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British military involvement in the Irish Civil War


JohnD66

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In light of the recent publicity around the memoir that a British howitzer team bombarded the Four Courts;

Memoir suggests British army at opening shots of Civil War - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 30, 2012

This is an article on the role British forces played in the civil war.

British Military Involvement in the Irish Civil War | The Irish Story

In concludes 'it would have humiliated the Empire to grant an independent Irish republic and to admit defeat. Given the military aid, direct and indirect that the British were prepared to give, the Irish Civil War could only have ended one way'

But also that, 'many pro-Treatyites, allegedly those who were doing Britain’s bidding, did not see what they were doing in the same light as their British allies at all.'
 


McTell

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No
Inevitably, as the IRA had no artillery training. I'm surprised that anyone is surprised. You can fire a rifle after 15 minutes, but artillery needs maths and the hardware itself.

Did we want a team of learners blowing up half the city before they hit the 4 courts?
 

parentheses

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There was a recent article in I think the Irish Examiner or Evening Echo about the Civil War.

It claimed that Michael Collin's sister was in Cork before the city was captured by the free State forces. She went around the city recruiting hundreds of former British army men. When the city fell to the free state these men were immediately put into free state uniform and formed the backbone of free state forces in the south
 

Schomberg

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It claimed that Michael Collin's sister was in Cork before the city was captured by the free State forces. She went around the city recruiting hundreds of former British army men. When the city fell to the free state these men were immediately put into free state uniform and formed the backbone of free state forces in the south
It's not uncommon in these situations for soldiers to form new armies. The Gardi were filled with DMP people in Dublin and ex RIC around the country. Anyway, a lot of the IRA were ex Forces, Tom Barry etc. None of them were capable of firing artillery?
 

Schomberg

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Why is it suddenly a suprise to discover that the hardware loaned to the Irish Free State by the UK came with 'operators'.
Why is it so hard to believe that with all these ex Forces people in the ranks of the IRA that none of them were capable of being operators? It all seems very "they joined up to put food on the table".
 

edifice.

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In light of the recent publicity around the memoir that a British howitzer team bombarded the Four Courts;

Memoir suggests British army at opening shots of Civil War - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 30, 2012

This is an article on the role British forces played in the civil war.

British Military Involvement in the Irish Civil War | The Irish Story

In concludes 'it would have humiliated the Empire to grant an independent Irish republic and to admit defeat. Given the military aid, direct and indirect that the British were prepared to give, the Irish Civil War could only have ended one way'

But also that, 'many pro-Treatyites, allegedly those who were doing Britain’s bidding, did not see what they were doing in the same light as their British allies at all.'
Good riposte here. Scroll down!
 
S

SeamusNapoleon

From the article

In fact, it was the shells and not the guns (Howitzers) that were called into question. The shells that were supplied were shrapnel shells unsuitable for use against heavy masonry. It was Emmet Dalton, one of the few Officers on the Pro Treaty side who knew how to fire the guns.
I remember reading a fairly light book on Collins, but where [I'm nearly sure it was] Dalton stated that they were only provided with shrapnel shells as the British didn't trust them with anything else; hence his now-famous 'it was like hitting the building with peaches' comment.
Giggidy.
 

JohnD66

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That appears to be pretty comprehensive all right, edifice. Thanks for the link.
It's not really. It doesn't prove or disprove that there were British gunners to know the background of the National Army teams on the 18 pounders. And something heavy opened those breaches in the walls.

Regardless, the point this article was trying to make was that British military aid, both direct and indirect was central to the outcome of the civil war. Not whether that particular 60 pounder fired two shells at the Four Courts. In other words, though it irked many pro-Treaty republicans, they really were effectiely allies or even clients of the British as far as the military campaign of the civil war was concerned.
 
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former wesleyan

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Picasso Republic

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It's not really. It doesn't prove or disprove that there were British gunners to know the background of the National Army teams on the 18 pounders. And something heavy opened those breaches in the walls.

Regardless, the point this article was trying to make was that British military aid, both direct and indirect was central to the outcome of the civil war. Not whether that particular 60 pounder fired two shells at the Four Courts. In other words, though it irked many pro-Treaty republicans, they really were effectiely allies or even clients of the British as far as the military campaign of the civil war was concerned.
Going as far as saying that some howitzers used on a band of dissidents in the four courts was central to the outcome of a war where one side which was greatly superior in numbers and was supported by the vast majority of the population is stretching it a little.

