The Contribution Of The Paddy

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by GDav, Apr 1, 2006.

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  1. Irish Soldiers of the British Army

    King Edward I recruited Irish light cavalry (hobblers) to serve in his English Army in France in the 100 years War and to patrol the English border with Scotland. Their style of warfare gave rise to the famed Steele Bonnets or Border Reivers. In 1243, they fought for the Plantagenets against their fellow Celts, the Welsh - perhaps in memory of the Welsh mercenaries that had fought at Strongbow's side and brought the English to Ireland's shore. In 1485, they fought with the Yorkists against the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses.

    When the wars of religion swept through Europe setting Catholic against Protestant, the Irish were to be found fighting for both sides. As early as the 1520's, Irish troops were to be found in the Netherlands. The German artist Durer sketched Galloglas & kerne on the continent in 1521.The Tudor crown of England gave the Irish grudging respect, acknowledging them as the hardiest and fiercest troops in the known world. For this reason the English commander in the low countries in 1585 requested Irish Galloglas and kerne; these duly arrived in Flanders in 1586.The Irish served as Stanley's Irish Regiment from 1587 till 1596 with the Protestant Dutch against the Catholic Spanish. However, Sir Edward Stanley, a devout Catholic changed sides and took the Irish to fight for Spain. From 1597 till 1604 it was known as "El Tercio Irlanda" (the Regiment later became the Independent Irish Companies). In 1605, The Spanish raised their own Irish Regiment under Prince Henry O'Neill, son of Hugh O'Neill, The O'Neill and Earl of Tyrone. They recruited heavily from the Irish Companies in Flanders. Called the Tyrone Regiment, it served Spain till 1628 when it was dissolved.

    During the English Civil War, the Stuart kings hired a large Irish Army to fight the parliamentary forces of Cromwell in England and Scotland. In July 1644, Alasdair MacColla landed in Scotland with 2,500 Irish veteran soldiers. At the Battle of Tippermuir (1644) and Aberdeen (1644), the Irish Regiments held the centre of the line and with the Highland Clans developed the famed highland charge. This they used to smash the lowland Scots army and the hated Campbells. At Inverlochy (1645) they took the flanks of the battle, and at Auldearn (1645) they held the right flank, but at Kilsyth they again held the centre — every battle a victory for the combined Irish and Scottish Gaelic force. In 1689, a 300 man Irish unit served under Bonnie Dundee at the victorious Battle of Killiecrankie, again using the highland charge.

    When the Stuarts were driven in to exile in France in 1652 the bulk of the British Army was Irish. This, for the most part, was from the 20,000 Irishmen, the remains of the Irish Confederate forces that had elected to leave Ireland when Cromwell was victorious there. In April 1656, Charles, the Prince of Wales (later Charles II), with his brother James, signed a treaty with the Spanish Crown and took their army to the Spanish Netherlands to fight France. The Ormonde Regiment was formed of 700 men: The Duke of York's Regiment, The Duke of Gloucester's Regiment (under Lord Taffe), the Muskerry Regiment, and finally an Irish unit under Colonel Farrell. The Irish Regiments again found themselves fighting Cromwell's new model army when allied to France. Elements arrived to fight the Spanish. In May 1660, Charles was restored to Britain as King Charles II. he immediately abandoned his Irish troops, leaving them to rot in Northern France till eventually they were sent to garrison his new Queen's dowry: Tangiers in North Africa.

    The British Army
    William III had raised troops in Ireland in the late 17th century. Most of the Irish Regiments were raised in the mid-1680's.

    The 6th Horse became the 5th Horse in 1690 this in 1746 became the 1st Irish Horse and in Feb 1788 became the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards.

    The 5th Royal Irish Lancers were raised in 1689 fought at the Battle of the Boyne and as Ross's Horse were sent to the Netherlands were disbanded in 1799 having being infiltrated by the United Irishmen. The 5th was raised again in 1858.

