31 May 1941 - 75 years ago today - the Bombing of the North Strand Dublin by the Luftwaffe

Catalpast

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31 May 1941 – German bombing of North Strand, Dublin on this day – 28 dead, 90 + injured and over 300 houses were destroyed or damaged. Smaller bombs damaged the American Embassy and Áras an Uachtarain the official home of President Douglas Hyde. The bombing was in all probability accidental and the German Government apologised in June 1941 for the attack. After the War the post war Government of Germany paid compensation for the destruction and damaged caused. The bombings were the worst experienced in the Irish Free State during the War or ‘The Emergency’ as those times were called here.




The first fifteen burials took place on June 4th with the internment of the tragic Brown family in their native Drumcooley, outside Edenderry and the burial of eight more in Glasnevin and in Dean's Grange cemeteries in Dublin. Twelve of those killed were buried by Dublin Corporation at a Public Funeral on 5 June, at which Government members including Eamon De Valera attended. The service took place in the Church of St. Laurence O'Toole, Seville Place and was presided over by Archbishop McQuaid.


An Taoiseach Eamon De Valera made the following statement:


Members of the Dáil desire to be directly associated with the expression of sympathy already tendered by the Government on behalf of the nation to the great number of our citizens who have been so cruelly bereaved by the recent bombing. Although a complete survey has not yet been possible, the latest report which I have received is that 27 persons were killed outright or subsequently died; 45 were wounded or received other serious bodily injury and are still in hospital; 25 houses were completely destroyed and 300 so damaged as to be unfit for habitation, leaving many hundreds of our people homeless. It has been for all our citizens an occasion of profound sorrow in which the members of this House have fully shared.




The Dáil will also desire to be associated with the expression of sincere thanks which has gone out from the Government and from our whole community to the several voluntary organisations the devoted exertions of whose members helped to confine the extent of the disaster and have mitigated the sufferings of those affected by it. As I have already informed the public, a protest has been made to the German Government. The Dáil will not expect me, at the moment, to say more on this head.

 


rainmaker

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I'm sure there will be one or two along shortly to claim the Brits were behind it...
 

Catalpast

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I'm sure there will be one or two along shortly to claim the Brits were behind it...
They may have been

- they were jamming the German beam technology at the time and it is postulated - I put it no strongly than that - that the German pilots 'lost their way' as a result....

Who knows....:confused:
 

cut the begs

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the orangeman in the aras had something to do with dev sending fire brigades north to help out.retaliation maybe.
 

rainmaker

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Explain please?
Dev had assisted Belfast with fire engines and crews when Belfast was blitzed, there have been suspicions by some that the raid of 31st May was not accidental & was in fact revenge for this & a warning to remain neutral.

I personally doubt the theory. Were it true Germany would not have apologized, and having flown all that way across hostile British airspace to make such a point, far more than four bombs would have been used to make it.

There had been earlier bombings of Dublin by the Germans and even Wexford had been bombed with three fatalities - this was likely a continuation of such errors.

I don't know what point that poster is trying to make though, but I doubt Dev was pressured by anyone to send fire and rescue assistance North.
 
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Catalpast

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Dev had assisted Belfast with fire engines and crews when Belfast was blitzed, there have been suspicions by some that the raid of 31st May was not accidental & was in fact revenge for this & a warning to remain neutral.

I personally doubt the theory. Were it true Germany would not have apologized, and having flown all that way across hostile British airspace to make such a point, far more than four bombs would have been used to make it.

There had been earlier bombings of Dublin by the Germans and even Wexford had been bombed with three fatalities - this was likely a continuation of such errors.

I don't know what point that poster is trying to make though, but I doubt Dev was pressured by anyone to send fire and rescue assistance North.
Indeed - IIRC they initially apologised in June 1941

If that is so I think it must be the only apology - the Nazis ever issued to a Neutral State in WWII for attacking them!
 

Odyessus

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I'm sure there will be one or two along shortly to claim the Brits were behind it...


"The bombing of Dublin on the night of May 30th, 1941, may well have been an unforeseen and unintended result of our interference with "Y". [The German bomber radio beam guidance system.]

- Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Volume II, Their Finest Hour, 1949, Cassell, London. page 344.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Beams
 

APettigrew92

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Indeed - IIRC they initially apologised in June 1941

If that is so I think it must be the only apology - the Nazis ever issued to a Neutral State in WWII for attacking them!
Ireland's position relative to the Battle of the Atlantic was crucial to both the Allies and the Axis.

Churchill often lamented how "Éire" had screwed him out of thousands of lives and tonnes of shipping. The treaty ports were a sore topic for him especially.

