WWII Irish "deserters" to finally get pardons

#2
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.
 
#5
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
 
#6
Was that before the US joined in yhe fray?
Yes.
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?
Go Google.

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.
 
#7
They'll be well pleased I'm sure. Anyone been able to tell them, or is there no medium around?

Will the Irish government go full circle and now prosecute those who actively supported the Third Reich, like De Valera who allegedly sent the German people a missive of condolence when their Adolph ended himself.

I would have thought that, as a nation they might feel a bit embarassed and ashamed that they took they side (neutral my arse) of a genocidal warmonger, considering the wrongs they said they were subjected to.

Their 'neutrality' said a big, loud '**** you' to the 200 odd million people around the world suffering and dying under Hitler's boot-heel.

A pardon 60 years after the event for those who did sign up to fight the greatest tyranny Europe has ever seen is too little, too late.
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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#8
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.
 
#9
Also, aircraft flying out of Lough Erne were permitted to fly over Ireland to reach the Atlantic

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!
 

Travelgall

LE
Kit Reviewer
#10
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.
 
#11
Forgive my ignorant crayoning, but far lesser leaders, of poorer countries have stepped up to the plate to condemn atrocity, and he also knew that Britain could not afford any invasion of Ireland, so their defence by Britain was a guarantee either way.

"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

His hostility to Britain was well documented.
I can't imagine why.

So I stand corrected then and De Valera's statement of condolence to the German High Commissioner on the death of Hitler JUST as they lost the war and ceased to be any form of threat to the Free State, and in full knowledge of the horrors committed by him and Germany against civilians was just ... Neutral protocol. Not one word of condemnation or reproach, but condolences for the death of the biggest mass murderer in history.
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.
 
#12
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.
 
#13
And you might read the memoirs of David Gray (US Ambassador) to Ireland in 1940 in which he names one of the Irish Government's generals actively helping the Germans. He goes on to publish various previously secret documents in which the real attitudes of the leaders of the Irish Free State are made known.
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?
 
#14
They'll be well pleased I'm sure. Anyone been able to tell them, or is there no medium around?

Will the Irish government go full circle and now prosecute those who actively supported the Third Reich, like De Valera who allegedly sent the German people a missive of condolence when their Adolph ended himself.

I would have thought that, as a nation they might feel a bit embarassed and ashamed that they took they side (neutral my arse) of a genocidal warmonger, considering the wrongs they said they were subjected to.

Their 'neutrality' said a big, loud '**** you' to the 200 odd million people around the world suffering and dying under Hitler's boot-heel.

A pardon 60 years after the event for those who did sign up to fight the greatest tyranny Europe has ever seen is too little, too late.


Neutrality?

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.
 

Travelgall

LE
Kit Reviewer
#15
"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



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)?

Go Google young man.
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.
 
#16
But I repeat the Irish government was strictly neutral and did nothing that would have cost Ireland so much as a lame Red Setter.

You're plain simply wrong.

For starters, If Ireland had formally sided with the UK, it was not in any position to defend itself, that would have fallen to the UK that would have had to divert ships, troops and planes to do it at a time when we were desperately short of all 3.

Irelands neutrality was little more than in name and suited Britain well enough they never really pushed the issue. Try and remind yourself which 'neutral' country despatched it's fire brigade north of the border to fight fires after the German raids on Belfast.
 

Travelgall

LE
Kit Reviewer
#17
You're plain simply wrong.

For starters, If Ireland had formally sided with the UK, it was not in any position to defend itself, that would have fallen to the UK that would have had to divert ships, troops and planes to do it at a time when we were desperately short of all 3.

Irelands neutrality was little more than in name and suited Britain well enough they never really pushed the issue. Try and remind yourself which 'neutral' country despatched it's fire brigade north of the border to fight fires after the German raids on Belfast.
And what was the reason De Valera gave for sending these fire brigades. "but they are our people – we are one and the same people". He was using British weakness to try and get Ulster to join the Republic. Even the IRA would have started whistling God Save the Queen at him had he let the poor buggers die. He was hardly going to let a good PR victory against the British get away.

If despite all the reasons I have given Ireland was only pretending to be neutral did it take them until 2013 to apologise to the victims of those that were blacklisted because they broke Ireland's strict neutrality? Point to one Pack of Richmond Sausages that the Irish Government gave the British People free, gratis and for nowt rather than charging them full rates. What the British government would have had to do to protect Ireland is irrelevant, there is not one historical document that suggests Ireland were willing to challenge their neutrality. They only surrendered the Pilots in 1943 because he'd made such an arse of himself in the US in 1941 the US Government wasn't speaking to him. Indeed the discussions on the use of possible bases in Ireland shows the opposite to be true, even the Americans would not be allowed to be based there - Ireland would not sacrifice its neutrality. The Donegal corridor was waived simply because the Irish Air Force couldn't have done anything and it would cost them the stamps and paper to complain each time to the British government. During WWII De Valera supported Chandra Bose who was fighting the British at the time, he supported anti-Roosevelt Isolationist opinion in the US, and as we know he was the only leader to sign Hitler's condolence book.
 