There has been talk of the Irish Free State carrying out Britains dirty work, but let us not forget that the civil war was preceded by a vote in which the vast majority of the population voted in favour of the treaty. The Free State was carrying out the wishes of the majority of the Irish people.
 

The Herren

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In light of the recent publicity around the memoir that a British howitzer team bombarded the Four Courts;

Memoir suggests British army at opening shots of Civil War - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 30, 2012

This is an article on the role British forces played in the civil war.


British Military Involvement in the Irish Civil War | The Irish Story

In concludes 'it would have humiliated the Empire to grant an independent Irish republic and to admit defeat. Given the military aid, direct and indirect that the British were prepared to give, the Irish Civil War could only have ended one way'

But also that, 'many pro-Treatyites, allegedly those who were doing Britain’s bidding, did not see what they were doing in the same light as their British allies at all.'
FFS the dogs in the street was aware of all this for years.

Why do you think Fine Gael still hankers after things British. Why do you think FG Minister Coveney was so keen to rub shoulders with the Ultra British DUP at their Ard Fheis recently.
 

DeGaulle 2.0

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FFS the dogs in the street was aware of all this for years.

Why do you think Fine Gael still hankers after things British. Why do you think FG Minister Coveney was so keen to rub shoulders with the Ultra British DUP at their Ard Fheis recently.
FG are an inclusive party. Why are you against outreach to unionists?

I think the whole Four Courts episode shows the ridiculousness of the notion that partition could have been prevented militarily. How was Belfast going to be "liberated" if there was such difficulty capturing a building in the middle of Dublin?
 

JohnD66

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Going as far as saying that some howitzers used on a band of dissidents in the four courts was central to the outcome of a war where one side which was greatly superior in numbers and was supported by the vast majority of the population is stretching it a little.

There has been talk of the Irish Free State carrying out Britains dirty work, but let us not forget that the civil war was preceded by a vote in which the vast majority of the population voted in favour of the treaty. The Free State was carrying out the wishes of the majority of the Irish people.
Right, the point is that,
1, the National Army was only bigger than the anti-Treaty IRA because it was funded and armed by Britain. The IRA was twice as big at the start of proceedings.

2. The British were not prepared to accept anything else than the Treaty settlement and were prepared at any time to commit their own troops should this be deviated from.

3. British troops were actually employed in the civil war and not only in the purported incident in the Four Courts.

4. The anti-Treaty argument that there could not really be a free 'vote of the people' given that the British were prepared to sue and actually did use force to impose it, has more merit than is sometimes given credit for.
 

edifice.

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Right, the point is that,
1, the National Army was only bigger than the anti-Treaty IRA because it was funded and armed by Britain. The IRA was twice as big at the start of proceedings.

2. The British were not prepared to accept anything else than the Treaty settlement and were prepared at any time to commit their own troops should this be deviated from.

3. British troops were actually employed in the civil war and not only in the purported incident in the Four Courts.

4. The anti-Treaty argument that there could not really be a free 'vote of the people' given that the British were prepared to sue and actually did use force to impose it, has more merit than is sometimes given credit for.
I think the point of the OP article though is to elevate historical controversy above historical accuracy. Personally, the validity of the anti-treaty position doesn't require historical inaccuracy or historical controversy; it stands on its own merit. Point 4 is well taken.
 

JohnD66

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I think the point of the OP article though is to elevate historical controversy above historical accuracy. Personally, the validity of the anti-treaty position doesn't require historical inaccuracy or historical controversy; it stands on its own merit. Point 4 is well taken.
Ok but my point is that outside of the disputed Four Courts shots recently brought up, British troops were indeed used in the war anyway. I just think that this is an important point to make if we're to understand the passions of the those years.
 

edifice.

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Ok but my point is that outside of the disputed Four Courts shots recently brought up, British troops were indeed used in the war anyway. I just think that this is an important point to make if we're to understand the passions of the those years.
Absolutely.
 

Bleu Poppy

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FFS the dogs in the street was aware of all this for years.

Why do you think Fine Gael still hankers after things British. Why do you think FG Minister Coveney was so keen to rub shoulders with the Ultra British DUP at their Ard Fheis recently.
Its obvious from your first sentence that you have come to this thread with pre-conceptions, and are not willing to learn the true history of our country.

Give us a few examples of F.G. hankering after things British?

Finally, Minister Coveney addressing the annual conference of the Democratic Unionist Party is but one additional step on the path of the Peace Process. It's great, isn't it?
 

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