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Why Irish soldiers who fought Hitler hide their medals
BBC News ^ | 28th December 2011 | John Waite

Posted on 12/28/2011 5:32:30 AM PST by the scotsman

'Five thousand Irish soldiers who swapped uniforms to fight for the British against Hitler went on to suffer years of persecution.

One of them, 92-year-old Phil Farrington, took part in the D-Day landings and helped liberate the German death camp at Bergen-Belsen - but he wears his medals in secret.

Even to this day, he has nightmares that he will be arrested by the authorities and imprisoned for his wartime service. "They would come and get me, yes they would," he said in a frail voice at his home in the docks area of Dublin. And his 25-year-old grandson, Patrick, confirmed: "I see the fear in him even today, even after 65 years."

Mr Farrington's fears are not groundless. He was one of about 5,000 Irish soldiers who deserted their own neutral army to join the war against fascism and who were brutally punished on their return home as a result.

They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.

A special "list" was drawn up containing their names and addresses, and circulated to every government department, town hall and railway station - anywhere the men might look for a job. It was referred to in the Irish parliament - the Dail - at the time as a "starvation order", and for many of their families the phrase became painfully close to the truth.'

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Germany; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: fartyshadesofgreen; germany; hitler; ireland; irishsoldiers; uktroops; veterans; worldwareleven; wwii
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1 posted on 12/28/2011 5:32:33 AM PST by the scotsman
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To: the scotsman

That’s awful. God bless and keep these brave men for their sacrifices. Too bad they didn’t emigrate to the US after the war. They would’ve been welcomed with open arms.

Is there still animosity between the different factions on the Isles? I’m of Scottish lineage, but most of my predecessors have played their pipes to the Pearly Gates.


2 posted on 12/28/2011 5:36:11 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: the scotsman

Disgraceful.


3 posted on 12/28/2011 5:36:40 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (A communist is just a liberal in a hurry)
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To: the scotsman

We’re off to Dublin in the green, in the green
Our helmets glistening in the sun
Where the bayonets flash and the rifles clash
To the echo of the Thompson gun


4 posted on 12/28/2011 5:40:22 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: the scotsman
I'd estimate that 60% of the population expected or indeed hoped the Germans would win.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite the face.

5 posted on 12/28/2011 5:43:02 AM PST by John123 (US$ - I owe you nothing. Euro - Who owes you nothing.)
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To: the scotsman

I believe there are some Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and Belgians that have the same problem, and they won’t be seen wearing their Iron Crosses.


6 posted on 12/28/2011 5:46:10 AM PST by Bringbackthedraft ( WHO YOU ELECT IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS WHO THEY APPOINT!)
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To: John123

It’s understandable, really, when you look at the history of British policies that had the intention of Irish genocide.


7 posted on 12/28/2011 5:56:29 AM PST by wolfpat (Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. -- Cicero)
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To: the scotsman
helped liberate the German death camp at Bergen-Belsen

G-d bless these men.

8 posted on 12/28/2011 5:56:53 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: the scotsman

This is a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and the Irish enmity to England has very deep roots. There is a program on the Smithsonian Cable Channel, “Cromwell: God’s Executioner”, that details just one series of episodes in a very long line.

It appears that this feeling is diminishing now but I have a hunch that it is still a bred-in-the-bones thing that can resurface. When you experience an 800+ year battle for independence from a much stronger nation, this feeling does not disappear after just a generation or two.


9 posted on 12/28/2011 5:57:35 AM PST by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existance!)
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To: rarestia

“Is there still animosity between the different factions on the Isles?”

Does the sun still rise in the east every day?


10 posted on 12/28/2011 6:04:27 AM PST by NVDave
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To: SES1066; the scotsman; rarestia; reagan_fanatic; Lonesome in Massachussets; John123; ...
When you experience an 800+ year battle for independence from a much stronger nation, this feeling does not disappear after just a generation or two.

True. Yet I see so many ignorant fools on FR begging for "let it all crash" and "bring on civil war II."

They have no idea how such things typically go, as with 1916 in Ireland or 1920's in Berlin.

11 posted on 12/28/2011 6:09:29 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: the scotsman

During WWII the IRA would light fires on roofs in Belfast to guide in German bombers.


12 posted on 12/28/2011 6:15:04 AM PST by AU72
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To: AU72

I’ve also heard that that was a myth. But some of my English friends still spread it around. Is there some documentation on this?


13 posted on 12/28/2011 6:18:30 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: NVDave
Interestingly, if you go on some of the Irish newspaper blogs you will read an unbelievable amount of hatred towards America. They have convinced themselves that we were responsible for the IRA violence of the 60s and 70s - mostly because of people like Ted Kennedy. When Americans point out that it was a very small percentage of Americans who donated to NORAID, they refuse to listen to reason. Some even think that the majority of Americans are of Irish/English descent!
14 posted on 12/28/2011 6:24:08 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: sam_paine

If the Irish had been tangling with the Germans instead of the British, the Irish countryside would be scared with mass graves and burned out villages.


