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WW2 70 years on

dmc444

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Today Germany attacked Poland sparking the second world war.

Im not really too sure what to discuss about the topic perhaps What lessons should we learn from the war or Irelands role during the war- was it right to be neutral?
 


Aindriu

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Dev shoulda taken Churchill's deal on a nation once again.
Are ye forgetting that Churchill was behind the Black & Tans?

Dev should certainly have allowed British submarines to use Bantry as a safe harbour from where to search for the U boat wolf packs.
 

forest

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Mar 19, 2006
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3,351
WW2 changed everything
Our world as we know it today would not be recognisable
Fot better or worse without ww2 there would be no
UN
EU
NATO

The jewish state of Israel would not exist and therefore the problems associated with it
Leading from that there may not have been a 9/11 attack
America would not be as powerful as it is today
Russia/USSR would not have expanded in to EE

In fact everything in our lives would be different if the war had not taken place

and yes Ireland should have joined the Allies
I feel our lack of involvement in WW2 and our cowardliness throughout to be the biggest blight on our history as an independent country
 

JCSkinner

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Churchill was behind concentration camps too.
But when someone offers you your country back, you don't say, no thanks, I'll wait to do a deal with an overlord whose politics I prefer.
Irish people fought and died in their thousands in the British army anyway.
Dublin was bombed anyway.
Dev shoulda taken the deal. We'd be united and the Northern Unionists would have been reassured by the united Republic's first act being to weigh officially into the war on the British side.
Can you honestly say, from an Irish point of view, that the history of what really happened is preferable to the possibility that the national question could have been wrapped up decades ago?
 

netron

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hindsight is a wonderful thing - we simply did not know of the horrors of Nazism leading up to 1939.

we thought that WW2 would be like a re-run of the trenches of WW1 and the waste of life that caused - the memories of ww1 were too fresh.

Considering that, Dev did the right thing by staying neutral.
 

Aindriu

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Dev shoulda taken the deal. We'd be united and the Northern Unionists would have been reassured by the united Republic's first act being to weigh officially into the war on the British side.
Can you honestly say, from an Irish point of view, that the history of what really happened is preferable to the possibility that the national question could have been wrapped up decades ago?
I agree with your viewpoint. The current mess will probably never be resolved to the benefit of all concerned. Dev's problem was that he was rabidly anti English. IMHO he was incapable of moving forward and lived firmly in the past.
 

netron

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I agree with your viewpoint. The current mess will probably never be resolved to the benefit of all concerned. Dev's problem was that he was rabidly anti English. IMHO he was incapable of moving forward and lived firmly in the past.
to be fair to Dev , there was the small matter of the 1916 rising and the English wanting to shoot him!
 

JCSkinner

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hindsight is a wonderful thing - we simply did not know of the horrors of Nazism leading up to 1939.
Churchill's offer was in December 41.

we thought that WW2 would be like a re-run of the trenches of WW1 and the waste of life that caused - the memories of ww1 were too fresh.
We knew what WWII was about after 2.5 years of it.

Considering that, Dev did the right thing by staying neutral.
Considering your points are all inaccurate, Dev didn't do the right thing at all.
 

Breadan O'Connor

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Im not really too sure what to discuss about the topic perhaps What lessons should we learn from the war or Irelands role during the war- was it right to be neutral?

This is a red hering!

At the time Fianna Fail FG and Labour all supported neutrality.

The great majority of the public supported them in that also.

I believe James Dillon was the only major politician who urged supporting Britain, he was from a Home Rule party background.

If you look at europe you can see that every small democratic country tried desperately to remain neutral in the face of Nazi aggression.

There was nothing wrong with Ireland choosing to stay neutral
 

shutuplaura

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Churchill was behind concentration camps too.
But when someone offers you your country back, you don't say, no thanks, I'll wait to do a deal with an overlord whose politics I prefer.
Irish people fought and died in their thousands in the British army anyway.
Dublin was bombed anyway.
Dev shoulda taken the deal. We'd be united and the Northern Unionists would have been reassured by the united Republic's first act being to weigh officially into the war on the British side.
Can you honestly say, from an Irish point of view, that the history of what really happened is preferable to the possibility that the national question could have been wrapped up decades ago?
What deal? Was there ever a real deal at all? I don't think there was. What there was was one ambiguous telegram sent by a (possibly) drunken man under extreme stress late at night.

