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The North Strand Bombing 1941


marcsignal

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Hoping this is the right place to post ?

I'm wondering if posters would have any old photographs of the North Strand bombing in Dublin in May 1941. Or unwanted newspapers from the period ?

There is an extensive collection on the National Archive site, but I'm looking for any from private collections that might be out there ?

Mods delete/move this thread if necessary.
 

Lao-Tse

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[

Weren;t there rumours the Nazis had done the bombing deliberately, to frighten
Ireland into staying neutral?
 

disgruntledcitizen

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[

Weren;t there rumours the Nazis had done the bombing deliberately, to frighten
Ireland into staying neutral?
FFS, thats just boll1x, if the germans had wanted to frighten us there were far more effective ways of doing same as opposed to bombing an area of dublin by error and then paying for the damages.....

unless of course they believed the rumors about the Supreme Allied Command HQ being in a secret bunker accessed only via Mrs Murphys pantry and it was thus a legitimate target :eek:
 

seanmacc

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Wasn't there also information released saying that the bombing was deliberate. Supposedly there was large amounts of British Soldiers and civil servants traveling by train frequently from Connolly to Belfast. Blowing the crap out of North Strand put a stop to it. I heard that one second hand, how reliable it is I don't know.
 

hiding behind a poster

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[

Weren;t there rumours the Nazis had done the bombing deliberately, to frighten
Ireland into staying neutral?
The story is that the bombing was in response to de Valera sending fire brigades up to Belfast when that city was bombed - with the Germans viewing that act as a breach of Irish neutrality. Of course they claimed it was an accident, and that they'd been aiming at Liverpool - but it was a clear night, and it doesn't take a genius to know that if you're coming from Germany, with Liverpool the sea is on the left, whereas with Dublin its on the right.
 

T.S. Gracchus

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Did the Irish Air Corps engage the Nazi planes?
 

Kev408

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Feb 26, 2006
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5,124
Hoping this is the right place to post ?

I'm wondering if posters would have any old photographs of the North Strand bombing in Dublin in May 1941. Or unwanted newspapers from the period ?

There is an extensive collection on the National Archive site, but I'm looking for any from private collections that might be out there ?

Mods delete/move this thread if necessary.
My thesis in my final year was on the North Strand bombing of 1941. I have extensive contacts/relations/eye-witnesses to the tragic event. I wrote 10,000 sourced and proven words on the subject. I have copies of St. Agatha's Church newsletter from the era and I've been to the Military Museum to read actual documents from the aftermath. I've been asked to write a book on the subject but sources are so limited it would not be easy.

Bottom line, PM me and I'll help in any way I can (including a hard-back copy of my thesis).
 

asset test

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For anyone interested, and Marcsignal I think you might know already.... try Dublin.ie, arts and culture forum, old Dublin photos. Includes North Strand bombing photos.

Hundreds of brilliant old photos of Dublin from many contributors, for those interested. Beware, it is addictive!
 

patronsaint

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The story is that the bombing was in response to de Valera sending fire brigades up to Belfast when that city was bombed - with the Germans viewing that act as a breach of Irish neutrality. Of course they claimed it was an accident, and that they'd been aiming at Liverpool - but it was a clear night, and it doesn't take a genius to know that if you're coming from Germany, with Liverpool the sea is on the left, whereas with Dublin its on the right.
Following the collapse of East Germany, I read in one of the Irish papers ( either Examiner or Irish Times, I'd say ) that documents had been found to confirm that what you say is true.
 

marcsignal

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For anyone interested, and Marcsignal I think you might know already.... try Dublin.ie, arts and culture forum, old Dublin photos. Includes North Strand bombing photos.

Hundreds of brilliant old photos of Dublin from many contributors, for those interested. Beware, it is addictive!
Yes thats a brilliant collection of photos and it is addictive :p

There were many rumours flying around at the time about the reason for the bombing. Heres some stuff I found.

An article by Robert Fisk approx 1999.

THE GUILT-STRICKEN confession of an ex-Luftwaffe pilot, the schoolboy memories of an Irish-born British army officer and a pile of 50-year-old intelligence files have conspired to re-open the great mystery of Irish neutrality in the Second World War: why did Germany bomb the "open" city of Dublin on the night of 31 May 1941?

