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Irish War of Independence centenary

I see what you did there.
To be fair the English per se were prone to buggery at public school
hence the ease the Soviets infiltrated from the twenties onwards

It would be interesting to see if the fledging Irish state was seen as a threat or benign by the soviets

Back on thread, the auxies are now mustering with a bitter twist of ex officers from battlefield commissions to elements of middle upper and of course working class.

Make no mistake about it, the auxies were a throw of the dice that failed to gain civilian trust or respect wherever they were roving

Not the British armies finest export( at the armistice of 1918 there was five complete field armies with a lot of mixed officers with varying war/ battle/ operational experience


The Irish army had plenty of hardened veterans sprinkled throughout on both sides. Their knowledge was key to victory.
 
To be fair the English per se were prone to buggery at public school
hence the ease the Soviets infiltrated from the twenties onwards

It would be interesting to see if the fledging Irish state was seen as a threat or benign by the soviets

Back on thread, the auxies are now mustering with a bitter twist of ex officers from battlefield commissions to elements of middle upper and of course working class.

Make no mistake about it, the auxies were a throw of the dice that failed to gain civilian trust or respect wherever they were roving

Not the British armies finest export( at the armistice of 1918 there was five complete field armies with a lot of mixed officers with varying war/ battle/ operational experience


The Irish army had plenty of hardened veterans sprinkled throughout on both sides. Their knowledge was key to victory.
The Soviets tapped the free state up for a loan with some of the russian crown jewels as security which were promptly put in a cupboard and forgotten about.

Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
 
...It would be interesting to see if the fledging Irish state was seen as a threat or benign by the soviets...

Possibly benign, if not a potential ally. The Bolshies pawned some of the Romanov crown jewels to the proto Free State government in the US about this time.

Back on thread, the auxies are now mustering with a bitter twist of ex officers from battlefield commissions to elements of middle upper and of course working class.

If you haven't already read it, the Auxiliaries website does an interesting analysis of the men's background.


Make no mistake about it, the auxies were a throw of the dice that failed to gain civilian trust or respect wherever they were roving

The problem with throwing men trained for total war against a conventional enemy into battle against a Nerf warfare enemy.

...The Irish army had plenty of hardened veterans sprinkled throughout on both sides. Their knowledge was key to victory.

I've said it before but Collins must have been delighted at the news that the Irish regiments were being disbanded. Thousands of trained men arrived home just in time to be recruited into the FSA.
 
25 September 1920

An RIC patrol was ambushed in the village of Broadford, Co. Clare resulting in the death of one man, Constable Michael Brogan, and the wounding of another, Constable Brennan. Coincidentally, the IRA party was led by one Michael Brennan and to add to the confusion , there is some debate as to whether it was a five man or two man patrol that was ambushed. Constable Brogan was from Loughrea, Co Galway and was 41 years old.

In Belfast, two RIC men, Constable Thomas Leonard and Constable Carroll were shot on the Falls Road. Constable Leonard died from his wounds within a short time. He was the first RIC man killed in Belfast during the war and his death sparked renewed rioting in the city. Leonard was aged 35, a married man with three children and originally from Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon.
 
He was the first RIC man killed in Belfast during the war and his death sparked renewed rioting in the city.
I thought that Collins had put a ban on operations like that in the North, precisely because of the rioting that always broke out afterwards when the Prods ineviatably kicked off and the Catholic's got it in the neck?
 
I thought that Collins had put a ban on operations like that in the North, precisely because of the rioting that always broke out afterwards when the Prods ineviatably kicked off and the Catholic's got it in the neck?
I read somewhere, and I am more than happy to be corrected, that the Volunteers (I use the term deliberately to make the distinction from what would now be called the IRA in the rest of Ireland) in Belfast were not under Sinn Fein/IRB control.

They were Redmondites (Joe Devlin in Belfast was one of the few Irish Parliamentary Party MPs elected in the 1918 election) and were linked to the Ancient Order of Hibernians and thus not subject to Collins' control.

In accounts of the time clashes between the IRA and the "Hibernians" are frequently mentioned and the IRA hated them almost as much as the Brits/Loyalists. The Stickie/Provo split of the later Troubles would be an analogy of the mutual feelings. As I mentioned in a previous post after Partition many Northern Volunteers joined the Free State Army.
 
Further to the above I attach two pages from From Pogrom to Civil War, Tom Glennon and the Belfast IRA (Mercier Press 2013). Interestingly although as I mentioned Glennon then went on to serve in the Free State Army, he was not a Hibernian but was one of the minority Sinn Fein in Belfast.


Scan_0001.jpgScan_0002.jpg
 
26 September 1920

Eamonn Trodden, a member of the IRA from the Falls Road, Belfast was taken from his home and shot dead. Two Sinn Féin members Sean Gaynor and John Sean McFadden were shot in their homes in Springfield Road. It was suspected that the killings were carried out by members of the RIC.

Notices were put up in Kilkee, Co. Clare that if Capt Lendrum was not returned by 29th, the villages of Kilkee, Kilrush, Carrigaholt, Kilmill and Doonbeg would be burned. Lendrum was of course already dead so the IRA got his body back from wherever they hid it, put it in a coffin and left it on the railway line near Craggknock station on October 1st.
 
