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The help Ireland gave to the allies during WWII

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  • The help Ireland gave to the allies during WWII

    There is an interesting debate taking place over on Keypublishing's 'Historic Aviation' forum about Ireland's 'secret' airfield's during WWII, and the assistance we gave to the RAF and USAF, etc.

    Most UK contributors maintain that we did nothing to help the alies !

    Click Here
    IRISH AIR CORPS - Serving the Nation.

  • #2
    "Most UK contributors" (couple of posters on a fairly sparse thread) clearly don't know much about much.

    Was listening to a radio documentary late the other night about the efforts of Irish diplomats and religious to assist escaping allied POWs in Italy. Seems they helped about 4000 escape. Stories mentioned including secretly bringing an injured escaped POW to hospital in an Irish diplomatic car.

    http://www.catholicireland.net/pages...?nd=68&art=490
    Last edited by yellowjacket; 29 May 2005, 17:32.
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    With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

    Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

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    • #3
      I have always had an interest in this subject but have not done anything about it for years.
      I am convinced there were secret links between the British and Irish Govt.s both formal and informal.

      Food supply to England was valuable.

      Weather reports from the West were valuable.

      Flying boats from Lough Erne were permitted to fly out over Sligo/Donegal to the Atlantic thus increasing range over the ocean.

      A very large number of ppl in the BA etc gave their next of kin addy as being in the ROI.

      Navigation markers sea and air viewable were valuable.

      Mil. Int. was exchanged.

      Still can't make head nor tail of why the ports were handed over in 1938 when war was widely predicted.

      Heard a story of aircraft and crews being exchanged at the border and pertol/av fuel being given in exchange.

      Spoke first hand to an Irish RSM who was in a work party that went to the border to receive 25pr towed field guns complete with towers (Quads and 6wheelers)

      I think (without any substantial evidence)that the British gave/sold arms to the Irish in order to have the backdoor, which Ireland was,guarded.

      Robert Kisk's book "In Time of War" went some way to throw some light on the subject but much still to come out I think.
      Last edited by Gunner Who?; 30 May 2005, 04:33.

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      • #4
        Did I not hear of an Irish Naval vessel being at Dunkirk? I was sure I heard Derek Davis on about it ages ago....
        If you have to do it, you always have to do it right. Either it makes a difference, or it’s good practice so that when it does make a difference, it gets done right.

        -Me.

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        • #5
          It was an MTB which was just about to be delivered to us, and went over to Dunkirk, following which it headed over to Cork afaik
          "Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here...this is the War Room!"

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          • #6
            Seriously.

            A battalion commander during "The Emergency" proclaimed after the end of WW2 that his battalion was not properly trained until 1944. By which time the need for an Irish army to defend against the German's had disspiated entirely. The Irish army at it's height was about 100,000 badly trained & equipped men. As compared to the 50,000 off who joined the British Army, and all those who went over to the UK to work and take the place of those who had been drafted.

            The Irish air corps had a few Spitifires & Hurricanes during WW2. It wasn't as if the USAF or the RAF had much to worry about in military threat terms by crossing Irish airsace- I would say allied expediency had more to do with having passage over Irish airspace than Irish well-wishing. They don't have radar coverage now, so I highly doubt the DF has radar cover in 1939-45.

            DeValera was offered Northern Ireland in exchange for a co-operation effort with the Allies. He refused. What does this tell you about the extent of Irish/Allied co-operation?

            Irish intelligence had too few, too poor quality DF sets to have much of an impact on German agents, though they did capture some men & equipment. Eventually.

            Secret airfields? Was one of those at Abbeyshrule, perchance?

            Some of the Irish military leaders were pro British. Others were very definitely pro-German. Any co-operation given was informal, with Irish officers and officials working for UK intelligence as spooks- ideological spooks who happened to be on the right side of histroy, but spies spying against their own people nonetheless. Aside from anything else, official co-operation would have resulted in the information being passed almost directly to the Germans, because of the aforementioned pro-German elements in Irish officialdom.

            So the "help" we gave the Allies was the same asthe "help" Sweden gave the Germans. We didn't have a choice in the matter, and got some good out of the situation. Where else were we going to export our food (or send our unemployed to fight)? Occupied France? I don't think there was a passenger service Cork to Le Harve in the war years.