No doubt the Kriegsmarine would not have appreciated open Irish involvement in aiding Allied shipping.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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In 1999, Robert Fisk did a piece for the [London] Independent on Sunday.

Before descending into a spate of rhetorical questions, it used "witnesses" to rehearse three theories (and I summarise for those too bone-idle to follow the hot-link):
  • "Heinrich" tells how the raid was intended for Belfast;
  • "Colonel Edward Flynn, second cousin of neutral Ireland's Minister for Coordination of Defensive Measures, one-time British army officer and former special adviser to the Bahraini government" recounts hearing "Lord Haw-Haw" previously warn that Amiens Street station was a target because of Belfast refugees, and Dundalk was being used to export cattle;
  • the "bending of the beams" theory, that German aircraft simply and literally "lost the plot" over the Irish Sea.
 

Felixness

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Didn't we just celebrate the Centenary of our ''glorious revolution'', ya know the one where the ''leaders'' bought guns from the Germans while the rest of our neighbours were off fighting the Germans, ya know, the Germans who bombed Dublin?
 

former wesleyan

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I thought that the Nazis flew to lit up Dublin and turned right for Belfast ?
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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Indeed - IIRC they initially apologised in June 1941
Keyword there: "initially".

The Irish Times (6th June 1941) doesn't quite suggest an "apology". If German aircraft were involved, it was an accident, because there can be no question of any intentional attack on Éire territory.

The version in Kevin C Kearns:
Finally, in 1958, seventeen years after the bombing of Dublin, the Germans accepted responsibility—without admitting guilt—and paid the Irish Government £327,000, against a total claim of £481,878. Victims had been promised by the Government fair compensation for their loss of home and possessions. Many testify that, apart from the army blankets and mattresses, they received a measly £10 to £12, at most, as reimbursement for lost furniture and personal possessions. They resented it then and they still resented it more than sixty years later.
North Strand was preceded by:
  • the mild straffeing the SS Kerry received in August 1940;
  • the bomb that fell on Duncormick, Co. Wexford, with a second (killing three girls) on the Campile, Co. Wexford, creamery on 26th August 1940;
  • the bombs that fell near Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, on 25th October;
  • the machine-gunning en passant of the mail-boat Cambria, barely forty minutes out of Dún Laoghaire, in early December;
  • the bombs that fell on Sandycove railway station, injuring three, in early evening on 20th December;
  • in the early morning of 2nd January, 1942, the stick of eight bombs that fell on Knockroe, County Carlow, killing three daughters of the Shannon family, and seriously injuring their parents and the fourth sister;
  • the three-dozen or so incendiaries and HE dropped on the Curragh the following evening (2nd January 1941). One unexploded bomb was identified as German, and the Evening Herald reported a single violent death: out in the fields a rabbit was killed;
  • later that same evening three bombs fell on Ballymurrin, between Enniscorthy and Wexford: no damage or casualties.
Many of those events could, just could be explained by the Luftwaffe navigators, flying out of bases in Brittany and Normandy, following the Dublin and South Eastern railway line along the coast, heading for targets further North, and pulling the plug too soon (or out of carelessness).

The War came to Dublin that 2nd January 1941: at just after 6 a.m. four bombs fell on Terenure, demolishing a pair of houses and damaging others.

It continued the following day, when a single bomb hit Donore Terrace, by the South Circular Road, causing two houses to collapse. This area was "Little Jerusalem" with the proximity of (and damage to) the South Circular Road Synagogue. Some even looked wise and made a link to the Isaacson family, who had been one of those made homeless in Terenure.

If Dublin had been stirred, but not greatly shaken by these earlier bombings, by January 1941 the expatriate Irish-American press had been. AP in Berlin went looking for a suitable quote. The response was a bland denial: Those bombs are English or they are imaginary. Our fliers have not been over Ireland, and have not been sent there, so someone else will have to explain these bombs.

Stuff like that didn't sell too well along the Irish east coast, where the drone — not always distant — of German bombers heading up the Irish Sea was regular. The immediate consequences were something of a rush to join the civil defence corps and a miserable time for the Dublin city manager who was berated for failing to provide adequate warnings and bomb shelters.

The excitement over, a complacency settled in across Dublin, with its high spot the 25th anniversary of the Easter Rising: 20,000 taking 2½ hours to pass the GPO. That was the night Belfast got its first real pasting (14th April 1941 there had been a small raid, just six bombers targeting Harland and Wolff, a week earlier).
 

Belfastdan

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Didn't we just celebrate the Centenary of our ''glorious revolution'', ya know the one where the ''leaders'' bought guns from the Germans while the rest of our neighbours were off fighting the Germans, ya know, the Germans who bombed Dublin?
Would that be the same Germans that the loyal sons of Ulster purchased their Mauser rifles from?
 


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