Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pardon for Irish soldiers who deserted for allies in WWII

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • clackers
    replied
    Thanks for the interesting link, Tantalus!

    Obviously the loyalty of Protestant soldiers in the Irish Army (if that's the people talked about in your original post) was strained.

    Leave a comment:


  • tantalus
    replied
    Originally posted by clackers View Post
    But why not, Tantalus?

    The partitioning did not result in exclusively Catholic southern counties and all-Protestant northern ones.

    And everyone needs a job! :)

    Many armies historically have had a diversity in the make up of the serving troops. Who knows how all the German speaking soldiers in the Czech army would have reacted if there had been an actual invasion in 1938?
    It's true there were plenty of protestants in the south between the two world wars, but the picture wasnt rosy between protestants and catholics on the island of ireland. It is a long history, the troubles in the north represent the awful tail end of our problems. Less than 20 years before the outbreak of the second world war, Ireland had been partitioned. Although violence had been sporadic in the north up to the war, neither was it absent and discrimination against catholics in the north was becoming systematic, finally boiling over in the late 60s. In the south, after finally gaining indepedence after hundreds of years, try to imagine the public perception by the the large catholic majority in the south towards protestants, in history, the perception is of an english, protestant ruling elite, in current times, catholics are crossing the border in a partitioned island due to prosecution by a ruling protestant government. This is not a time when protestants are joing the Irish army, unwilling in their eyes to come to british aid in their time of need and I imagine also that the irish army activitely would have discriminted against protestants even if they had. Protestants in the 1920s and 1930s were free neither of discrimination in the south both by social isolation or even direct violence, if your interested in that read the linked article below for examples of persecution of southern protestants during the 1920s, 1930s. There were clear acts of violence which drove protestants out of the south
    This violence, Hart concludes, “did not seek merely to punish Protestants but to drive them out”, and it succeeded. A witness reported that “for two weeks there wasn’t standing room on any of the boats or mail-trains leaving Cork for England”, while others escaped to Ulster, part of a general exodus that sheds bleak light on those sharply declining Protestant numbers.
    Crisis and Decline: The Fate of the Southern Unionists
    Last edited by tantalus; 18 Jun 12,, 12:34.

    Leave a comment:


  • clackers
    replied
    Originally posted by tantalus View Post
    Its seems unlikely that "hardcore protestants" would have joined the irish army in the first place
    But why not, Tantalus?

    The partitioning did not result in exclusively Catholic southern counties and all-Protestant northern ones.

    And everyone needs a job! :)

    Many armies historically have had a diversity in the make up of the serving troops. Who knows how all the German speaking soldiers in the Czech army would have reacted if there had been an actual invasion in 1938?

    Leave a comment:


  • tantalus
    replied
    Originally posted by clackers View Post
    Hardcore Protestants (think the Orangemen of Northern Ireland) wanted to support an Empire they believed they should still have been part of
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]29395[/ATTACH]
    That doesnt explain tbm3fan question of why so many deserted the Irish army. Its seems unlikely that "hardcore protestants" would have joined the irish army in the first place and as my source states above "loyalist sentiment" was found to account as a main motivator for only a small proportion of irish people travelling to Britain to work during the war and thats from the general pop., as opposed to the deserters from the irish army.

    Leave a comment:


  • clackers
    replied
    Given the long history of sectarianism, there was always going to be a passionate minority on either side who felt they couldn't sit back as an European war happened.

    Hardcore Protestants (think the Orangemen of Northern Ireland) wanted to support an Empire they believed they should still have been part of, while some Catholics like Sean Russell of the IRA sided with Germany (he died on a U-boat returning to Ireland after Abwehr training in Berlin).

    President Eamonn de Valera was left trying to avoid annoying these factions.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by clackers; 14 Jun 12,, 07:21.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doktor
    replied
    Those who deserted clearly violated the oath and failed the system.
    They represented over 10% of the Irish defense forces and their desertions weakened Irish position during that volatile period. It was their job to be on the posts.

    AFAIK, Irish nationals had no problem to serve into British forces and none of those was a subject to dismissal.