I love these periodic debates about the rights and wrongs of Irelands wartime position. Its easy for us to be all for a war we would never have had to fight in. Dev faced the prospect of sending thousands of Irish to their deaths in a war between the great powers of the world. Its very easy for an armchair general 70 years on to talk about an Irish division in Normandy and helping the UK close the mid Atlantic gap. He faced the reality of another war in less than a quater decade and mass bombing of central Dublin.
 

dmc444

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I agree with your viewpoint. The current mess will probably never be resolved to the benefit of all concerned. Dev's problem was that he was rabidly anti English. IMHO he was incapable of moving forward and lived firmly in the past.
The fact of that deal was that Churchill was apparently blind drunk when he made that offer and I think the Unionist government in the North would have had a few things to say about it- which Churchill never consulted, It really was not a serious offer.

I do believe that Ireland should have taken a more active role and fought against the evils of Nazism. I think the war shows how ignorant people can be, this idea that people did not know what would happen to the Jews is no true, Hitler made no secret about what he thought about the Jews. People could have seen the holocaust coming but chose to ignore it.
 

JCSkinner

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What deal? Was there ever a real deal at all? I don't think there was. What there was was one ambiguous telegram sent by a (possibly) drunken man under extreme stress late at night.
Dev refused to bring it to cabinet. Dev refused to discuss it with Churchill.
You can't say there was no deal on the table, since Dev refused to go to the table.
As for Craig, he rejected unification, but stated he'd fight to the death for it if it were a choice between that and the survival of western civilisation.
So the deal was viable had we not had an anti-English loon in command.
 

Chief-TP

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Today Germany attacked Poland sparking the second world war.

Jaysus i thought that ww2 started in march 1933 when Judea declared a worldwide ban on german products thus starting the problems between germans and worldwide judaism.
 

Schuhart

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Are ye forgetting that Churchill was behind the Black & Tans?

Dev should certainly have allowed British submarines to use Bantry as a safe harbour from where to search for the U boat wolf packs.
Indeed, and (admission of ignorance coming) I only recently read the full text of Churchill's famous speech in 1945 where he criticised Irish neutrality.
... The sense of envelopment, which might at any moment turn to strangulation, lay heavy upon us. We had only the northwestern approach between Ulster and Scotland through which to bring in the means of life and to send out the forces of war. Owing to the action of Mr. de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of southern Irishmen, who hastened to the battlefront to prove their ancient valor, the approaches which the southern Irish ports and airfields could so easily have guarded were closed by the hostile aircraft and U-boats.

This was indeed a deadly moment in our life, and if it had not been for the loyalty and friendship of Northern Ireland we should have been forced to come to close quarters with Mr. de Valera or perish forever from the earth. However, with a restraint and poise to which, I say, history will find few parallels, we never laid a violent hand upon them, which at times would have been quite easy and quite natural, and left the de Valera Government to frolic with the German and later with the Japanese representatives to their heart's content.

When I think of these days I think also of other episodes and personalities. I do not forget Lieutenant-Commander Esmonde, V.C., D.S.O., Lance-Corporal Keneally, V.C., Captain Fegen, V.C., and other Irish heroes that-I could easily recite, and all bitterness by Britain for the Irish race dies in my heart. I can only pray that in years which I shall not see the shame will be forgotten and the glories will endure, and that the peoples of the British Isles and of the British Commonwealth of Nations will walk together in mutual comprehension and forgiveness. ...
I'd say out of that, I was only really conscious of the middle paragraph. The rest does give more context, and I feel the word 'comprehension' is key. Because I think its does raise that thought (in my mind anyway) as to how understandable the web of relations is.

I mean, as I see it (and I'm open to correction), Dev's policy was simply how best to get Ireland through the war years. Actually joining in the war would have exposed us to air raids, which we would not have had the ability to defend against. If the RAF couldn't prevent bombs from falling on London, how could they have defended Cork or Dublin? And would we have expected Ireland to even get equal priority with UK cities for scarce air defence resources?

