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How would current Irish Military fare against the Wehermacht

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  • 15-09-2014 4:54pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 288 ✭✭


    This is obviously a hypothetical post . If the Germans had of invaded Ireland in WW2 the Irish army wouldn't of been able to put up much of a defense,and would of been over ran, but how would we have fared if we had the current weaponry of the Irish army, surface to air missiles, ranger wing etc and the current ships of the Irish navy.

    Would Germany still easily beat us, I know its a stupid question, but it is something i always wondered.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,265 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    [Mod]Definitely moving to Walter Mitty[/Mod]


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,752 ✭✭✭knucklehead6


    ken76 wrote: »
    This is obviously a hypothetical post . If the Germans had of invaded Ireland in WW2 the Irish army wouldn't of been able to put up much of a defense,and would of been over ran, but how would we have fared if we had the current weaponry of the Irish army, surface to air missiles, ranger wing etc and the current ships of the Irish navy.

    Would Germany still easily beat us, I know its a stupid question, but it is something i always wondered.


    Lets just say that a variation of Operation Rhine was used against Ireland. The variation being Tirpitz, Bismark, Scharnhorst & Gneisenau, meeting up and taking on the Naval Service. The entire naval service, every ship that ever sailed under the flag since it's inception, wouldn't come close to the tonnage and firepower of that task force.

    Our Scorpions & Mowags v's their Panzer IV's.
    no contest.

    The sheer weight of numbers against anything we could put up against them on the ground, no contest.

    It's not even something that you'd need to spend a lot of time thinking about to be honest....


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 2,688 Mod ✭✭✭✭Morpheus


    ME 109s would out perform our own PC9s for a start


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 288 ✭✭ken76


    I know it was a silly thread , but these are the type of answers i was wondering about.

    Would our hardware including radar , surface to air missile etc of given us an advantage, I wouldn't expect us to beat Germany but surely they could've been repelled we would have radar etc


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 2,688 Mod ✭✭✭✭Morpheus


    in sheer numbers alone, they would wipe our main forces out in hours.

    What use are 8 naval vessels against the german atlantic fleet?

    We have no Anti submarine capability at all

    our biggest naval gun is the rapid fire 76mm oto malera vs the 28.3cm guns of the kriegsmarine? not a hope.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 288 ✭✭ken76


    Well that puts that to bed, thanks guys


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Countdown_(film) eh?

    I assume you're thinking of technology vs sheer weight of numbers. I think you'd have to go a lot further back in history.

    Also the Irish Defence forces aren't intended to fight that scale of conflict. So are not equipped for that.

    Put it another way. Germany in 1939 population of almost 80 million vs Ireland Population 5 Million roughly speaking.
    On the September 1st, the German forces set to war against Poland amounted to more than 1.5 million solders, 9000 guns, 2500 tanks and almost 2000 aircraft.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    The Germans would be annihilated.

    They would land, quickly move off the beach then as their fuel and ammo ran low mobile Irish formations would cut them off before destroying the isolated forces in detail. The Air Corps would enjoy total air supremacy and the Army would have close air support on call and a degree of air mobility.

    The bigger the force the quicker it would be wiped out as it would be a logistics nightmare trying to support any sizeable force so far away from its supply depots.

    The PC9s would have a field day and we'd probably have half a dozen aces by the end of the third day as no German fighter possessed the range to get this far and engage in air combat.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    The air corps has 7 Pc-9s. 7. They have 6 westlands so air mobility for approx 80 troops? Not a major threat. Both also very susceptible to the mobile flak used by the german army.

    The easiest thing for the germans to do would be to capture a harbour. Land enough troops to maintain a defensive perimeter. setup air defences with 20mm and 40mm flak to see off the air corps. land an armoured formation to push out from the harbour and capture something resembling an airfield. Ferry some planes over to this airfield. Quickly establish air superiority (luftwaffe pilots would have a distinct advantage in air to air combat so the PC-9s would not be a threat). From there its a matter of continuing to push out. No doubt there would be some casualties due to anti-tank missiles and SAMs but i doubt the PDF have enough stocks of either to put a big enough dent in the germans panzer or aircraft stregth.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Beano wrote: »
    The air corps has 7 Pc-9s. 7. They have 6 westlands so air mobility for approx 80 troops? Not a major threat. Both also very susceptible to the mobile flak used by the german army.

