Indeed.Extremely likely, if not inevitable given the ubiquity of such units.
How did you guess…LRDG st cetera in North Africa....
Indeed.Extremely likely, if not inevitable given the ubiquity of such units.
How did you guess…LRDG st cetera in North Africa....
Well we know there's an Irish contingent there, so I'm sure they'll get involved in the raiding. Plus, perhaps, the SSRF in Britain...Indeed.
How did you guess…
Hard to say. On one hand, they declared war on Germany, so in theory Japan could also join in, but on the other hand, well..... What are the odds they'd even come across signifigant Irish troops?I wonder if Pat O'Neill will return home? Is Ireland at war with Japan?
...as befitting the comparatively small size of the Irish Expeditionary Force, the Irish special operations unit was a small one, never numbering more than a hundred men in total during the Desert War. Either operating independently, or operating in concert with Long Range Desert Group/SAS patrols, they were primarily drawn from men with extensive experience not merely in the regular forces, but in the flying columns of the War of Independence. Given additional training by the LRDG and SAS, the Fianóglaigh as they came to be known would quickly prove themselves to be particularly adept at the kind of warfare called for, and would attain a legendary status within the IEF and the Army at large.
Their commander was an interesting - and indeed, one might say controversial - choice. Commandant Tom Barry of course had vast experience in the kind of warfare called for, having led the flying column of the West Cork Brigade of the IRA during the War of Independence, followed by having led Anti-Treaty IRA forces during the Civil War. This latter, indeed, would be a major point of contention among many of the Army, though it should be noted here that while he had fought against Government troops, he had also made more efforts to secure some kind of peace treaty than many other Anti-Treaty commanders. Additionally, many British officers would voice extreme discontent at having a man who - by his own admission - had carried out reprisal killings of British servicemen and had perpetrated the Kilmichael and Crossbarry Ambushes*. Then too, while Barry had taken a commission in the Army in 1940, he had been opposed to Ireland joining 'Britain's War' - and unbeknownst to many at the time, three years prior in 1937 had taken a clandestine journey to Germany to try to develop links between the IRA and the Abwehr. However, while he came close to resigning his commission in 1940 following the outbreak of war, he ultimately chose to remain in the Army, and would agree to head up what ultimately became the Fianóglaigh. In later life, of course, he would express a gladness to have played a role in opposing Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.
One more entertaining aspect of Barry's time in the desert war would be the odd friendship he developed with Northern Irish officer, SAS founding member and former Ireland and British Lions rugby player Robert Blair 'Paddy' Mayne, a friendship that initially began over mutual insults and a rather brutal fight in a bar in Alexandria, but would ultimately develop into a mutual respect, with both engaging in friendly competitions to see how effect their respective forces' patrols would be.
With the success the Fianóglaigh would enjoy in the Desert War, by 1942 the Army would begin expanding their training to a larger cadre of men, with the Irish Army Rangers (Fianóglaigh an t-Airm Éireannach) being officially founded in early 1943, filling what a later era would refer to as the 'special forces' role. Ranger units would see action in both Italy and as part of the preliminary phase of operations prior to D-Day...
*And, indeed, a number of British officers would voice general discontent at the use of former IRA veterans by the IEF. The Fianóglaigh, for their part, would have no bones about 'owning' their past, and made a point of using various rebel songs as marching songs whenever they thought British personnel might hear them.
- From Osprey Publishing, The Irish Army 1940-1945.
Hope my Irish grammar isn't completely horrifying - it's been a while since school
sorry for the double posting but If we’re go with the idea that Joe Kennedy is been sent to Ireland both as way to improve US-Irish relations and to get rid of him so he couldn’t run against FDR for the democrat presidential Candidate would he pushed for his son’s to join the Irish military like he did in OTL to join the US military.
IIRC he was offered it OTL and considered it an insult- ambassador to Ireland was a minor position not befitting his contributions.sorry for the double posting but If we’re go with the idea that Joe Kennedy is been sent to Ireland both as way to improve US-Irish relations and to get rid of him so he couldn’t run against FDR for the democrat presidential Candidate would he pushed for his son’s to join the Irish military like he did in OTL to join the US military.