    The 6th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards were raised in 1689 to fight for King William III. The Regiment left Ireland in 1708 and did not return for 100 years fighting in the 1715 rebellion in Scotland were in Flanders and fought at Fontenoy in 1745, later at Waterloo in 1815 and Balaclava in the Crimea in 1854.

    The 8th Royal Irish Hussars was raised in 1693 as dragoons later called 8th Dragoons or King's Royal Irish Light Dragoons. In 1823 they became 8th Royal Irish Hussars.

    The 18th Foot (Royal Irish Regiment) was raised in 1683 and fought against King James II. It fought against the Irish Brigade in Flanders and the Spanish Irish Regiments at Gibraltar. In 1751 it became the 18th Foot. It was disbanded after action around the globe in July 1922.

    The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were raised in 1689, and in 1751 it became the 27th Regt. of Foot. In July 1968 the Inniskillings was amalgamated with other Irish Regiments to become the Royal Irish Rangers.

    The Royal Irish Rifles were raised as the 83rd Regiment of Foot in October 1758. Disbanded in 1763 and raised again in 1793.

    The 86th Regiment was raised in November 1756, disbanded in 1763 and raised again in 1778. In 1881 the 83rd and 86th were combined to form the Royal Irish Regiment.

    The 87th Regiment and 89th Regiment were raised in Ireland in 1793. In 1881 the two Regiments were amalgamated to form the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1968 this was amalgamated in to the Royal Irish Rangers.

    The Connaught Rangers were formed in September 1793 as the 88th Regiment, following a Republican mutiny in 1920 the Regiment was disbanded in 1922.

    The Leinster regiment also disbanded in 1922 was formed from the 100th and 109th Regiments of Foot.

    The Royal Munster Fusiliers were formed from 101st and 104th Regiments and it too was disbanded in 1922.

    The Royal Dublin Fusiliers was created from 102 and 103rd Regiments in India but can trace their origins back to 1661. The Regiment was stood down in 1922.

    The newest addition were The Irish Guards raised after the Boer War in which Irish Brigades served on both the British and Boer side. Reserve units such as the North and South Irish Horse, The London Irish Rifles, The 8th King's Liverpool Irish and the Tyneside Irish Battalions (24th, 25th, 26th, 27th Battalions Northumberland Fusiliers), were raised and fought in the 1914-1919 War. The Royal Irish Rangers were merged with the Ulster Defence Regiment battalions and the London Irish Rifles in 1992 to form the Royal Irish Regiment.

    The British Army had always used Irishmen, in fact it is has been said "the British Empire was won by the Irish, administered by the Scots and Welsh and the profits went to the English". In recent years the last line was amended to read "lost by the English." The Normans used Irish mercenaries in France, Wales and Scotland. The majority of the Tudor Army in Ireland was Irish, as were Tudor troops abroad. Queen Elizabeth I even raised her own Galloglas unit known as The Queen Majesty's Galloglas.

    By 1707 the British had six Irish Regiments, by 1713 this had dropped to 2, but later raised to 5 Irish Regiments. However it was estimated that by 1860 some two thirds of the British Army including the English country regiments was constituted by Irishmen or their descendants. A Quarter of a million Irishmen would die the 1st World War when the 3 Irish Divisions were created, being the 10th, 16th and 36th Divisions. In the Second World War, the 38th Irish Brigade was formed. Irish Regiments were formed in the Armies of South Africa, Canada and Australia.

    Nothing changes today, as the SDG BG prepares to leave Iraq, the QRH is ready to go in on Telic 8.

    Does that sound familiar to anyone????
  2. You're right GDav, we coudnt have done it without you. Oh yes, we are genuinely sorry about the spuds. :oops:
  3. Why would you be sorry about the spuds? What contribution did the English make to the potato famine? The Irish only have themselves to blame for that.