The attack on the North Strand in Dublin killed 34 Irish civilians and wounded 90, prompting apologies from Nazi Germany and claims by the British that de Valera's neutral Ireland was at last paying the price for "sitting on the fence" during the war against the Third Reich. After the war, Germany paid compensation to the Irish Republic for what it described as a military error, while British intelligence officers suggested that the German aircraft - en route to a target in the United Kingdom - had been deliberately steered towards Dublin by RAF experts who had "bent" the Luftwaffe direction-finding radio beams.

Now an elderly German - living in Canada and calling himself only Heinrich, but insisting he was one of the Luftwaffe pathfinder pilots on the night of the Dublin bombing - has broadcast an appeal for forgiveness over RTE, Irish state radio. He was asked to bomb Belfast, he said, but his two squadrons of 30 aircraft approached Dublin by mistake. "Please forgive me for this mistake which was beyond our control," Heinrich told reporter Micheal Holmes. "There was no wrongdoing on our side. Everybody was upset, not only the members of the [German] air force, but politically as well."

Heinrich, however, muddied the moral waters by expressing admiration for Hitler - "I thought him quite a guy," he said. "I was impressed because he let me criticise my boss [Air Minister] Goering. I thought he was a very kind man. I say he was a weakling because he was too kind." And Heinrich did not express any sorrow for the people of Belfast, supposedly the real target that night, who endured two terrible nights of Luftwaffe raids the previous month in which almost 1,000 Protestant and Catholic civilians were slaughtered by hundreds of Luftwaffe bombers.

Enter, then, 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. "I was home in Ireland from my boarding school in England and I remember hearing a broadcast by William Joyce [Lord Haw Haw] in which he warned that Amiens Street railway station in Dublin might be bombed," he said. According to Colonel Flynn, Joyce took exception to the large number of Belfast bombing refugees arriving by the hundred at Amiens Street. The station, now called Connolly after one of the the executed leaders of the 1916 rising, was only a few hundred yards from North Strand, where the German bombs exploded.

"I also remember Joyce complaining that the Irish were shipping cattle to Britain from the docks at Dundalk and threatened that it would be bombed if this continued," Colonel Flynn said. "And my father and I were in Dundalk the night a German aircraft bombed the quayside there a few days later. It was a clear night and we actually saw the plane coming in from the north." Dundalk, a tiny port on the Irish east coast, was indeed shipping cattle to Britain during the war.

A contemporary issue of the Irish Independent reported, under heavy censorship, that the aircraft's origins were "unknown", but a spokesman for the Irish army's Archives in Dublin explained last week that intelligence files compiled after the attack on George's Quay, Dundalk, in the early hours of 4 July 1941, noted that the aircraft had approached from the north (as Flynn described it) and that a **** fragment bore "the imprint of the German eagle".

Histories of the Luftwaffe's Blitz on Britain later suggested that in their efforts to deflect the bombers, British scientists had "bent" the German radio direction beams - the Knickebein or "crooked leg" system of navigation - and sent German aircraft in the direction of neutral Ireland. In fact, the British could not "bend" the beams, which were sent out from occupied France and Norway. But they could interfere with the radio signals and force aircraft to lose their way.

An intriguing series of reports from the once secret intelligence files of the Irish army suggest that this had already happened on 28 May 1941 - two days before the Dublin bombing - when large numbers of aircraft, almost certainly German, flew up the Irish coast and then became confused when they reached the Irish capital. Many of them were then heard to drop their bombs over the sea after presumably realising they were not over a UK target.

Irish neutrality has thrown up many myths. Churchill, outraged that the Irish Prime Minister Eamon de Valera refused to loan Britain three former Royal Navy ports which the pre-war British government had handed back to Ireland, believed that de Valera was secretly allowing U-boats to refuel in west of Ireland ports and their crews to come ashore - a claim later proved to be false. The British were obsessed that the German legation in Dublin would radio prior information about the D-Day landings to Germany, even though Irish army intelligence had already removed the Germans' radio set. Almost every German spy parachuted into Ireland was captured at once.