    The easiest thing for the germans to do would be to capture a harbour. Land enough troops to maintain a defensive perimeter. setup air defences with 20mm and 40mm flak to see off the air corps. land an armoured formation to push out from the harbour and capture something resembling an airfield. Ferry some planes over to this airfield. Quickly establish air superiority (luftwaffe pilots would have a distinct advantage in air to air combat so the PC-9s would not be a threat). From there its a matter of continuing to push out. No doubt there would be some casualties due to anti-tank missiles and SAMs but i doubt the PDF have enough stocks of either to put a big enough dent in the germans panzer or aircraft stregth.

    Yes, they would in all probability land and seize a port - probably in the SE. But what you've described is essentially Anzio in reverse.

    The Germans would only have one objective - Dublin, the political and administrative centre of the country. Then they would discover that Dublin is like Rome - historically difficult to attack and seize from the south.

    Given their logistics situation would they have enough fuel, ammunition etc to take the direct route through the Wicklow mountains (through terrain where the Army trains and knows intimately); the coastal route; or hook around through the more armour friendly county of Kildare?

    The Army don't need to attack them when they land, just wait until they move out then get across their extending lines of communication while smaller formations simply engage and skirmish the leading German elements - the objective being not to win each engagement but to simply force them to expend their precious ammunition.

    Every plane, vehicle etc they bring over has to be fuelled - it's 774km from Brest to Waterford (direct), longer if you have to detour to stay out of range of UK based aircraft - that's a lot of open sea to cross by an army that rarely crossed anything larger than a river. Supply would also be highly weather dependent across a sea wide open to Atlantic influences and storms.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    why cant that port be Dublin? I couldnt imagine that being more difficult for them to take.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf


    If Bismark and a few other big ships rocked up to Dublin with a few transport ships. What on earth here could oppose them.

    Rather than take Dublin. Why not take somewhere else that is near to an runway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,979 ✭✭✭Stovepipe


    Why attack Dublin? Don't bother getting into street fighting or wrestling with refugees blocking roads, avoid the Wicklow mountains and aim for the central plain of Ireland, looting fuel as you go, aiming to go direct to the Curragh and smash the greater mass of the DF there. An armoured spearhead from Wexford would be in the region of Carlow inside a day, as there are no barriers of any decent scale to stop them. Too many bridges across too many shallow rivers, that a Panzer could wade, if it had to. Once you get to Carlow, you are at the bottom right hand corner of the widest, flattest land in Ireland. After that, it's a direct route to the Curragh and once you reach Athy, your mobile artillery can shell the Curragh camp to pieces while your airpower, based on the previously captured Waterford airport and any other small airfield or airport, having cleaned the skies of PC-9s and A139s, strafes and bombs ahead of you. they might take a few losses from anti-aircraft fire but the Camp will be ablaze in no time. Your Pz Ivs will be in the Curragh camp by the close of the second or third day and the DF's ability to fight will have ceased, apart from the odd guerilla action, for which the Wehrmacht will kill your citizens. Dublin will fall in short order, as the Luftwaffe will bomb the barracks flat and will render Baldonnel useless and then capture it to base their own aircraft there. Paras will be dropped on the Phoenix Park and the President will be seized, provided he hasn't fled. If so, a fast column will raid the Dail and cut off the seat of power. Dublin will go into the same state of shock that befell Paris and will be declared an open city, to avoid bloodshed. Ireland will officially surrender within a day or two.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    beauf wrote: »
    If Bismark and a few other big ships rocked up to Dublin with a few transport ships. What on earth here could oppose them.

    Exactly. a couple of broadsides from 15 inch guns would quieten any opposition. and their range would cover well out to the suburbs.
    beauf wrote: »
    Rather than take Dublin. Why not take somewhere else that is near to an runway.

    why not take dublin and complete a coup de main?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Beano wrote: »
    why cant that port be Dublin? I couldnt imagine that being more difficult for them to take.

    Sounds like a 'Dieppe' - type operation......assaulting a defended port was tried and one of the reasons the Allies went for 'over-the-beach' type operations was because of the difficulty of seizing ports from the sea.

    A few comments....

    Where would you land? Sailing into the river would be suicidal!

    It's Waaay beyond any fighter cover (and most medium bomber cover).

    Overlooked by Howth & Dalkey (what's the range & rate of fire of the 105mm light gun?)

    Even further away from the port of origin.

    Easy range of Baldonnel, Collinstown (Dublin Airport) and Gormanstown.

    Armour into an urban area in a country that 'gifted' urban guerrilla warfare to the world?

    ......and for the purposes of this 'thought experiment' - is there an assumption that the UK would sit blithely by and let the operation unfold without intervening? Given their 'involvement' in the NE corner of the island?