15 posted on 12/28/2011 6:28:55 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: miss marmelstein

Penetrating political analysis has never been a strong attribute of the Irish, whether there or here.


16 posted on 12/28/2011 6:36:25 AM PST by NVDave
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To: the scotsman

They define this as “brutally punished”: “They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.”

That’s pretty routine in many countries for deserters. If Ireland had been at war, they could have been shot!


17 posted on 12/28/2011 6:37:25 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: John123
Talk about cutting off your nose to spite the face.

Millions starved to death as the Brits stole their livestock and feasted accross the Iris Sea not 100 years before the rise of Hitler. An injustice such as that is not just forgotten.

18 posted on 12/28/2011 6:39:19 AM PST by frithguild (Restricting access to capital - Liberalism: The sharpest tool of big business.)
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To: the scotsman
It should be noted that these men deserted the Irish Army. Deserters are punished, unless your head of state is a pansy like James Earl Carter. Irish civilians who enlisted in the British armed forces were not treated in this manner.
19 posted on 12/28/2011 6:46:44 AM PST by Cheburashka (If life hands you lemons, government regulations will prevent you from making lemonade.)
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To: NVDave

The Irish are superb at the Blame Game as Eugene O’Neill once pointed out. Whether Irish-American or citizens of the Old Sod. (And I should know!)


20 posted on 12/28/2011 6:46:45 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: frithguild

Thats a grossly simplistic reading of the Famine.

A Famine that killed hundreds of thousands of Protestants, contrary to myth which has only the Catholics deliberately starved. And Britain tried in several ways to alleviate the Famine, including buying grain from the US.


21 posted on 12/28/2011 6:54:24 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: the scotsman

There were many Irishmen, and IRA operatives that fought for the whermacht


22 posted on 12/28/2011 6:54:35 AM PST by yank in the UK (decapitation before capitulation)
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To: frithguild

And the idea that Britain 1840’s feasted is ridiculous.

Most British people in 1845 were little better than the Irish. Most were poor and working class.


23 posted on 12/28/2011 6:55:40 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: Cheburashka

In the last few years in Great Britain, on Remembrance Day, English tv does a documentary on some long dead, young English soldier who was executed for cowardice during the First World War. These shows are unbearably moving. They find the descendents of these young soldiers who try and tell their history through photos and family lore. Many of these young men were victims of shell shock and/or gassing.

Personally, I think the men who deserted the Irish Army and joined up to fight Hitler were and are heroes.


24 posted on 12/28/2011 6:56:57 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: the scotsman

There were many Irishmen, and IRA operatives that fought for the whermacht


26 posted on 12/28/2011 7:00:28 AM PST by yank in the UK (decapitation before capitulation)
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To: Cheburashka; vladimir998

True.

I think the point is that given what they did, and why they deserted (they didnt desert out of cowardice, in fact the complete opposite!), and that whilst other Irishmen supported and even helped the Nazis, they fought them, that over 70 years after the war started, that Ireland should celebrate these men and their heroism and bravery and moral choice. And treat them accordingly.

Its ironic imo that whilst Ireland was essentially founded by terrorists and had for many years men in govt who were guilty of some appalling crimes and were hateful men towards the British and even simply Protestants, that these brave men who deliberately deserted because they wanted to fight evil are pariahs.


27 posted on 12/28/2011 7:02:17 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: miss marmelstein

They did.
As did some Welsh Nationalists.


28 posted on 12/28/2011 7:02:23 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: central_va

Did you read the article? These frail old men who were at the D-Day landings, imprisoned by the Japanese and helped to liberate Bergen Belson?

Of course, I tend to think of the IRA (especially in those days) as a raggle-taggle militia. Some of my ancestors were at the Post Office on Easter Day.


29 posted on 12/28/2011 7:04:28 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: yank in the UK

True.

Thankfully they were massively outnumbered by those who fought the Wermacht, SS, Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine....

Even many who hated the British stopped well short of supporting the odious regime of Hitler.


30 posted on 12/28/2011 7:04:56 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: miss marmelstein

Amen sister.


31 posted on 12/28/2011 7:05:58 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: central_va

You either need a course in reading comprehension or a course of psychotherapy.


32 posted on 12/28/2011 7:06:56 AM PST by Vide
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To: the scotsman

Sorry, do you mean the lighting of fires on the roofs?

My best pal (a victim of the Blitz) always says they simply lighted lamps during the blackouts. Since he’s always pretty snide about my people, I tend to disbelieve him, lol.


33 posted on 12/28/2011 7:07:34 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: frithguild
They didn't steal the cattle, but the facts were bad enough. The cattle and other foodstuffs were transported legally as hundreds of thousands of Irish died from starvation. There were organizations in England that tried to help the Irish as the famine took it's toll, but it was too little too late. On a recent trip to Ireland, my wife and I saw hundreds of these long since deserted "famine houses" that dot the Irish countryside especially in the west and southwest. It lent sort of sad, eerie quality to what was otherwise a wonderful trip.