    Leave a comment:


  • tantalus
    replied
    This is sourced from a project which investigated "the role and experience of Irish citizens who served in the British armed forces during the war", not specifically of the deserters however...
    While the motivation for going to the United Kingdom is self-evident for those who went for war work, there is more difficulty in explaining the actions of those who enlisted in the armed forces. Why did these Irish citizens join an army which many of their fellow citizens considered to be the nation’s historic enemy?
    An easy answer is that they did it for the money, but it is difficult to credit that this was a major reason, as there was better paid (and less dangerous) war work available. A proportion were maintaining a family tradition of enlistment in British forces, especially in time of war. Some identified with the Empire and were motivated by loyalist sentiment, others were prompted by a more complex political identification with Britain while, perhaps, resenting Irish neutrality or indeed Irish independence. Yet the evidence suggests that loyalist sentiment influenced only a very small minority.
    From the Project’s interviews and questionnaires, as well as other sources, it seems that the motivations ranged from family tradition, through anti-fascist sentiment, to looking for excitement and glamour, to avoiding trouble with the police. Common to virtually all was insistence on their Irish identity, reflected most significantly in support for neutrality despite their own decision to enlist. Some even argued that they were defending Ireland by their actions. However, that kind of argument and sentiment was not so apparent among those not resident in Ireland—those volunteers who didn’t return home and tended to have a more critical and distant attitude to their country’s role in the war.
    The Forgotten Volunteers of World War II / Features / Issue 1 (Spring 1998) / Volume 6 / historyireland.com

    Ofcourse, the deserters already had a job and I cant find any info regarding pay comparisons. I admit however that it does seem unlikely that people would desert and take that kind of risk simply for a pay increase...
    Last edited by tantalus; 12 Jun 12,, 22:43.

    Leave a comment:


  • tantalus
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
    My question is, why? Why did they desert and join the British Army? The link gives no reason and I am curious about the reason of the 4500 men. It certainly wasn't because they didn't want to fight.
    The official line is that they went to fight Hitler and tyranny. I imagine better pay may have been a factor for many of the men, but Iam speculating on that one.

    See link for a more detailed account of the irish goverment's thinking on the pardon

    Pardon for WWII Allies deserters - The Irish Times - Tue, Jun 12, 2012

    Leave a comment:


  • zraver
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
    My question is, why? Why did they desert and join the British Army? The link gives no reason and I am curious about the reason of the 4500 men. It certainly wasn't because they didn't want to fight.
    The Irish and the British are like cousins in a family feud. They will kill each other without batting an eye, but as soon as an outsider steps in they join together and turn on the interloper. Much of the British Empire was won on the backs of Irish privates serving the crown in its multitude of far flung wars.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    My question is, why? Why did they desert and join the British Army? The link gives no reason and I am curious about the reason of the 4500 men. It certainly wasn't because they didn't want to fight.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pardon for Irish soldiers who deserted for allies in WWII

    The Government is to pardon over 4,500 former soldiers who deserted the Defence Forces during World War II to fight with the Allied Forces.

    Minister for Defence Alan Shatter has told the Dáil that the Government apologises for the manner in which the deserters were treated by the State after the war.

    He said the Government recognises the value and importance of their military contribution to the Allied victory.

    Up to 4,500 soldiers fled from the Defence Forces during the Second World War and did not return to their Irish units.

    Many of them joined the British Army.

    After the war, the De Valera Government published a list of those who deserted.

    Anyone who was mentioned in this book was banned from getting a public service job at any level.

    It is estimated that about 100 of the deserters are still alive.

    This evening's pardon is a great relief for those who died and their families removing the stigma that they have carried for nearly 70 years.

    It is also viewed as another step in the improvement of relations between Ireland and Britain.

    However, a small number of former Defence Force officers have criticised the pardons.
    Pardon for soldiers who deserted for allies in WWII - RT News

    I saw a point made that it undermines the legitimacy of the army to "condone" desertion despite the circumstances. IMO, banning these men from a potential job in the civil service for life was a ridiculous and regrettable decision, but having first signed up to the irish army and then deserting, a DD for them would have been adequate in retaining the respect for the army. Do Wabbits think the acceptional circumstances in Europe outweigh any need for the irish army to save face ?
    Opinions ?
Working...
X