#18
You're plain simply wrong.

For starters, If Ireland had formally sided with the UK, it was not in any position to defend itself, that would have fallen to the UK that would have had to divert ships, troops and planes to do it at a time when we were desperately short of all 3.

Irelands neutrality was little more than in name and suited Britain well enough they never really pushed the issue. Try and remind yourself which 'neutral' country despatched it's fire brigade north of the border to fight fires after the German raids on Belfast.
And vice versa I believe
 
#19
And nor is poverty an excuse - Haiti, Ethiopia and El Salvador among many supported the Allies - Ireland did not.
Very noble of them, but sadly bollocks.
Ethiopia sided with the Allies mainly because they'd been invaded by fascist Italians a few years before WW2.

Haiti and El Salvador had the benefit of a small barrier between themselves and the Luftwaffe. It is called the Atlantic.
I did have to use Google to see what they had contributed to the Allied war effort; neither was involved until post- Pearl Harbor and both had strong economic links with the USA.

I'll be back.
 
#20
And what was the reason De Valera gave for sending these fire brigades. "but they are our people – we are one and the same people". He was using British weakness to try and get Ulster to join the Republic. Even the IRA would have started whistling God Save the Queen at him had he let the poor buggers die. He was hardly going to let a good PR victory against the British get away.

If despite all the reasons I have given Ireland was only pretending to be neutral did it take them until 2013 to apologise to the victims of those that were blacklisted because they broke Ireland's strict neutrality? Point to one Pack of Richmond Sausages that the Irish Government gave the British People free, gratis and for nowt rather than charging them full rates. What the British government would have had to do to protect Ireland is irrelevant, there is not one historical document that suggests Ireland were willing to challenge their neutrality. They only surrendered the Pilots in 1943 because he'd made such an arse of himself in the US in 1941 the US Government wasn't speaking to him. Indeed the discussions on the use of possible bases in Ireland shows the opposite to be true, even the Americans would not be allowed to be based there - Ireland would not sacrifice its neutrality. The Donegal corridor was waived simply because the Irish Air Force couldn't have done anything and it would cost them the stamps and paper to complain each time to the British government. During WWII De Valera supported Chandra Bose who was fighting the British at the time, he supported anti-Roosevelt Isolationist opinion in the US, and as we know he was the only leader to sign Hitler's condolence book.


It was quite common for British ships to pull in quietly to Irish ports and bays to put ashore injured seamen or ride out storms.
Blind eyes all round and do you fancy a pint. Any U Boat that tried the same was immediately reported to the British Naval Attache in Dublin.


The Cranborne Report sumed it all up nicely

They agreed to our use of Lough Foyle for naval and air purposes. The ownership of the Lough is disputed, but the Southern Irish authorities are tacitly not pressing their claim in present conditions and are also ignoring any flying by our aircraft over the Donegal shore of the Lough, which is necessary in certain wind conditions to enable flying boats to take off the Lough.

They have agreed to use by our aircraft based on Lough Erne of a corridor over Southern Irish territory and territorial waters for the purpose of flying out to the Atlantic.

They have arranged for the immediate transmission to the United Kingdom Representative’s Office in Dublin of reports of submarine activity received from their coast watching service.

They arranged for the broadening of reports by their Air observation Corps of aircraft sighted over or approaching Southern Irish territory. (This does not include our aircraft using the corridor referred to in (b) above.)

They arranged for the extinction of trade and business lighting in coastal towns where such lighting was alleged to afford a useful landmark for German aircraft.

They have continued to supply us with meteorological reports.

They have agreed to the use by our ships and aircraft of two wireless direction-finding stations at Malin Head.

They have supplied particulars of German crashed aircraft and personnel crashed or washed ashore or arrested on land.

They arranged for staff talks on the question of co-operation against a possible German invasion of Southern Ireland, and close contact has since been maintained between the respective military authorities.

They continue to intern all German fighting personnel reaching Southern Ireland. On the other hand, though after protracted negotiations, Allied service personnel are now allowed to depart freely and full assistance is given in recovering damaged aircraft.

Recently, in connection with the establishment of prisoner of war camps in Northern Ireland, they have agreed to return or at least intern any German prisoners who may escape from Northern Ireland across the border to Southern Ireland.

They have throughout offered no objection to the departure from Southern Ireland of persons wishing to serve in the United Kingdom Forces nor to the journey on leave of such persons to and from Southern Ireland (in plain clothes).

They have continued to exchange information with our security authorities regarding all aliens (including Germans) in Southern Ireland.

They have (within the last few days) agreed to our establishing a Radar station in Southern Ireland for use against the latest form of submarine activity.
 

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