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Ireland-A strategic advantage for the Axis in WW2?

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  • Ireland-A strategic advantage for the Axis in WW2?

    How now All!

    Maybe this was raised before, i donno (i'm a newbie to posts here - always spent too much time reading yer addictive posts!!)

    Just wondering what yer thoughts are on the tactical advantage of Axis troops in occupied Ireland during the war? The Brits would've been surrounded on 3 sides (Ireland, France & Norway far to the east), so it would've caused even more chaos for them. Hitler did have plans to invade, can't think of the operation codeword now but the invasion/basing of German forces here would have been swift, right?

    If he hadn't turned his attention to Russia (his ultimate downfall), Ireland would've been next (?) and things would've turned out a whole lot different.
    Courage is being scared to death, but saddlin'up anyway - John Wayne

  • #2
    Operation Green I believe.

    The Brits had plans to invade Ireland too, we've always been a worry for them, ever since the old kingdoms of the 15th century.

    Had Hitler invaded Ireland, the war would have been won.

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    • #3
      If Hitler invaded Ireland the war would have indeed have been won, but the reason for this would be that Britain would already have been out of the running. As long as the RAF and Royal Navy was in existence, a German seaborne invasion of Ireland would not succeed.
      Given British air superiority over Ireland, even a limited German paradrop would be unlikely, and easily within the abilities of the Irish Army to contain.

      So in short, the tactical invasion to Germany of an Irish Invasion would have been minimal, because they would already have won the war!
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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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      • #4
        There was a doucmentry on this on TG4 some years narrated by Mick Lally, of all people.
        I have very little Irish, but was able to follow some of it. it appears that the Irish Army planned fighting a holding action for up to 24 hours to give British forces from the north time to engage.
        I felt this to be optimistic on the part of the defenders, considering how the German army had cut thru' France and the low Countries, 'till I realised that the German Army seemed to lack an armoured element.
        This would seem to assume that the Island of England, Scotland and Wales would not been invaded otherwise there would have been no problem bringing armoured support.
        I think the assumption was that an attack on Ireland would be by an airborn or light-seaborn force.
        As far as I can remember,I have not read or seen any accounts of the actual plans to invade Ireland.
        "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
        Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
        Illegitimi non carborundum

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        • #5
          Wasn't the German plan called "Operation Cabbage Patch" :D


          Seriously though, I believe the British and Irish governments had secret plans drawn up that, in the event of Britain being invaded, the RAF would move a large amount of planes over to our fair isle.

          What was the name of the "secret aerodrome" located in the midlands or south ?
          IRISH AIR CORPS - Serving the Nation.

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          • #6
            The German Plan for the occupation of Ireland was indeed Fall Grun (Operation green). There was no symbolism intended. In fact, the occupation of Czechoslovakia was also called Fall Grun. Anybody who thinks Ireland will never be a target should be aware of this. It called for a combined parachute landing and amphibious assault but was only ever planned as a diversion to an attack on the UK. The Germans did not expect stiff resistance and were confident of victory in a very short time. They would have been right.

            The British plan for the occupation of Ireland was Operation W. It called for trains to be loaded up with Tommys and sent down to Dublin. It makes for curious reading with certain clauses like "if Eire forces friendly". Obviously the plan has 2 contingencies, 1) British forces are summoned to assist repel a German invasion.
            2) British Forces are seizing Ireland on their own initiative (Churchill was sorely tempted).

            Either way, Irish troops expected to be able to defend in a conventional manner for only a few hours. After that it was Guerilla war. De Valera had a somewhat blind faith in his troops to be able to repel invasion. They would have been hopelessly outclassed and annhilated/captured depending on who invaded.

            If Hitler had invaded... depends on timing. If after Dunkirk, he had immeadiatly jumped on Ireland, Britain would have sued for peace, with the Western Approached denied her, it is likely that Halifax would have become Prime Minister and the Duke of Windsors peace overtures would have succeded. Ireland would have become a protectorate of sorts, Northern Ireland would have remained in the UK (Hitler did not want to break up or harm the British Empire as mad as it sounds) and Germany would have eventually been defeated by the red Army/ or used nukes against them in a desperate attempt to stave them off.

            If Hitler had invaded later, particularly after the US had entered the war, it is likely that Ireland would have become something of a battle ground. Many of us here may not be posting as some of our ancestors would undoubtadly have been killed. Britain would not be willing to accept a Free independent Ireland after this, and would likely maintain a military presence there, although Churchill, being a very astute guy, would have suggested US forces, probably with Irish names, who knows we may have had New Yorks fighting 69th in Dublin?

            After the war is when things are more interesting, but that is another thread and my RSI is begining to hurt....
            Meh.