            And as for the Vatican Pimpernel, I don't think the actions of one man who happened to be Irish reflect official Irish policy. It's kind of like saying the US owes a massive debt of gratitude to Germany for Henry Kissinger. (He was German, right?)
            Take these men and women for your example.
            Like them, remember that posterity can only
            be for the free; that freedom is the sure
            possession of those who have the
            courage to defend it.
            ***************
            Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.
            ***************
            If you're not ready to die for it, put the word freedom out of your vocabulary.

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            • #7
              Your "facts" doesn't reflect well on your level of knowledge on this subject - e.g Ireland had no Spitfires in WWII.

              Irish military intelligence, contrary to your assertions has been considered the star performer of the Irish army during the emergency.

              The extent of Allied / Irish cooperation may be judged by the fact that the US wanted to award an Irish general a medal for the assitance he provided them, but this was blocked by the Irish govt so as not to bring our "neutrality" into question. You seem very sure any cooperation rendered in this area was an informa individual thing - I'd dispute that. Evidence strongly points to official cooperation.

              Which Irish military leaders (strange term btw) were pro-German, as a matter of interest? If you have information about high-level German sympathisers in the Irish government or military (to the extent they'd leak information to the Germans), you really better publish it and earn some renown as a historian.

              The secret airfield thing is an unconfirmed, persistent rumour that keeps cropping up. The official story of it's being a dispersal airfield for the Air Corps is undermined by the fact the A/C didn't have much to disperse at the time. I reckon it'll take another 40 years or so till we know for sure.

              As for the Vatican, evidence points to the Irish embassy staff haveing assisted the POW / Jewish escape efforts on many occasions. Whether or not this was official policy is unclear.
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              With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

              Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ask them to read landfall Ireland byDonal Mccarron and them say we did nothing. We returned all aircraft an and their fittings to Northen Irekand for assesment. After 143 all akkied aimen who coucld prove that ther were on traing flights we not interen .
                There were two Direct flight as over country sloigo and donegall to aid ailed flying boatsWe also Aided the organisers of operation Torch when their aircraft carrying the overall plans go lost.

                We rescued hundreds of seaman...and our people joined foreigh armies by the thousands and were given manya wards

                Tell my cousin Flight Sergeant James Norris that he did nothing as he liesin a war graves comissiom grave in Waterford having been killed on active service as a lancaster tailgunner in sept 1944


                And we did nothing....hah! we were the silet partner aan ths ahs be amdimtted by several top states me in the US ann UK after the war.
                Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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                • #9
                  Sorry about the quality of typing as both my first and second fingers on my left hand have sticthes due to un noticed broken glass while mowing the lawn this morning
                  Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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                  • #10
                    Some American generals even proposed awarding medals to irish Top brass fofr their contribution, but it was decided against in the end, as it may embarass the Irish government. I think the there may have even been on MOH in among the medals to be awarded.
                    The trick to pet names is a combination of affectionate nouns. Honeybun. Sugarpie. Kittentits.

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                    • #11
                      More likely a Legion of Merit.
                      Meh.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by yellowjacket
                        Your "facts" doesn't reflect well on your level of knowledge on this subject - e.g Ireland had no Spitfires in WWII.
                        My "facts" reflect about ten minutes skimming through a book on espionage in Ireland by MI5 during WW2 last week- deceptively titled "MI5 and Ireland" or something. I haven't actually read it, but it's supposedly based on official documents. It implies that imformal assistance only being given, but as I say, I only skimmed it.
                        Take these men and women for your example.
                        Like them, remember that posterity can only
                        be for the free; that freedom is the sure
                        possession of those who have the
                        courage to defend it.
                        ***************
                        Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.
                        ***************
                        If you're not ready to die for it, put the word freedom out of your vocabulary.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think what ticks a lot of people off about Ireland in WW2 is that we sent a message of sympathy to Germany when Hitler died.

                          Sure didn't the soviets block our membership of the UN because of our neutrality.
                          It is only by contemplation of the incompetent that we can appreciate the difficulties and accomplishments of the competent.

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                          • #14
                            Well maybe you would read it more thoroughly before posting again, then maybe it will be a factual answer. I have learned the hard way here that there is someone who always 'knows' more on a topic then you, so Jag don't go treyin to be the expert on this after only a few minutes reading, a very biased and untrue account of what went on(this commetn on the book was made by person who has a phd in history)
                            The trick to pet names is a combination of affectionate nouns. Honeybun. Sugarpie. Kittentits.

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                            • #15
                              in "Wings overe Ireland" the author describes how the Irish and British built an airfield in Cork which they could use if british forces were ever forced out of britian
                              There is no problem that cannot be fixed with high explosive.

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