    Don't confuse me with Sinn Fein my boy, I am a subject of the Queen and proud to be.
  4. Half my family wuz Paddy, had many good mates from over the water, the Troubles always felt hard on my shoulders.
    ""the British Empire was won by the Irish, administered by the Scots and Welsh and the profits went to the English" Like that.
  5. Half my family was Paddy too. The difference between us is - I feckin grew up over there, and all these "troubles" you refer to, was my daily life until I was old enough to sign on and fight back.
  6. I have always considered the "Troubles" a bad subject for this board.
  7. The 'Troubles' are never a good subject on any board afaiac. However they happened and we grew up in it.
  8. The Irish contribution doesn't end in the UK. During the American civil war, Irish troops fought on both sides. At the battle of Fredricksburg, Virginia, two of the Irish units, (Union Irish Brigade, Cobbs' Georgia Irish volunteers), faced each other in one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Both units won fame for their bravery and determination, refusing to give an inch, or back down from a fight. They are still honored in the US today.

    "We left together to escape a tyranny, and ended up shootin' at one another in the land of the free."
  9. Dude, us Wild Geese are a long-running tradition. Being far to smart to have wars blighting our own land, for the last few centuries we've had a long and proud tradition of fighting in other people's wars, frequently on opposite sides. American Civil War, Spanish Civil War, WWII... I am but a humble continuer of this tradition.

    There was a cartoon back in 1944 of two British soldiers in a Normandy foxhole, with bullets whizzing over their heads. One's saying to the other: "Jaysus, Seamus. You can say what ye like about DeValera, but at least he kept us out of this war!"

  10. When the Skins joined the ORBAT of 7Amd Div after Villiers Bocage, Gen Erskine is reported to have said, "we have two Irish cavalry units now - how lovely". Not that there was much left of 8H at that point. Bill Bellamy reported all five troop leaders alone, of A Sqn killed in the battle.

    Some facts to consider. Ireland, and subsequently Northern Ireland, never had conscription. Yet with all we produced hundreds of thousands of good troops for the crown in time of need - by volunteering. In regiments like:

    4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards
    4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards
    6th (Inniskilling) Dragoon Guards
    5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards
    The Royal Dragoon Guards
    5th (Royal Irish) Lancers
    16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers
    The Queen's Royal Lancers
    8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
    The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars
    The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish)
    The North Irish Horse
    The South Irish Horse
    The Irish Guards
    The Royal Irish Regiment (18th)
    The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (27th)
    The Royal Irish Rifles
    The Royal Ulster Rifles
    The Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's)
    The Connaught Rangers
    The Prince of Wales' Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)
    The Royal Munster Fusiliers
    The Royal Dublin Fusiliers
    The London Irish Rifles
    The Liverpool Irish
    The Tyneside Irish
    The Royal Irish Rangers (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd & 87th)
    The Ulster Defence Regiment
    The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd & 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment)

    In WW1 the 10th, 16th and 36th Divisions were almost exclusively Irish (especially the 36th who were 100% from Ulster).

    But CT we had wars ok. Excepting the Troubles, the history of Ireland is full of violence. Initially between the 5 Kings, then the Vikings, Celts and Normans. Then the various rebellions and wars of religion. The 1916 Rising, The war of Independence, The Civil War. All fought at home on our own soil. Here's a timeline.