    During the early part WWII (when the fear of invasion was quite real) the RAF in Aldergrove were under orders to attack any suspicious shipping approaching the Irish coast. The plan then was to send more squadrons over to Belfast to assist until the requisite 48 hr period elapsed and the British were asked to help. At that point it was anticipated that the RAF would move south to Baldonnel & Collinstown with Gormanstown as the designated repair and supply depot.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Stovepipe wrote: »
    Why attack Dublin? Don't bother getting into street fighting or wrestling with refugees blocking roads, avoid the Wicklow mountains and aim for the central plain of Ireland, looting fuel as you go, aiming to go direct to the Curragh and smash the greater mass of the DF there. An armoured spearhead from Wexford would be in the region of Carlow inside a day, as there are no barriers of any decent scale to stop them. Too many bridges across too many shallow rivers, that a Panzer could wade, if it had to. Once you get to Carlow, you are at the bottom right hand corner of the widest, flattest land in Ireland. After that, it's a direct route to the Curragh and once you reach Athy, your mobile artillery can shell the Curragh camp to pieces while your airpower, based on the previously captured Waterford airport and any other small airfield or airport, having cleaned the skies of PC-9s and A139s, strafes and bombs ahead of you. they might take a few losses from anti-aircraft fire but the Camp will be ablaze in no time. Your Pz Ivs will be in the Curragh camp by the close of the second or third day and the DF's ability to fight will have ceased, apart from the odd guerilla action, for which the Wehrmacht will kill your citizens. Dublin will fall in short order, as the Luftwaffe will bomb the barracks flat and will render Baldonnel useless and then capture it to base their own aircraft there. Paras will be dropped on the Phoenix Park and the President will be seized, provided he hasn't fled. If so, a fast column will raid the Dail and cut off the seat of power. Dublin will go into the same state of shock that befell Paris and will be declared an open city, to avoid bloodshed. Ireland will officially surrender within a day or two.

    You seem to assume that there is fuel to loot - possibly for the vehicles but where is the rest for the aircraft (leaded high octane stuff)

    also, I don't imagine the Army would simply sit in the Curragh waiting to be shelled anymore than the cabinet would sit in government buildings waiting to be seized or the president in the Aras waiting to be captured.

    You're also over-estimating the accuracy of the Luftwaffe - I don't see the Ju-87 being involved unless they are going to be shipped over and re-assembled rather than ferried, which means medium bombers - which could just about hit the Curragh but any buildings hit would be by accident than by design.

    Finally, if you are the Germans and you are advancing north to wreck the Curragh and attempt to take Dublin - what do you do about Cork? Are you going to leave a brigade of the Irish Army with a clear run at your rear areas? Anymore than if you strike at the Curragh and turn east on Dublin are you going to leave the formations centred on Athlone free to attack the flank and rear?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    you're not really comparing like with like. Even if they had advance notice and prepared defences how many shots do you think a 105mm gun would get off before counter-battery fire from a german battleship took them out? Any opposition would be just a speedbump.

    the guerrilla warfare thing is a bit of a red herring. access to firearms is much more heavily restricted today than it was at the start of the last century. and the germans have shown themselves to be much more brutal with guerrillas than the british were.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    you make a good point about looting fuel. would ww2 vehicles even run on modern fuel? the lack of lead would have them spluttering in no time.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf


    Jawgap wrote: »
    Sounds like a 'Dieppe' - type operation......assaulting a defended port was tried and one of the reasons the Allies went for 'over-the-beach' type operations was because of the difficulty of seizing ports from the sea....

    Attacking a German held port is a little different. Especially when they have massive forces defending it. Ireland wouldn't have that.
    Beano wrote: »
    ..why not take dublin and complete a coup de main?

    Because it sucks for fighting. You pick the ground that suits you.

    Cover a landing a port with the big ships. Get the closest airfield you can. Bring in aircover. Game over.

    Fun thread...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Beano wrote: »
    you're not really comparing like with like. Even if they had advance notice and prepared defences how many shots do you think a 105mm gun would get off before counter-battery fire from a german battleship took them out? Any opposition would be just a speedbump.

    the guerrilla warfare thing is a bit of a red herring. access to firearms is much more heavily restricted today than it was at the start of the last century. and the germans have shown themselves to be much more brutal with guerrillas than the british were.

    Again, I think you are assuming that the artillery crews would just sit there and wait to be fired on. I'd imagine they'd "shoot and scoot." Whatever incoming fire arrived it would strike empty positions.

    Using Google Maps, you can see that the distance from Poolbeg to the M50 at Palmerstown is a sniff under 16km meaning the artillery could strike just about anywhere in the Bay from within the M50 - plenty of parks and open countryside to fire from.

