Vindictive Irish Govt

#2
"The uprisings, the civil war, all sorts of reneged promises - I'd estimate that 60% of the population expected or indeed hoped the Germans would win."

What a load of b*llocks!
 

OldSnowy

LE
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Book Reviewer
#3
DeValera was a particularly nasty and vindictive man. He, and the Church, ran Ireland as a quasi-feudal State, with strict censorship and control. It's no wonder that so many people fled the place in the 40s, 50s and 60s to come and work in England - and this even though England was still a place where signs on boarding houses could read "No Irish or Dogs". It was still seen as being far far better than Ireland - especially rural Ireland.

And as for the 60% hating the Brits? Nonsense. The vast majority of dubs (such as my maternal Family) were far more pro-Brit than they were pro-Dev. The IRA was seen as a rural, culchy organisation, that was intent on holding back the Country. And when you consider the percentage of Irish who, at that time, lived in Dublin, as opposed to beyond the Pale, it's easy to see that 60% is rubbish.
 
#4
What a nasty act to carry out on your own citizens...
 
#5
Is it really that surprising that this happened. Remember these guys deserted their own army to fight for the British Army, and also only 20 years are we had gotten independence. Recognition by the government and pardons are long overdue but considering the time I don't think it was overly surprising. What happens current members of the British Army if they desert or go AWOL?

As for a majority of Irish hoping for a German win, its complete bollocks. Even Dev was not hoping for a German win and decisions were generally made in favour of the allies. Just because there would have still been some anti-British feeling in Ireland at the time does not automatically mean pro-German.
 
#7
Is it really that surprising that this happened. Remember these guys deserted their own army to fight for the British Army, and also only 20 years are we had gotten independence. Recognition by the government and pardons are long overdue but considering the time I don't think it was overly surprising. What happens current members of the British Army if they desert or go AWOL?

As for a majority of Irish hoping for a German win, its complete bollocks. Even Dev was not hoping for a German win and decisions were generally made in favour of the allies. Just because there would have still been some anti-British feeling in Ireland at the time does not automatically mean pro-German.
De Valera -fine old Irish name, He was a complete ******** who did things to the IRA even the Brits think was bad. They deserted their own Army to do the decent thing. To fight ******* Nazis - something the ******* Southern Irish Government didn't even contemplate.

Fighting the Nazis - how dare they. You do know Hitler called the Paddies the cave men of Europe. I don't think XMG would have been such a problem to the Das Reich Division as it was to the Brits- 10 minutes and the jobs a good 'un.

On a less pissed off note :(

John Stout, now 80, served with the Irish Guards armoured division which raced to Arnhem to capture a key bridge.
He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, ending the war as a commando.

He would have been 12 at Arnhem. Helluva soldier or piss poor reporting.
 
#8
De Valera -fine old Irish name, He was a complete ******** who did things to the IRA even the Brits think was bad. They deserted their own Army to do the decent thing. To fight ******* Nazis - something the ******* Southern Irish Government didn't even contemplate.

Fighting the Nazis - how dare they. You do know Hitler called the Paddies the cave men of Europe. I don't think XMG would have been such a problem to the Das Reich Division as it was to the Brits- 10 minutes and the jobs a good 'un.

On a less pissed off note :(

John Stout, now 80, served with the Irish Guards armoured division which raced to Arnhem to capture a key bridge.
He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, ending the war as a commando.

He would have been 12 at Arnhem. Helluva soldier or piss poor reporting.
Are you crying WALT there, tis indeed possible.....
 
#10
When their country needed them most they deserted, Germany weren't the only threat that Ireland faced!

Ireland was in a very poor financial state and many lived in slums (not just deserters).

"A lot of Irish people wanted Germany to win the war" - a minority would have, many the IRA

"I'd estimate that 60% of the population expected or indeed hoped the Germans would win." - Big difference between expected and hoped!

"Ireland adopted a policy of strict neutrality which may have been necessary politically or even popular, but a significant minority strongly backed Britain...." - and the Government did things that they shouldn't have done as they were neutral to help the allies.

"I feel very betrayed about how we were treated.... " - maybe the Irish people felt betrayed.

The non-payment of pensions, ban on working for the Government etc wasn't a policy, it was an act of law!

I wonder what happened to British people who deserted (some probably ended up in other countries armies?
 
#11
History has a habit of helping out in these cases, those powers small and large who chose to sympathise with Germany/Nazi's. Can now look at themselves with shame, if they don't know why a quick visit to the Holocaust exhibition at the War museum should remind them of their error of judgment. No amount of anti English sentiment can justify that, at one stage the would do well to remember it was GB alone who stood up to be counted. We should make a point of honouring those Irish men who fought against Germany.
 
#12
I wonder what happened to British people who deserted (some probably ended up in other countries armies?
Not sure TBH, but I have a rather wonderful book called 'Through Hell for Hitler' written by a former German soldier who went all teh way through WWII to be captured by the allies in the closing days of teh war. He was sent to the UK as a PoW and worked on teh farms. Once repatriated after the war he took one look at Germany went 'F**k that' and worked on the UK railways for the rest of his life. He said he felt far less hostility from the British than from his own countrymen who, he says, many held repsonsable for Germany losing. Interstingly he says he was never subjected to anti-German sentiment or blamed for what had happend.
 
