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Posted: 1/6/2006 5:16:38 AM EDT
I know they were "neutral" ....but no clue as to the reason . Sorry if this is a totaly stupid ?

But I thought they were in the United Kingdom .
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 5:29:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rocklock:
I know they were "neutral" ....but no clue as to the reason . Sorry if this is a totaly stupid ?

But I thought they were in the United Kingdom .



Ireland was officially neutral, but many Irish swallowed their resentments toward the UK (Southern and Western Ireland was now known as Eire and was independent, since 1922) and joined the British forces to fight against the Germans.

Northern Ireland remained in the realm, and many Ulstermen and others, both Protestant and Catholic fought as British subjects all over the world against the Axis.

Ireland's history with the Axis gets complex at various points. The Irish Air Corps tried to buy German aircraft, but never got any response in the 1930s. The Army wore German helmets in the 1920s and 1930, but were ironically made (of low grad steel) by Vickers in England. German bombers bombed Dublin accidentally during the Battle of Britain, causing casualties and bad feeling against Germany, but later in 1945, Eamonn de Valera, President of Ireland, (Teoisach) sent a telegram of remorse to the German government upon learning of Hitler's suicide. This enraged many in Ireland, and in England, too, esp. Churchill.

But, by the end of the war, Ireland's armed forces looked like British forces, since the Brits supplied them, if for no other reason, than to make sure that if the Irish were invaded by the Germans, they'd be able to hold off the Germans until the UK/USA could help.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 6:07:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 6:07:58 AM EDT by redleg13a]
Well, Bill Mauldin wrote a cartoon during WWII that has a bunch of GI's around a table arguing and one of them stands up and says "You Irish would have lost this war if it wasn't for allies like Texas and Russia." That cartoon started a bunch of diplomatic crap from Ireland. Funny though.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 6:09:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 6:10:22 AM EDT by PBIR]
The Irish miss a chance to fight? Not fookin likely.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 6:10:43 AM EDT
As the old joke goes, it's lucky for the world the Irish are too busy fighting each other.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 9:02:36 AM EDT
Ireland has a long tradition of not really having any wars of their own, so they go fight in other people's wars. Frequently on both sides at the same time.

In WWII, Ireland seemed to try very hard to forget that there was a war on. The period of time is known as The Emergency. When HMS Hood was blown up, the death of an Irishman aboard was reported in the Irish Times as being a 'boating accident'

Both the British and the Germans had plans to conquer and occupy Ireland, though the British one obviously was far more likely as the Germans had to deal with the UK first. Whilst officially neutral, Ireland did have a problem: The rules say that if you cannot enforce your neutrality, then it's fine for other combatant ships to patrol the waters in order to make sure the other side isn't using them. As a result, Ireland went on a frantic PT-boat purchase hunt, and eventually bought a few off the British. Most equipment ended up being British-made, though Ireland wasn't adverse to repairing and commandeering other countries' equipment that happened to land in the country. Lots of 'singletons' like a single Lockeed Hudson, or whatever.

I've already gone into the internment procedures in greater detail on another thread, but the 'lite' version is that for the first few years, Ireland detained all combatants that ended up in the country, and put them all together in one POW camp. To release tensions, everyone was let out on day passes, the system was respected by both sides. Ireland's leaning towards the allies became more and more blatant as time went on, however.

Another cartoon example of all the Irish people in the British forces was two British soldiers hunkered in a hole on the D-Day beaches, bullets whizzing over their heads. One's saying to the other "You can say what you like about DeValera, Seamus, but at least he kept us out of this war"

NTM
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 9:04:39 AM EDT
For the record, the Taoseach is the Prime Minister. An Uachtarain is the President.

During WWII/The Emergency, DeV was Taoseach. He didn't become President until the '60s.

NTM
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 9:17:51 AM EDT
Here's a couple of other very interesting topics as well- Switzerland during the war, Sweden during the war, Portugal during the war. Guess what happened ? NOTHING! Next question please.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 9:27:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
When HMS Hood was blown up, the death of an Irishman aboard was reported in the Irish Times as being a 'boating accident'



So that's where all the IRA's weapons went.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 9:32:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 11:05:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By t-stox:
Here's a couple of other very interesting topics as well- Switzerland during the war, Sweden during the war, Portugal during the war. Guess what happened ? NOTHING! Next question please.



You don’t know much about the war…

All three were hot beds of espionage, illicit commerce, and many other non neutral acts. It is really laughable to argue they were neutral and nothing happen.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 11:13:46 AM EDT
I've always been told a family story for years about how the Irish had a lost flight of German bombers land in country one day.

They took good care of the Germans and kept the aircraft. A little paint and they had an instant Irish Air Force.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 11:47:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 11:48:50 AM EDT by Manic_Moran]
All the impressed aircraft I am aware of were of Allied origin.

Probably easier to get spare parts.

NTM
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 12:52:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
I've always been told a family story for years about how the Irish had a lost flight of German bombers land in country one day.

They took good care of the Germans and kept the aircraft. A little paint and they had an instant Irish Air Force.




Not true, unfortunately. Would have made a great story, though.

Various British and US aircraft strayed into Irish airspace and a few British a/c were interned (such as a Lockheed Hudson bomber, as Manic_Moran mentioned), but the Irish had few modern fighters for interception.

Indeed, at one point in 1944 they were still flying Gloster Gladiator biplanes and early marks of Hawker Hurricanes, long after anybody else had stopped using them for anything other than weather flights or training.

Hence, if anybody strayed into Irish airspace, by the time the Irish Air Corps got a fighter up, the intruder was gone.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 12:55:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
All the impressed aircraft I am aware of were of Allied origin.

Probably easier to get spare parts.

NTM



Oddly enough, the Irish tried to buy Heinkel He51 biplane fighters and Junkers Ju86 bombers from the Germans in the mid-1930s. Various letters were sent to German manufacturers, but the Irish never got a formal reply. Apparently, the Germans were afraid of pissing off the British and the French.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 1:02:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 1:03:08 PM EDT by 95thFoot]

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By t-stox:
Here's a couple of other very interesting topics as well- Switzerland during the war, Sweden during the war, Portugal during the war. Guess what happened ? NOTHING! Next question please.



sweden and switzerland were far from neutral.



Both the Swedes and the Swiss got involved in a lot of air combat with both Allied aircraft and German aircraft overflying their territory. A lot of planes got shot down on both sides, but it never made much news in the West.

Spain was also neutral, nominally anyway, until the war began to turn against the Axis, and then they, and the Portuguese, received much aid from the US and Britain. Same with Turkey. I am reminded however that in late 1942, a USAAF P-38 strayed over Spanish Morocco and was shot down by a Spanish Heinkel He-112. The USAAF respoded by sendling over huge flights of fighter aircraft in a sweep over the Spanish airfield and let the Spanish know that if any US a/c were ever fired upon again, the airfield would be left a smoking ruin. End of hassles from the Spanish after that!
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 8:33:31 PM EDT
Between low grade steel german style helmets old Hurricians what was the Irish service rifle ? I'm guessing low grade steel SMLE's that had been used for tank traction in WWI

seriously Thanks for the replys
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