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            • #7
              Gemany could quite easily have invaded Ireland in 1940, Britain could not. The General Staff had a job convincing Churchill of this fact. After Dunkirk the British Army was really badly stretched and would have a had a job defending Britain itself. The Home Guard is an example of how desperate they actually were. Had Germany ignored Russia until the West was conquered he might have won the war. Russia only survived initially with help from Britain and the US. With U-Boat packs and the Luftwaffe operating from the West Coast the Battle of the Atlantic would have swung the other way and we'd all be speaking German today or at least heavily accented English.

              Now I must go and watch United thrash Spurs. :D
              sigpic
              Say NO to violence against Women

              Originally posted by hedgehog
              My favourite moment was when the
              Originally posted by hedgehog
              red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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              • #8
                How exactly could Germany "easily have invaded Ireland" without taking Britain out first? The Germans couldn't go ahead with Operation Sealion because the RAF wasn't wiped out in the Battle of Britain. This would have only involved crossing the English Channel. How would they have gotten a meaningful force to Ireland in the same circumstances, given that British forces would definitely have opposed such a move.
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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


                • #9
                  what would have happened if they did invade us though? given that we had refused to help in any way, would Britain have defended us for any other reason other that to defend themselves??

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gunner Al
                    what would have happened if they did invade us though? given that we had refused to help in any way, would Britain have defended us for any other reason other that to defend themselves??
                    A good question. There was some resentment in the UK at the time that Ireland was benefitting from the Atlantic sea trade while refusing to do anything to help the British forces who were engaged in a long and close-fought battle to get the convoys across. Even the use of an air base in the south of Ireland for MR planes would have been a great help.

                    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
                    forum

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                    • #11
                      given that British forces would definitely have opposed such a move.

                      There weren't any British forces to oppose the move nor indeed Irish forces. The only meaningful force in existence was the RAF and they only managed to get by because the Luftwaffe switched from attacking RAF bases to civilian targets.
                      sigpic
                      Say NO to violence against Women

                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      My favourite moment was when the
                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Operation Sealion

                        British coasts were very heavily defended for such an invasion and the German's knew this, the only likely way for them to invade England would have been a paraborne operation which would have been defeated easily, as Germany would not of had large enough numbers to defeat British forces.
                        Ireland on the other hand had very weak coastal defences (seamines,tank trap's,anti personnel landmines,coastal arty,naval forces,
                        lack of air cover etc).
                        The government had drawn up plans with both US and British forces based in Northern Ireland in the event of an attack by Axis forces Allied forces would come to our aid within a 24 hour period.
                        The Defence forces could and were not expected to put up more than a token defence of the nation. Ireland could have been over run but this would have been thwarted by the US and British forces before the Island had been taken.
                        There's my two cents on the whole thing!:flagwave:

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                        • #13
                          The importance of the battle of Britain is often overated (ask General Sir John Keegan if you don't believe me) the fact is that Sea lion was a shadow of an operation, that might have been carried out if the whole of Germany's industry was focused on building an invasion force, but Hitler's ambitions on the East effectively put an end to that plan...hence the swithc in Luftwaffe strategy by that Fat idiot to try and demoralise England into surrender (Not that T-Bomber Harris was any better)
                          "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Groundhog
                            There weren't any British forces to oppose the move nor indeed Irish forces. The only meaningful force in existence was the RAF and they only managed to get by because the Luftwaffe switched from attacking RAF bases to civilian targets.
                            The Royal Navy would have decimated any amphibious assault.
                            In any case, the Germans could only scrape together enough barges to make crossing the English Channel a dodgy proposition, they wouldn't have got an awful lot as far as Ireland.

                            If they had tried an air assault, they would have had to deal with the RAF, anything that made it over would have been well within the (very limited) abilities of the Irish Army.
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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


                            • #15
                              Hmmm,

                              I have long said that if Hitler had not stopped at Dunkirk he would have won the war. During the Phoney war he allowed the British to regroup and organise and re equip. While his soldiers were fresh from battle and confident the Nazi's would have swept easily into Britain (Royal Navy being Elsewhere or disorganised) and onto Ireland, or if the British had Resisted, the Assault could be redirected against the south coast of Ireland. The Supply route to the Atlantic Cut off Cork Harbour Playing a Pivital role in controlling the Seas. (A well Defended deep water Port). I think if they had have invaded directly after Dunkirk they would have Won. However I also think this would have brought the Yanks into the war earlier.

                              I also Think a quite capable Irish Resistance would have been formed with Plenty of Lee Enfields already buried around the country :flagwave:

                              Friends Come and Go, but Enemies accumulate!!

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