Discussion in 'Ireland (ie. Irish Defence Force)' started by MuddyOldEngineer, May 7, 2013.
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Finally common sense prevails
BBC News - WWII Irish 'deserters' to finally get pardons
About time, a stain on the reputation of Ireland, shows they are no-longer the small, narrow minded, parochial, bitter nation they were thanks to Dev and his like.
See it only mentions the ones that fought with the Allies.
Well they may now have been pardoned, but I can never forgive them for being Irish!
What is sometimes overlooked by folk critical of Ireland during WW2 is that Allied aircrew were usually returned to the UK whilst Luftwaffe were interened and any Luftwaffe aircraft that landed was also interned and allowed to be examined by the Allies.
Also, aircraft flying out of Lough Erne were permitted to fly over Ireland to reach the Atlantic
You're a twat and would benefit from reading a book or two before crayoning your stupidity all over the internet.
It was a small, impoverished, agricultural country and you seriously expect they'd declare war on the Third Reich?
Why was it impoverished and why did many of them dislike the British?
PS I suspect the reason the Free State government may have disapproved of their jumping ship to join the British forces was because there was a threat of an invasion of ireland, by Germany until 1941 and by the Uk after that. Churchill said as much.
They enlisted, they deserted ; end of. Punishing the returnees after 1946 or'47 was petty.
I'm with you on the condolences.
However, you have no idea how much aid the Free State gave the Allies (without getting involved) which if they were truly neutral should not have done.
These people deserted their country at an hour of need, in the vast majority of cases it wasn't anything to do with fighting Nazis (it was a lot to do with the bad conditions and pay of the Irish army).
In fairness these people were barred from being in State jobs and their families were very badly treated but they missed out on:
- court marshal (they were dismissed)
- prison (or potential a death sentence)
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Apart from the IRA, who were really keen to help an invasion of NI, the Free State certainly favoured us in many ways (even when it looked as though we might lose in 1940) but it may have been influenced by the need to buy our coal, to sell their agricultural produce and for their unemployed to find well-paid war work in the UK. I note that these men and women weren't branded as deserters, but then they had good money to send home. Emotionally, I understand the feeling that the 'deserters' were more needed in the Irish army but objectively, if Germany had decided to invade and the RN, RAF and troops in Ulster hadn't intervened, organised resistance would have lasted a couple of days. OK, the old tactics of hit and run and ambush might have re-appeared, but the resultant retaliation would have made the Black and Tans look like the Boy Scouts.
Logical, since the only means of stopping them were: An irate leprechaun shaking his blackthorn, six ancient Bristol F2B fighters held together by the woodworm all holding hands and four Martinsyde F4 Buzzards, all subject to a spares embargo due to the war!
On a serious note, the Irish in the British army fought, and in many cases fought bravely. I'm glad they get their pardons and it is shameful that Britain didn't offer citizenship to those that fought - as Bdr Milligan for one found out. As to the free state and their help for the Allies, Irish Alzheimers strikes again. They wanted cold hard cash for their products and nobody else was in the Market. They could hardly say no to overflights through the Donegal Corridor with the size of their Air Force supplied with British Equipment who'se support could be withdrawn at any time (4 Gloucester Gladiators and 3 Hurricanes). Some supported the Allies - or the Americans at least - others supported Germany. For example it was only in 1943 when the tide turned that they released interned Allied Pilots. They were Neutral and didn't do us any favours at all, and would not have cared a fig that Hitler Invaded Britain were Germany not a threat to their Independence as well. But for pretty much the first (and probably only) time in Irish Nationalist history Ireland didn't try and leg us over. If it was in their own interests - e.g. German Intelligence being a pain by using Ireland or the threat to Irish Merchant Tonnage from U Boats shooting first and asking questions later they were quite happy to tip us the wink. If it wasn't they did nothing - for example they banned any Jewish emigration to Ireland throughout the Holocaust.
But knowing their strict Neutrality in WWII (and it was blatantly obvious who the bad guys were) it does make me laugh when people like Lucinda Creighton claim Ireland can be an "Honest Broker" with the UK Regarding the EU.
"This was indeed a deadly moment in our life, and if it had not been for the loyalty and friendship of Northern Ireland we should have been forced to come to close quarters with Mr. de Valera or perish forever from the earth."
W. S. Churchill
I can't imagine why.
Yes, protocol, although even De Valera must have realised he was being pedantic in the case of Hitler. The UK has expressed condolences for deaths of some odious tyrants and head-of-states in the past.
Eisenhower said he was unaware of the death camps until the last few weeks of the war. Should de Valera have been better informed?
Churchill was busy writing and speaking about the version of history that he would be writing, after his departure from politics.
The critical issue in 1940 was not the survival of Britain, but of something else.
If the threat of Nazi invasion was sooooo over-whelming, then why were half the UK's tanks shipped abroad?
Where did they go?
What were they protecting?
Why might the Irish Free State have been a tad unsupportive of 'whatever it was that had to be protected',
(even at the expense of endangering the security of the UK)?
