Skip to comments.How Irish soldiers were blacklisted for daring to help Britain fight Hitler
Posted on 01/26/2012 6:50:22 PM PST by the scotsman
'The young airman was desperate to be back with his family and friends at the end of the war. He had done his bit to see off Hitler and make the world a safer place. His one wish now was to be home with my people. But, instead of a heros welcome, what Irishman Martin Walsh feared was being arrested and locked up.
Sir, he wrote plaintively from England to the authorities in Dublin in 1946, I wish to return as a free Irish citizen once more, without detention or punishment. I would like to have my freedom in Eire and not be caged up like a bird when I go home.
He sought a written pass to protect me from the military and the police. His crime? Leaving Ireland and crossing the water to join the British forces in the struggle against Nazi Germany. It left him in a cruel limbo that, 65 years later, is still scandalously unresolved.
As many as 5,000 troops lived in fear after the War because they deserted to help the British despite Ireland's neutrality.'
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
“because they deserted to help the British despite Ireland’s neutrality”
If they were deserters then the title is misleading; in any case they had a foe much closer to home who unlike Germany, is still there. In 1916 a previous German administration gave Ireland the guns that eventually helped them get independence for the Republic; Ireland (and the US) had no reason to fight for Stalin or Hitler.
Interesting...this just showed up in my email
to put it into perspective:
During the war, few people knew the extent of Hitler’s atrocities, but the Irish people still remembered the potato famine that some claim killed half the population.
No the Brits didn’t start the potato famine: but they did export local wheat and grain during the famine, and they allowed landlords to destroy the homes of those who couldn’t pay the rent.
As one Irishman lamented: If only they had been kind...
But they weren’t, because they were influenced by Malthus.
Now that’s pitiful.
I will bet you wonder why you are disliked
For whatever reason, the elected leader of Ireland wanted the country to be neutral, and in order to be taken seriously by Germany, they had to put some penalties into this. One could make an argument (not necessarily my argument) that if they “pardoned” these people now, how could the Irish government be taken seriously as neutral in any future war. Again, these are not necessarily my opinions so don’t beat me up.
Keep in mind that US (one, I think) and British soldiers were actually kept “prisoners” in an IRISH(!) POW camp during the war, some from planes that crashed or made emergency landings in Ireland. I don’t think they were treated badly, and the POW camp was pretty posh by “prison” standards. Although there was virtually no security, I think both governments basically assigned these soldiers there and they were told not to make any attempt to escape!
I am a WWII buff, and I’ve never heard this story about the Irish POW camps. Thank you for the information.
There are still quite a few Indian WWII vets that are treated as pariahs because they fought with the British. There was a pretty serious Independence movement in India even in the early 40s and both Japan and Germany tried to foster that to keep them out of the war. These vets were looked upon as traitors and shunned when they came home.
Ireland, Switzerland, and Sweden never received the approbation they deserved for their “neutrality”. The Swiss and Swedes enriched their coffers with the wealth gained from ding germany with weapons, machine tools, and raw materials. The Swiss dealings regarding the Jews are well known, and Swedish socialism was paid in part by money from germany which bought iron ore and tungsten steel used in Tiger tanks and 88mm AT shells.. The govt of Eire did not actively provide military supplies but Irish cities remained lit at night,giving Luftwaffe bombers refenence navigation points, and the refusal to allow the Royal Navy and later the U.S. Navy the facilities around Cobh ( Queenstown) created a far larger stretch of ocean which convoys had to traverse without the umbrella of land based air. this added to the losses suffered and merchant seamen lives lost until the defeat of the U Boat at the end of 43. But I had never heard of this. All I can say is DISGRACE!!
Well put. Add the fact that Irish soldiers were poured into the front lines during the first World War, and you’ve got a pretty good reason to fight on Germany’s side in the next war. But the Irish still attempted to remain neutral, probably because of pressure from their U. S. relatives who made up the largest immigrant contingent of American forces.
Ive seen a movie about it, but cant recall the name.
Neutrality was the right choice for Eire. England got bombed to bits. So did Ulster, which was and remains part of Britain. But Eire sat it out with nary a scratch. They just broke out the popcorn and watched the show. After 800 years of English oppression, it must have been gratifying indeed.
The Brylcreem Boys.
As late as 1916 the British navy pounded Dublin with naval gun fire killing 10’s of thousands of innocent Irish to punish them for the nerve of not wanting to remain their slaves. The British kept the Irish in slavery for hundreds of years. The Irish owe Britain nothing except contempt at best. The British were some of the biggest no good bastards in modern history. They invented the concentration camp in South Africa. They committed genocide in Africa and East Asia. Murder, slaving, and looting are what characterized the British Empire. All else is just propaganda. The best thing that has happened to the Western world in centuries is when millions of young English were killed in WWI and they lost their manhood. Americans knew this well until JP Morgan teamed up with the Bank of England right before WWI and suppressed dissent violently and wrote all of the British misdeeds out of American history books however the Irish have not forgotten since so much of the British evil was shoved down their throat. There is every reason to see what those several thousand Irish soldiers as consorting with the enemy.
My best friend’s father was in the Irish militia and told his son they would use navigation signals to draw the German air force off course which would then have the RAF follow them over Ireland. The Irish would then shoot down the RAF. That’s what the Irish thought of the English in WWII.
If your country had been held in slavery by the British, raped, mass murdered, and looted (including exporting food from Ireland while the people were starving) you wouldn’t find the conduct so disgraceful. In fact if you did think it was OK to support such people, then you’d be as big a dirtbag as the scummy British were. And by the way, it was recently admitted that Churchill started the terror bombing in WWII when they found themselves losing the war. So murdering German civilians was OK as long as it supported the war effort? Churchill was just as big a stinker as Hitler ever was. You have just bought into English propaganda. Churchill himself said at Nuremburg that had the Allies lost the war that he would have been in the dock. Most people think this was because even though innocent that those nasty Germans would have been picking on him. Churchill however, knew better. He was a highly literate murdering bastard.
Being that the largest white ethnic group in the U.S. is, or was until recently, German, where do you get the stat.’s that say it was Irish?
“Now thats pitiful.
I will bet you wonder why you are disliked”
You must be proud of the defense of “Uncle Joe” Stalin; if there is any silver lining to your support of that murderer, I guess it could be that the Soviet Union ended the murder of the Jews (Roosevelt wouldn’t even bomb the railroad tracks into the camps - no military value).
Had Black Americans refused to support the war effort in 42 and worked to sabotage it, would you agree that they were justified. Please don’t lecture me on the Famine. My maternal great great grandfather came here in Black 47, his son went up Mayre’s heights in the 69th NYV. If you can look at Hitler and Churchill and see the same person you’ve as poor a grasp on historical reality as Pat Buchanan. Also, the mass bombings did not begin until we had joined the war. The night bombimgs of Britain began in full after September of 40 at a time when the RAF had too few four engine bombers to conduct any more than nuisance raids on the Reich. And the two greatest terror raids, Hamburg in 43 and Dresden in 45, were bonfires compared to Tokyo in March of 45 by the XX Air Force. Do you condemn that raid which killed over 100,000 civilians?
My great uncle was killed at the Somme in France in 1917.
He joined the British Army in Dublin as did thousands of his fellow Irishmen to fight against the Germans.
Sadly if he would have survived WWI he would have undergone massive hate against him by the Irish when he returned from the war.