    561 Battle of Culdremna.
    800 Ireland attacked by Viking Norsemen, on Lambay Island, off Dublin.
    908 The Eoganachta were defeated, when they tried to subject Leinster
    to Cashel's rule.Their king, Cormac MacCullenan, was killed.
    914 Vikings established settlements at Waterford.
    916 Vikings established settlements at Dublin.
    920 Vikings established settlements at Limerick.
    999 Brian Boru defeated Vikings
    1014 High King Brian Boru, killed at Battle of Clontarf.
    1167-69 Arrival of Normans at Baginbun, Co. Wexford,
    thus started 800 year struggle between English and Irish.
    1235 Richard de Burgo conquered Connacht.
    1258 Gallowglasses (mercenary soldiers) come to Ulster from Scotland
    1272 The English had now conquered Ulster, east of Lough Neagh, in Meath,
    as well as most of Connacht and of Munster.
    1315 After Battle of Bannockburn, Edward Bruce of Scotland invaded
    Ireland but failed in his attempt to overthrow Norman Rule.
    1318 Edward Bruce killed by the English, near Dundalk, after having failed
    to become the Ard Ri, so long sought after by the Irish.
    1394 October. King Richard II, landed at Waterford, and marched up to Dublin.
    1534 Kildare rebellion.
    1562 Elizabethan Wars in Ireland.
    1594 August. Hugh O'Neill defeated a small English force at the Ford of
    Biscuits near Enniskillen.
    1595 Rebellion of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.
    1598 O'Neill's great victory at Yellow Ford in Ulster
    1601 Defeat of O'Neill, O'Donnell and Spaniards by Mountjoy at Battle of Kinsale.
    1641 Great Catholic-Gaelic rebellion for return of lands,
    later joined by Old English Catholics in Ireland. Under
    leadership of Irish chieftain, Rory O'More, conspiracy was
    formed to seize Dublin and expel the English. English settlers
    were driven out of Ulster. Catholics hold 59% of land in Ireland.
    1603 Accession of James 1. Surrender of Hugh O'Neill. Enforecement of English
    Law in Ireland.
    1606 Settlement of Scots in Ards Peninsula.
    Land in six counties of Ulster consficated by English.
    1649 English soldier & statesman, Oliver Cromwell,
    landed at Dublin. His troops killed 2,000 men. A
    great part of lands in Munster, Leinster and Ulster
    (Drogheda and Wexford) was confiscated and divided
    among the English soldiers

    1607 Flight of O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone,and O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell.
    "The flight of the Earls" to Spain.
    1608 Plantation of Derry and others confiscated counties planned.
    1688 English Revolution
    James II deposed in England. Gates of Derry shut in face of James' troops.
    Catholics now hold 22% of land in Ireland.
    1689 Siege and relief of Derry.
    James II's Parliment restored all lands confiscated since 1641
    1690 William of Orange (William III) lands at Carrickfergus and defeats James II
    at Battle of the Boyne. 11,000 "WILD GEESE soldiers sail for France.
    1691 Catholic defeat at Aughrim and surrender at Limerick.
    1791 Events leading up to the Revolution of 1798
    1798 March: arrest of Leinster Directory of United Irishmen. May: arrest and death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Battle of Vinegar Hill. Battle of Antrim. November: death of Wolfe Tone.
    1803 Robert Emmett's rising, trial and execution.
    1829 Catholic emancipation passed. Tithe War began.
    1867 February: Abortive raid on Chester Castle. March: Fenian rising in Ireland. December: Clerkenwell explosion.
    1879-82 Land War
    1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.
    1919-21 Irish War of Independence against Britain.
    1920 Burning of Cork by Auxiliaries.
    1922 Civil War starts between Free State army and IRA.
    1923 End of Civil war.

    Our numbers fighting for the crown are greatly reduced now because of defence cuts but I'd put money on it that there are more Irishmen serving in the US forces than there are everywhere else in the world.

    we just like to fight :)
  11. SOP
  12. Sure there were lots of Irisnh in the US Civil war but I am not aware of many Irish who fought for Hitler -apart from The American Irish lord Haw Haw, nor for the Facist side in Spain.

    The big Irish contingents in earlier centuries were in....

    The French Army. There is a good argiument that the Irish Guards have a longer tradition of serving the French King than the British Monarchy :D

    The Austria-Hungarian Army. Some of the best generals produced by Ireland were the Austrian Generals Brown and Lacey who led maria Theresa's armies against Frederick the Great. The Austrian Armies that fought aginst Napoloen includes the O'Reilly Dragoons

    The Spanish Army, who had some Irish regiments until the end of the napoleonic wars.
  13. Not many fought for Hitler but the 700 strong 'Irish Brigade' was in spain for six months, fighting for Franco. They lost six dead, of which two were killed in combat.

    I'm puzzled by your Irish Guards remarks. As they were only formed in 1900, how could they have fought for France?
  14. There were Irish and Scots Guards for the Kings of France for a few hundred years before the British Army had either.
  15. Lots of Paddys in the navy too.

    Including my dad who was sunk by the Germans and the Japanese