Very good...very good indeed. And I can definitely see that as being quite the stumbling block.View attachment 747740
An Irish Air Corps Mosquito / Spioróg circa July 1943. This particular aeroplane was flown by Lieutenant Stephen Rice (pilot) and Second-Lieutenant John Delaney (navigator.)
Scylla and Charybdis: The Irish Air Corps in the invasion of Sicily and the bombing of Rome (1943)
The final collapse of the Axis in North Africa in May 1943 saw the five Irish Air Corps squadrons that had fought in that theatre given a brief rest before the planned Allied landings in Sicily . The Irish had suffered heavy casualties in two years of heavy fighting but they had gained priceless experience against the Italians and Germans and won a glamorous reputation back home.
The commander of the 'Irish Desert Wing' - soon to renamed to the more prosaic First Air Corps Overseas Group - was Colonel Tomas Falcon Hazell. Col. Hazell was a storied figure as the highest scoring Irish ace to survive the First World War but that same fame had made him a controversial choice to some that an ex-RAF man had been brought back in from civilian life and given so senior command. Nevertheless he had won the respect of the aircrews under his command and he was busy during the spring and early summer of 1943 preparing his men for what everyone believed would be a fierce fight over Italian soil.
During the North African campaign the Irish aircrews had developed a healthy respect for the Regia Aeronautica and especially the dreaded Macchi C.202 Folgore which many in the Air Corps thought outclassed the Bf-109 as an opponent and was better (except in armament) to any fighter then flying under Irish colours. It was therefore with a mix of relief and regret that Italian air resistance melted away so quickly when the Allies finally invaded Sicily in July. Instead the Irish aircrews mostly found themselves attacking Italian fortifications and naval vessels, achieving much success in this regard.
In fact the operation that proved the most trouble for the Irish would in the end not use any Irish aircraft at all. In May the British and Americans had bombed Rome, provoking discontent in the Dáil and the Irish newspapers. However it was soon forgotten as focus shifted to Sicily. It would not be until 19 July when Sicily was already rapidly falling and the Allies began bombing the Eternal City in earnest that the issue would become a minor crisis.
The bombings of Rome attracted discontent even in the United States, at least among Catholics. In strongly Catholic Ireland there was genuine popular outrage that the seat of the Church was under attack by the Allies. Though Ireland had been at war with Italy since 1940 the conflict had hitherto been entirely military and there was no real sense of hatred for the enemy. The Government found itself besieged by popular calls to refrain from supplying Irish aircraft for the Allied bombings and to call on the Americans and British to stop.
The former request proved very easy as the Air Corps had no heavy bombers to begin with and were certainly not about to send their precious Spiorógs on a mass raid. The latter was much more difficult. De Valera was also dismayed by the Allied bombings but there was very little he could actually do save submit his private disapproval to Churchill and Roosevelt.
While the controversy raged back home and heavy bombers droned over Rome Col. Hazell and his aircrews prepared for the invasion of mainland Italy - and what they already suspected would be far fiercer resistance.
 Two squadrons flew Cruidíns (the 108 & 202), one flew Rúcachs (the 305) and one Spiorógs (the 401). A sixth squadron (the 303) had flown Druid light bombers but had been transferred back home in January 1943.
Thanks! @Mccarthypaddy1216 is to thank for mentioning Tom Barry. Which...given he was in the Army by 1940, I could see it working, especially since he has the necessary experience. Though not without reservations...Oh excellent work and very interesting choice of participants!
Probably better than mine!
Happy to help I figured the Irish would need somebody with Tom’s experience to lead a unit like the Fianóglaigh. do I have been thinking would we see Irish soldiers being sent behind enemy lines to Help resistant cells in occupied countries or even been sent over stateside to train the airborne in preparation of D-Day.@Mccarthypaddy1216 is to thank for mentioning Tom Barry. Which...given he was in the Army by 1940, I could see it working, especially since he has the necessary experience. Though not without reservations...
