British Army could come to his aid only after his forces had engaged the enemy. To this end they had radio communication channels to each other's HQs

    I hope the general public would have seen it the same way. Irish national pride and the thought of the 'old enemy' marching back into the country may have put a different light on things for your average Irish citizen.
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just read this in The Story of Chiseldon Camp Part Two by David Bailey.

    The Royal Artillery men manning the searchlights were all volunteers from Eire, and because of their nationality were restricted to serving in the United Kingdom. The fact that they were Roman Catholic and not required to serve overseas led to friction between themselves and the predominately Protestant or Jewish men of the London battalions in the camp. The weekly dances held in the Memorial Hall, run by Special Constable Moody, were the scene of many scuffles. They usually required the attention of both Constable Moody and the regular constable, PC Heal, to restore order. One indication of an imminent fight was when a rugby playing Irish gunner, known as Mickey Fynn, removed his false teeth. He would wrap them in his handkercheif and safely tuck them in his pocket before the fighting started.


    My in-laws live very close to the Memorial Hall, so now I'll be thinking of Gunner Fynn and his false teeth everytime I go past it.:irishflag[1]:
     
  14. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I hope the general public would have seen it the same way. Irish national pride and the thought of the 'old enemy' marching back into the country may have put a different light on things for your average Irish citizen.
    That may have caused resentment and anger but the thought of a swastika flying over Dublin Castle and the fact that so many "went to fight" would mean that the British Army would have been accepted over the Wehrmacht.
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just seen this .
    Naval & Military Press

    A secret list of 5,000 Irish soldiers dismissed for deserting and joining the British Forces duirng the Second World War.
    It may not be widely known but a large number of Irish soldiers deserted their own army during WWII (Eire remained neutral) and crossed the sea to join the British army. Once the war was over these men were officially dismissed the service and their names published in this confidential document. The formal title of the document is “List of personnel of the Defence Forces dismissed for desertion in time of National Emergency pursuant to the terms of Emergency Powers (No 362) Order 1945 (S.R. & O. 1945 No 198) or Section 13 of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1946 (No 7/1946).” In it are listed, in alphabetical order, some 5,000 or more names with Army No, last recorded address, date of birth, declared occupation prior to enlistment in Defence Forces, and date of dismissal from Defence Forces. In the latter case the date is amost invariably 8 August 1945. This document was circulated to all civil service departments and state run services, e.g post office, health service, state owned bus , rail, air and shipping companies etc. This was obviously intended to bar them from any form of government employment. It is a fascinating document and one which I have never been aware of before. It would be interesting, with the Naval and Military Press CD of Soldiers Died in WWII, to see how many of them were kiled or died in the war. The number of desertions is surprisingly large for a small army, but it must be an indication of the strength of feeling at the time.
     
  16. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I remember years ago cleaning out an office in the previous Education Authority I worked for and came across this very book or at least the Irish Government version of it. We had to have it because anyone who applied for a job there and it was discovered they were on the list well we couldnt offer them the job. I asked could I have it and was told no!! Should have smuggled it out!!
     
  17. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    The Irish deaths would be recorded as Ireland in the CWGC.

    There were 78,000? from the Irish Free State who enlisted in the British Army. Add the other forces (RN, RAF etc) and it was a big contribution.

    When Geoff's database comes back on line it might be worth a look!

    Geoff's lead provided me with nearly 200 Aussies who died in the RAF, RCAF, RNZAF & SAAF.
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The Irish Free State was over by 1937, it would be Eire by wartime. ;)

    This list sounds positively Stalinist, I'm quite shocked by it if it really worked like that.
    I could almost understand a bollocking or some sort of punishment for the actual act of desertion but the lifetime 'branding' of the men seems exceptionally Harsh.
    I wonder if other neutral states applied similar harsh penalties as I suppose going off to fight could be interpreted as a serious threat to neutrality depending on how belligerent nations interpreted their actions.
    I know Pzjgr has told us that Spain would not allow it's nationals that went to fight back into the country, maybe all neutrals have to take this very seriously in order to protect their status... but for decades afterwards?

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  19. Trincomalee

    Trincomalee Senior Member

    The new thread about the Dublin Conference topic "Archaeology of Internment" ties in with this thread .
     
  20. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    The Irish Free State was over by 1937, it would be Eire by wartime. ;)
    Cheers,
    Adam.

    Takes a while for news to get to Australia :huh: however I think you got my meaning.
     

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