#13
When their country needed them most they deserted, Germany weren't the only threat that Ireland faced!

Ireland was in a very poor financial state and many lived in slums (not just deserters).

"A lot of Irish people wanted Germany to win the war" - a minority would have, many the IRA

"I'd estimate that 60% of the population expected or indeed hoped the Germans would win." - Big difference between expected and hoped!

"Ireland adopted a policy of strict neutrality which may have been necessary politically or even popular, but a significant minority strongly backed Britain...." - and the Government did things that they shouldn't have done as they were neutral to help the allies.

"I feel very betrayed about how we were treated.... " - maybe the Irish people felt betrayed.

The non-payment of pensions, ban on working for the Government etc wasn't a policy, it was an act of law!

I wonder what happened to British people who deserted (some probably ended up in other countries armies?
The Germans did draw out plans to Invade Ireland you know.... Operation Green.

What about the Irish who served with American units? Is that still seen as deserting?
 
#14
The following article seems to state the case in a more coherent manner.

No trial, did not apply to officers etc.

Crap reporting


"During World War Two approximately 5000 service personnel from the Irish defence force who (allegedly) deserted and joined the allied war effort were subsequently dismissed on the 8th of August 1945 by Irish government decree en masse, unheard and in absentia following the wars end. It is a basic tenet of Irish constitutional law that citizens have a right to defend themselves and defendants subject to military law, even when on active service, have the same rights to a defence as the Shot at Dawn Campaigns have proved. Emergency Powers Order (362) 1945, introduced by the Irish government to deal with alleged deserters, was a vindictive rough political instrument of injustice, arbitrary in its application and by disregarding their fundamental rights as citizens denied Irish defence force personnel who had allegedly deserted and joined the allied effort in their fight against fascism the right to defend themselves before a military tribunal. Irish defence force (alleged) deserters were treated differently depending on whether they stayed in Ireland or went abroad to fight with the allies. The exclusion of officers from its terms of reference and impact should have raised concerns as to class bias. By August 1945, the de Valeragovernment had constructed a unique political instrument to deal with the military offence of desertion in such a way that the rights of individuals were abrogated for the sake of political expediency." Irish Soldiers Pardons Campaign WW2
 
#17
The author of that piece has the main thrust of what happened but all in all it's lazy journalism at its best. Has John Waite ever heard of "Research" rather than copy and paste.
 
#18
When their country needed them most they deserted, Germany weren't the only threat that Ireland faced!

Ireland was in a very poor financial state and many lived in slums (not just deserters).

"A lot of Irish people wanted Germany to win the war" - a minority would have, many the IRA

"I'd estimate that 60% of the population expected or indeed hoped the Germans would win." - Big difference between expected and hoped!

"Ireland adopted a policy of strict neutrality which may have been necessary politically or even popular, but a significant minority strongly backed Britain...." - and the Government did things that they shouldn't have done as they were neutral to help the allies.

"I feel very betrayed about how we were treated.... " - maybe the Irish people felt betrayed.

The non-payment of pensions, ban on working for the Government etc wasn't a policy, it was an act of law!

I wonder what happened to British people who deserted (some probably ended up in other countries armies?
What's your point?
 
#19
I don't know about 60% being prepared to risk Nazi rule in Ireland just to see the English brought low. What I'd be fairly sure about is pretty solid Chuckie support for the Nazis only divided by a few friends of Stalin. It was also pretty obvious which side the Church favored, anybody but the Reds and the Brits were aligned with Stalin for a few years. Rather shortsighted as the Nazis had only postponed dealing with "the Church Question".

It's only recently that the South has reconciled with the shilling takers who fought for the popular cause of Home Rule. The burying of the hatchet with London only really begins in the 70s as grim priest ridden little Ireland opens up to the wider world and gets a grip. Reading about it I suspect the visceral hatred of the British Empire was as much about the very apparent failures of the Freestate as anything. Eire is possibly the most pro-London nation in the world now being that its a vital trading partner that is as it should be.
 
#20
Hi

My Dad served in the Irish Army during the war and when his service ended he enlisted in NI in the Middlesex Regiment and went onto service for 22 years, including a year at the start of the war in Korea.

I recall him telling us how DeValera rounded up the IRA early on in the war and during that first winter the IRA inmates of one internment camp burnt it to the ground in protest. The Irish Government response was to deliver a couple of truck loads of tents to the camp and the inmates were left reflecting on their protest under canvas during what turned out to be a very cold wet winter. Now that is what I call a firm, but compassionate response which has a lot of merit!

He also used to tell us about how badly the Irish Government treated its deserters on their return. In particular, one chap who jumped ship in 1940, enlisted in the British Army and spent most of the next five years fighting and was arrested on his return to Ireland and charged with desertion. At his trial one aspect of the charge that the government struggled to make stick was that of cowardice as he had left a place of safety (Ireland) to go to a place of danger.

He was very proud of his time in the Irish Army and wore Irish Army 1939-45 defense medal on his uniform (I still have his No 2s!) along with his British Army Decorations and it was clear that he like many of his other Irish Army colleagues brought with them good military experience which in his case was put to the test in Korea during the harsh winter of the first year of that war for which he received an MID.

I wonder how we treated our own deserters or were there just too many of them to waste time and effort on revenge once the war had ended?

Gerryb
 

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