IMHO, you've been the victim of one of Mr Churchill's myths.
Go Google young man.
To play devils advocate for a minute....
Why should a state apologise for not being 100% supportive of thousands of men deserting the country’s army at a time when Europe was tearing its self apart?!
Forget the rights and wrongs of Irelands neutrality, the state decided, the army does what its told. I wasn’t too fussed with the whole Iraq thing, I went. As has been pointed out the Nazi death camps still were not widely known about, I would suggest the state had reasonable grounds to expect their army to remain and not dessert in droves to fight in 'someone else’s war'!
Not saying I agree with it but do get slightly fed up with the constant apologies for events in history. I had my bike stolen when I was 6, I would like an apology from someone in government for creating the conditions for that to happen.
ISTR the US recommended two senior Irish officers for awards for their cooperation, after the war. Which seems odd.
What were the 'real attitudes'? Any links to these secret documents?
Why did the British ship their tanks abroad?
Funny sort of neutrality.
Lets see now, out of a population of 3 million, 100,000 joined up and fought with the British armed forces and 250,000 came to the UK to do war work. All those hundreds of airfields in East Anglia didn't build themselves.
And lets remind ourselves where all those umpteen thousands of tonnes of beef, Pork and dairy products that kept coming into Northern Ireland came from.
FWIW, rationing was even tougher in Ireland than the UK so much food was being exported to Britain. Gas, coal and electricity was also very severely restricted.
I suggest you do the same. It was quite clear why Britain was sending tanks abroad in 1940 to support the failing French Campaign and later - which I guess you mean - to support British troops defending the Vital Suez Canal link between the UK and India. Didn't mean we needed more Tanks in the UK, its just that we were desperate and juggling forces. But unlike several cases of when Britain was fighting for its National survival, Culture or just fighting somebody nasty (WW1, Plantation Massacres, Napoleonic Wars, William of Orange, Spanish Armada and the Inquisition etc) and Irish Nationalism picked the opposition I grant you that this time we should thank Ireland for not actually actively helping Britain's enemies. In return I would hope you would thank us for not giving Ireland the punch on the nose it traditionally gets when we cease being preoccupied with aforesaid Threats - Shelling Post Offices, Cromwell, the Corn Laws, Battle of the Boyne, etc.
And as for the Jewish embarrasment Ireland suffers from - lets see how long the statue of Sean Russell lasts this time before it gets vandalized again Eichmann would get a statue if he'd had an Irish grandmother - Independent.ie . The Emergency (Ireland) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia De Valera is acknowledged to have known about the Holocaust in 1943. In actual fact I would have thought it was earlier. General Eisenhower was not free to bimble round Nazi Germany, and even if he was he would have been looking at Tank Factories, Synthetic Oil Refineries and other Targets vital to the war effort - not Jewish People. Irish Neutrals, especially Priests on the other hand were well aware of what was going on, and De Valera talked to an awful lot of priests during his attempts to turn Ireland into a Gaelic Theme Park of Farms, Catholicism and Magdalene Laundries.
Indeed anti semitism was rife in the Republic at the time Oliver J. Flanagan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . Michael McDowell the 2002-7 Dail Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform said the Republic's attitude was "antipathetic, hostile and unfeeling". I feel he is being very kind. Were the Germans victorious; at nothing more than Moral cost to Ireland they could waive this in the face of Germany as a way of saying - "we were in your side" and it is disingenuous to pretend they would not have done so.
The same thing with the Donegal Corridor. It's about 7km at its narrowest point between Northern Ireland and the sea. Chuck in a further 5km for territorial waters. The Irish Airforce in their Gloucester Gladiators would have to be notified their airspace had been violated (the Republic didn't have radar), take off, locate their targets and get into a position to intercept with an aircraft that was flying 100 miles faster than they were. And in case you can't work out how difficult this is read how difficult it was for the British in Malta with 1/2 hour warning with better aircraft - Laddie Lucas Malta: The Thorn in Rommel's Side - Six Months That Turned the War is a good start. They would have had 1 minute 4 seconds for a Spit before the shot became illegal - say 2 minutes for a Short Sunderland flying anti Uboat patrols. But what was an impossibility for the Irish Republic to do bugger all, and Force Majeure because the Irish Air Force would have been flattened had they so much as shone a bright light at Allied aircraft becomes the Irish Government doing the right thing under Irish Alzheimers delusions.
There were many brave Irishmen during World War II. But I repeat the Irish government was strictly neutral and did nothing that would have cost Ireland so much as a lame Red Setter. And nor is poverty an excuse - Haiti, Ethiopia and El Salvador among many supported the Allies - Ireland did not. It played both sides until it was obvious who would win with a minute lean towards those who were buying Kerrygold at full market rates, had the Germans been able to buy your Butter even this would have cancelled itself out. And the Republic carrying out this apology in 2013 demonstrates this, indeed the fact that Ireland was hostile to those who supported the allies is an even greater tribute to those thousands of Irish that chose to fight despite the moral bankruptcy of their government.
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