But the bombing of Dublin remains one of the great mysteries. Did Berlin wish to punish de Valera for sending his fire brigades north to help Belfast after the April bombings in Northern Ireland? Did Germany wish to warn Ireland against sympathising too greatly with Belfast victims of the Blitz? Or were the Germans angry at Ireland's trade with Britain?

Oddly, a German broadcast three weeks before the Dublin bombings warned that "to gain their ends, the British intend to bomb Eire and then declare that this crime was carried out by Germany". But the bomb fragments, Germany's apology and now Heinrich's admission make it clear that the Luftwaffe was to blame. Had the bombers been misled by the British? Quite probably, although they would not have been able to redirect the planes. But given Churchill's state of suppressed fury with de Valera, the British would probably not have been upset if they had sent the Luftwaffe off to bomb Dublin.

Robert Fisk is the author of "In Time of War", a study of Irish neutrality in the Second World War.
late edit*

This is also an interesting page I found listing all of the aircraft that crashed here during WW2.
Well worth a browse

http://www.csn.ul.ie/~dan/war/crashes.htm


.
 
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mmrebel

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Was listening to the History show on new stalk last night they had some guy flogging book but he reckoned he narrowed it down to 4 theories of why it happened

1. The most obvious one it was an accident
2. It was reprisal for Ireland assisting in the war effort and not being strictly neutral
3. Pilot got angry at the ack ack fire from the anti air raid brigades around Dublin
4. Churchill angry that Ireland was neutral tried to drag them into the war.
 

QuizMaster

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My mother has a few stories. They lived in Clontarf and had AA guns out the back of the house. They went off that night.
Meanwhile her aunt in the North Strand got out of bed and looked out her front door to see what all the fuss was about. Supposedly when the bomb hit she was blown back up the stairs.

If you want, PM me and you can get an earful of my mother's ramblings.
 

mmrebel

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Also it said that the bombers were lying so low that people could see the faces in the them.

That would seem to suggest they had an idea of where they were. So hardly an accident.
 

zakalwe1

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Was listening to the History show on new stalk last night they had some guy flogging book but he reckoned he narrowed it down to 4 theories of why it happened

1. The most obvious one it was an accident
2. It was reprisal for Ireland assisting in the war effort and not being strictly neutral
3. Pilot got angry at the ack ack fire from the anti air raid brigades around Dublin
4. Churchill angry that Ireland was neutral tried to drag them into the war.
i happen to know the person who commanded the AA battery that night (or more precisely, his son) and he told us once that his biggest regret was opening fire on the bombers...he didn't say whether he ordered the barrage before the bombs were dropped or not. i think he took that info to the grave...
 

Tommy Tayto

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Also it said that the bombers were lying so low that people could see the faces in the them.

That would seem to suggest they had an idea of where they were. So hardly an accident.

I would have to say that is unlikely for 2 very obvious reasons.

1. AA guns would definitely have shot down the majority of them if they were that low.

2. They would have been blown up by their own bombs exploding beneath them.


i happen to know the person who commanded the AA battery that night (or more precisely, his son) and he told us once that his biggest regret was opening fire on the bombers...he didn't say whether he ordered the barrage before the bombs were dropped or not. i think he took that info to the grave...
Why does he regret it? They were violating our airspace and were a legitimate target.
 
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It wasn't the first bombing in the then Free State but was most likely an accident with a Pilot getting ack ack and deciding he had a city with a railway station close by so bomb it.

Anybody who thinks bombers would fly low to release bombs can be pretty much disregarded as Pilots like to live and return home.

Bomb accuracy in WW2 was pretty awful with targets being missed again and again so being off in location hit is not exactly new.

Despite the crap written about Churchill wanting to see Ireland bombed he was well aware that had Ireland given the ports the Admiralty who opposed it would have needed to send crews they could ill afford to lose to set up ack ack around them. Its on record about German bombers using West Coast after bombing Scotland on way from Norway to Brest in France.

In the fog of war it comes down as an accident.
 

marcsignal

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Found some pics of the Aftermath of the North Strand Bombing

North Strand 1


North Strand 2


North Strand 3
 
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