Having said that, the Irish who left to fight Hitler should be honored. Even if they deserted to do it.

34 posted on 12/28/2011 7:07:59 AM PST by driftless2
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To: the scotsman

Amen, brother!


35 posted on 12/28/2011 7:09:24 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: miss marmelstein

They werent, thats a myth.

The early IRA were terrorists, and did target civilians. In 1916, 1918-22, and people completely forget the bombings on mainland Britain by the IRA just before WW2. The idea that the early IRA were somehow morally different to the IRA of 1969-today is frankly a nonsense.

The modern IRA has simply been better armed and more efficient.


36 posted on 12/28/2011 7:09:50 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: central_va

I guess about ninety percent of the people on this forum are “messed up” and “sick”, huh?


37 posted on 12/28/2011 7:10:37 AM PST by driftless2
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To: the scotsman

We do worse to deserters in the U.S. military.


38 posted on 12/28/2011 7:13:30 AM PST by NavVet ("You Lie!")
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To: miss marmelstein; Vide
and joined up to fight Hitler

My apologies

, I mis-read the statement I though it said fight for Hitler.

I was just reading about the supporters of Hitler from Ireland and the middle east during WWII. I got your statement reversed. So sorry. I read the entire article and I agree.

39 posted on 12/28/2011 7:14:46 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: miss marmelstein

They lit fires in the surrounding mountains to guide the Luftwaffe into Belfast.

http://markhumphrys.com/sfira.tyranny.html#ww2
http://blog.z-word.com/2009/01/gaza-jewish-legislator-in-ireland-compared-to-goebbels/


40 posted on 12/28/2011 7:15:58 AM PST by the scotsman (I)
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To: driftless2
I read her statement wrong , I have apologized. I thought is said fight for Hitler. My bad, Very bad mistake.
41 posted on 12/28/2011 7:16:02 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: the scotsman

I would recommend to you a memoir by Hugh Leonard, the fine Irish playwright, entitled “Home Before Dark.” He recounts his Dublin childhood during the ‘30s and ‘40s. His wonderfully naive and kindly adopted father (”Da”) was continually giving the Hitler salute during the War - only to be excoriated by his fellow Dubliners. He had fought during the 1916 Revolution and was very bitter towards the English - the awful Black and Tans.

The Irish have a very sad, mixed-up history...


42 posted on 12/28/2011 7:17:53 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: the scotsman

It is almost impossible for a nation or people to forgive and forget that some of their soldiers who took an oath would desert to fight along side an ancient enemy. The fact that that enemy was fighting an even more evil nation and ideology is essentially immaterial to those who were betrayed.

That’s how real life works. We would be no different most likely.


43 posted on 12/28/2011 7:17:56 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: Vide
You either need a course in reading comprehension or a course of psychotherapy.

My wife would agree about the psychotherapy, but I think more coffee would help my reading comprehension.

44 posted on 12/28/2011 7:19:18 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va
That's OK! When you called me “sick,” I just thought you were another Rick Perry supporter coming out to harass me! We all misread things - me most of all.
45 posted on 12/28/2011 7:21:16 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: miss marmelstein
Personally, I think the men who deserted the Irish Army and joined up to fight Hitler were and are heroes.

Such is your right, and perhaps they were. I have always felt disdain for the de Valera government's neutrality policy during WWII, especially since the government entered into secret talks about how the United Kingdom would come to Eire's aid in the event of a German invasion of the latter. Nonetheless, every army worthy of the name must punish deserters.
46 posted on 12/28/2011 7:25:28 AM PST by Cheburashka (If life hands you lemons, government regulations will prevent you from making lemonade.)
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To: the scotsman

I have never been a fan of the IRA although, as I said, some of my ancestors were part of the 1916 Rebellion (or so they said!) I didn’t want to call them terrorists as well as a pretty sadsack army, simply to avoid being flamed!!


47 posted on 12/28/2011 7:25:43 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: Cheburashka

Thank you for pointing out what should be obvious.


48 posted on 12/28/2011 7:27:34 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: the scotsman

I had to laugh at the part that said the IRA lit the fires but the Luftwaffe did not notice! Typical of the disorganized nature of this crack “army.”


49 posted on 12/28/2011 7:39:59 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: vladimir998
You might try reading the entire article:
"They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.

A special "list" was drawn up containing their names and addresses, and circulated to every government department, town hall and railway station - anywhere the men might look for a job.

It was referred to in the Irish parliament - the Dail - at the time as a "starvation order", and for many of their families the phrase became painfully close to the truth.
Not many nations choose starvation of the families of deserters as a suitable punishment. Also most nations grant an amnesty after a few years to those deserters who have evaded capture.
50 posted on 12/28/2011 7:40:44 AM PST by Sudetenland (Anybody but Obama!!!!)
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