I thought that Collins had put a ban on operations like that in the North, precisely because of the rioting that always broke out afterwards when the Prods ineviatably kicked off and the Catholic's got it in the neck?
Unlikely I would have thought. If the fear of reprisals worked that easily then the war would have been over long ago. It was to the IRA's advantage to have the Catholics getting it in the neck as that drove the fence-sitters into the arms of the IRA. The IRA in the north east was weak because most of the population was Loyalist and as a consequence lacked the men and weapons to mount operations.
 
27 September 1920

RIC Sergeant Martin Morgan, aged 44, died of the wound he received in an ambush in Co. Waterford on September 3rd.

Nationalists attacked Loyalist shipyard workers in the Marrowbone district of Belfast. Sniping breaks out and two Protestants – Frederick Barr age 44 and 19 year old John Lawther were fatally injured.

The RIC conducted reprisals in Trim, Co Meath for the killing of Head Constable Burke in Balbriggan on the 20th. Shops and businesses belonging to Sinn Fein members were ransacked and burned.
 
27 September 1920

RIC Sergeant Martin Morgan, aged 44, died of the wound he received in an ambush in Co. Waterford on September 3rd.

Nationalists attacked Loyalist shipyard workers in the Marrowbone district of Belfast. Sniping breaks out and two Protestants – Frederick Barr age 44 and 19 year old John Lawther were fatally injured.

The RIC conducted reprisals in Trim, Co Meath for the killing of Head Constable Burke in Balbriggan on the 20th. Shops and businesses belonging to Sinn Fein members were ransacked and burned.

Hadn't heard of a Marrowbone district. Turns out it lies on the Oldpark Rd.

LINK
 
28 September 1920

Men from the Cork No.2 Brigade, IRA, led by Liam Lynch and Ernie O'Malley, captured Mallow Barracks, Co. Cork, the only military barracks captured during the War of Independence .

There were only about 15 men, of the 17th Lancers, in the barracks at the time, the rest were out exercising their horses outside the town. There were about 20 in the attacking party, two of whom were employed in the barracks as civilian workers, with others covering the RIC barracks from the Town Hall. Sergeant Gibbs of 17th Lancers was killed during attack. 27 rifles, 2 Hotchkiss light machine guns, ammunition, and other military material were captured.

In retaliation the army burned some buildings in the town, including both the Cleeve’s creamery and Town Hall. Ironically the Auxiliaries prevented the worst excesses of the soldiers. Five men would be convicted and sentenced to death for Gibbs's murder. They were reprieved in December 1921 and released a month later.

312181 Sergeant William Gibbs was aged 25, from Bedford with 7 years service. He is buried in Bedford Cemetery.


Frederick Blair died in Belfast aged 44 as a result of having been shot during a riot.

Francis O’Hara was shot by loyalists in Carlisle Road in Derry. O’Hara appears to have survived or at least his death is not recorded.

While the army were burning Mallow, the RIC were conducting reprisals in Listowel, Co. Kerry. At this time, Hamar Greenwood on behalf of the government, was telling the House of Commons that British forces were not carrying out reprisals. Lord Hugh Cecil commented that "It seems to be agreed that there is no such thing as reprisals, but they are having a good effect."
 
At this time, Hamar Greenwood on behalf of the government, was telling the House of Commons that British forces were not carrying out reprisals. Lord Hugh Cecil commented that "It seems to be agreed that there is no such thing as reprisals, but they are having a good effect."

I gave you the funny for this brilliantly acerbic comment, that only a Cecil (no strangers to Irish affairs) could come out with.

This war the British waged against creameries and other co-operatives seems bizarrely counter-productive. I mean I can see why the man on the ground might lash out at the nearest thing he could and a creamery owned by local farmers would be an obvious target but from the point of view of the administration it must have seemed an absurd case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The creameries were an economic success, they provided employment and prosperity in regions that were badly short of them, burning them down merely throws more men on the street and extracts a triple cost in terms of now paying dole, or the the 1920s equivalent, to unemployed workers, losing tax revenue from the destroyed businesses and then having to pay compensation to the owners.

The Irish War of Independence must have been the only instance in history when a government waged deliberate, economic war against itself. The British really did lose the run of their own famed calm logic and rationality when it came to dealing with Ireland to an extent that they rarely did in their dealings with other nations.
 
...This war the British waged against creameries and other co-operatives seems bizarrely counter-productive. I mean I can see why the man on the ground might lash out at the nearest thing he could and a creamery owned by local farmers would be an obvious target but from the point of view of the administration it must have seemed an absurd case of cutting off your nose to spite your face....

The perpetrators of reprisals frequently failed to distinguish between republicans and loyalists and burned homes and businesses without discrimination. The effect of course was to radicalise the whole community, although the military commanders chose to believe that the reprisals had the opposite effect.

Burning businesses owned by the Cleeves family, as happened in Mallow, seems strange as they were staunchly unionist and pillars of the community. That said, the business was on its uppers at this stage and the owners probably appreciated the subsequent compensation.

 

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