No, Joe Kennedy had US Presidential ambitions for his sons and, while he by no means played down his Irish roots, he wasn't going to be too Irish to be American. Joseph Jr. and JFK were going to be going into the US Armed Forces as OTL. Service under a foreign flag, even an Allied nation against the Axis wouldn't have helped his sons in the path to the White House.sorry for the double posting but If we’re go with the idea that Joe Kennedy is been sent to Ireland both as way to improve US-Irish relations and to get rid of him so he couldn’t run against FDR for the democrat presidential Candidate would he pushed for his son’s to join the Irish military like he did in OTL to join the US military.
Very good...very good indeed. And I can definitely see that as being quite the stumbling block.
H.G. Wells said:There are also Italian troops fighting against our allies the Russians. A thorough bombing (a la Berlin) of the Italian capital seems not simply desirable, but necessary. At present a common persuasion that Rome will be let off lightly by our bombers is leading to a great congestion of the worst elements. of the Fascist order in and around Rome.
Not only is Rome the source and centre of Fascism, but it has been the,seat of a Pope, who, as we shall show, has been an open ally of the Nazi- Fascist-Shinto Axis since his enthronement. He has never raised his voice against that Axis, he has never denounced the abominable aggressions, murder and cruelties they have inflicted upon mankind, and the pleas he is now making for peace and forgiveness are manifestly designed to assist the escape of these criminals, so that they may presently launch a fresh assault upon all that is decent in humanity. The Papacy is admittedly in communication with the Japanese, and maintains in the Vatican an active Japanese observation post.
No other capital has been spared the brunt of this war.
Why do we not bomb. Rome? Why do we allow these open and declared antagonists of democratic freedom to entertain their Shinto allies and organise a pseudo-Catholic destruction of democratic freedom? Why do we—after all the surprises and treacheries of this war—allow this open preparation of an internal attack upon the rehabilitation of Europe? The answer lies in the deliberate blindness of our Foreign Office and opens up a very serious indictment of the mischievous social disintegration inherent in contemporary Roman Catholic activities.
I'd rather suspected that Paddy Mayne would turn up in this.One more entertaining aspect of Barry's time in the desert war would be the odd friendship he developed with Northern Irish officer, SAS founding member and former Ireland and British Lions rugby player Robert Blair 'Paddy' Mayne, a friendship that initially began over mutual insults and a rather brutal fight in a bar in Alexandria, but would ultimately develop into a mutual respect, with both engaging in friendly competitions to see how effect their respective forces' patrols would be.
Oh, for sure.And yeah I figured the bombings of Rome could cause more trouble in Ireland than in the US or (especially) Britain
Dear Lord... That's horrific. Even by the standards of the era, that's appalling....and it goes on like that for 90 pages of Catholic/Christianity bashing that would have Richard Dawkins and Garth Ennis both say "actually that's a bit much..." all mixed in with Well's bizarrely specific and extremely racist hatred of Japan and Shinotism.
(I sort of regret stumbling across that nugget of information yesterday - I'm a big fan of War of the Worlds but now... well... )
Yeah...Oh I get that totally.
Like from the other side of the political I had an ex-RAF man like Hazell brought into the Air Corps despite the mutterings simply because the Air Corps desperately needs people with experience.
And very well chosen bird names, too.True alas... Luckily I've been mostly restricting myself to stealing bird names for my planes!
Well it's the Irishman who disabled a German plane by ripping the instrument panel out with his bare hands because he was out of bombs. How could I leave him out?I'd rather suspected that Paddy Mayne would turn up in this.
Oh, for sure.
Dear Lord... That's horrific. Even by the standards of the era, that's appalling.
Also...very weirdly specific, as you say. Yeah, I don't blame you for being sad you stumbled across that...
Actually, that's one very good effect of all this. Between bringing together men who fought for the British and those who didn't, and the general effect of a common enemy on inter-communal and North-South relations, the war will help breaking down quite a few barriers. Not a magic wand, by any means, but...definitely help pave the way for better things, hopefully.
And very well chosen bird names, too.