Yet, on the other side, Churchill is claiming he found Ireland's stance incomprehensible. Maybe he did - and I can recall a similar attitude in "The Cruel Sea", and a few other references to English folk feeling that Irish neutrality was 'deplorable'.

All of which long and rambling posting is just to say I wonder if enough time has passed to actually consider these points without rancor. I mean, we seem to be passing through a phase of national self-examination where not a few are wondering just what was the point of this separate Irish state. WWII might actually give us an inkling of some of those issues. Because, taking Churchill's incomprehension as genuine, would he actually have envisaged a pooling of British military resources to equip an Irish army?
 

The OD

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Oct 10, 2005
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11,080
WW2 changed everything
Our world as we know it today would not be recognisable
Fot better or worse without ww2 there would be no
UN
EU
NATO

The jewish state of Israel would not exist and therefore the problems associated with it
Leading from that there may not have been a 9/11 attack
America would not be as powerful as it is today
Russia/USSR would not have expanded in to EE

In fact everything in our lives would be different if the war had not taken place

and yes Ireland should have joined the Allies
I feel our lack of involvement in WW2 and our cowardliness throughout to be the biggest blight on our history as an independent country
You can add many medical advances, spaceflight, the internet and computing to the list, as a matter of fact, there are few advance in science and technology in the last 50 years that didnt have some link to WWII.

Its amazing how violence and aggression can bring out the genius in us.

:|
 

shutuplaura

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We knew what WWII was about after 2.5 years of it.
I don't think anyone did. The Wansee conference was in 1942 so the Nazi's were not sure exactly what to do with its Jewish population 'til then. Granted the einsatzgruppen were busy at work but what they were doing in the east was still unknown.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Churchill was allied with another aggressive totalitarian state not above massacring its own people.

Why would Dev, not knowing the full horrors of the holocaust (because it wasn't even in full swing yet) side with one large aggressive state known to have killed millions of its own people (the USSR) over another aggressive totalitarian state which so far had hid much of its genocidal nature (Germany in late 1941)?
 

shutuplaura

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Dev refused to bring it to cabinet. Dev refused to discuss it with Churchill.
You can't say there was no deal on the table, since Dev refused to go to the table.
As for Craig, he rejected unification, but stated he'd fight to the death for it if it were a choice between that and the survival of western civilisation.
So the deal was viable had we not had an anti-English loon in command.
Of course I can say it - there wasn't even an appearance of a deal. It was a telegram which could have been interpreted in many different ways.

Churchill sent it without consultation, either of his own cabinet or the Northern Unionist Government by the way. Thats not a deal, no matter which way you look at it.
 

Aindriu

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to be fair to Dev , there was the small matter of the 1916 rising and the English wanting to shoot him!
23 years previously! Therefore he was living in the past!
 

shutuplaura

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The fact of that deal was that Churchill was apparently blind drunk when he made that offer and I think the Unionist government in the North would have had a few things to say about it- which Churchill never consulted, It really was not a serious offer.

I do believe that Ireland should have taken a more active role and fought against the evils of Nazism. I think the war shows how ignorant people can be, this idea that people did not know what would happen to the Jews is no true, Hitler made no secret about what he thought about the Jews. People could have seen the holocaust coming but chose to ignore it.
I agree with the first part of your post but not the second. The Jews of Europe were being squeezed intolerably by discriminatory laws. Its a big jump to the gas chamber though.

And Ireland was not alone in not realizing the nature of the Nazi's agenda. The US and the UK were restricting Jewish migration from Germany prior to the outbreak of war. The US and some of the UK's dominions were actively discriminating against undesirable races of their own at the same time. In fact, racial discrimination was sadly the norm in 1930's and 1940's Earth. Ok, the Nazi's went further in the restrictions it placed on Jews even prior to 1939 than the southern states did against the blacks, but open official predjudice was the norm not the exception it became.

The holocaust was simply so terrible and unprecedented that no one could have guessed.
 


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