    Also, the counter battery fire would need to be calculated manually and a battleship would be precisely the wrong type of ship from which to mount CB fire - it's rate of fire from the main armament is too slow. The Allies used destroyers for naval CB fire - quicker firing, more maneuverable and easier to bring in close to shore.

    Finally, you only have to look at the havoc the Italian partisans caused with very little in the way of arms - they managed to tie up eight full divisions (admittedly not frontline quality) in rear area security in the NE of the country in late 1944.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    beauf wrote: »
    Attacking a German held port is a little different. Especially when they have massive forces defending it. Ireland wouldn't have that.





    Fun thread...

    Dieppe was not heavily defended - 1,500 personnel from a high-number Static Division - not exactly the 1st Fallschirmjäger division;) However, they were on a high state of readiness.

    I think we could muster 1,500 troops? Plus I think we can assume that such an attack would not come as a complete bolt from the blue!

    Agreed - a fun thread


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    battleships have smaller guns as well. The bismarck to use an example had 15CM guns that outrange the light guns of the irish army and have a faster rate of fire. How quickly do you think a light gun can be packed up and moved? they would need to fire only once and then move. not going to do much for accuracy. and the irish defence forces would only have 12 light guns available to it. the bismarck had that many 15CM guns. and that is only 1 ship. they would bring more than one.

    I think you missed my point about guerrilla forces. Guerrilla forces need arms. There just arent that many civilian arms available in this country today. in italy in the 40's most households (especially outside the cities) would have a rifle or shotgun.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    I actually think the defence forces would struggle to raise 1500 troops for a defence, especially at short notice. there is only 1 infantry battalion based in dublin along with a cavalry squadron.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Beano wrote: »
    battleships have smaller guns as well. The bismarck to use an example had 15CM guns that outrange the light guns of the irish army and have a faster rate of fire. How quickly do you think a light gun can be packed up and moved? they would need to fire only once and then move. not going to do much for accuracy. and the irish defence forces would only have 12 light guns available to it. the bismarck had that many 15CM guns. and that is only 1 ship. they would bring more than one.

    I think you missed my point about guerrilla forces. Guerrilla forces need arms. There just arent that many civilian arms available in this country today. in italy in the 40's most households (especially outside the cities) would have a rifle or shotgun.

    It's not just the guns - you have to locate the target, calculate the firing solution then shoot - a lot of that was manual calculation.

    What's time of flight on a 105mm round fired over 15 km? About 45 seconds? Add in time to track and identify the firing location then manually work out the firing solution, communicate that information to the ship off shore and another 45-60 seconds time of flight for the return shot - I reckon the gun crew could have a cup of tea before packing up and still be grand.....

    The Italians did a lot with very little - in the urban environment, petrol is your friend.

    .......and if only there were people in Ireland who knew how to make home made explosives from fertiliser........


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf


    I think you missing the point about big ships. They would have a spotter aircraft, they could saturate an area. They would be moving, and they are armoured.

    Also the Germans would probably have a parachute drop at the same time. Ala crete.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf


    Jawgap wrote: »
    Dieppe was not heavily defended - 1,500 personnel from a high-number Static Division - not exactly the 1st Fallschirmjäger division;) However, they were on a high state of readiness.

    I think we could muster 1,500 troops? Plus I think we can assume that such an attack would not come as a complete bolt from the blue!

    Agreed - a fun thread

    Yes in the immediate but look at the reserves and air cover they could pull in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 burnnotice


    Im going to split this up into 2 parts.
    Part 1 - The Invasion Plan

    I believe that the amphibious landing point would be north of Dublin around Malahide, Donabate and possibly a south Dublin landing around Blackrock, Sandymount.

    Dublin is the inital prize, and from there a successful advance through the rest of the country with a supply network developed from the port. This can only truly be successful from Dublin due to the brillaint road network coming out of the capital. Other citys sad to say just don't have the road network coupled with a deep water port. ( I believe Dublin is a deep water port)

    The amphibious assault would then move out cuting the roads to the North of the country and to the south and then sweeping out towards the m50. The goal I believe would be to capture Dublin as quickly as possible and thus capture of the M50 and an encirclement of the city would deliver this very quickly.
    At the same time an airborne operation would help capture and secure the m50, m1. Dublin airport would also be targeted by an airborne assault cutting off the city of Dublin from the rest of the country and Europe and the US by air.
    I think only when Dublin Port is successfully taken, and cleared would the big ships come in to resupply. No way would there be an assault on Dublin Port as in doing so would damage the ports ability to function.

    Once Dublin is taken, the inital assault force reenforced and supplied, armour and transport unloaded and ready, the population under reasonable control, resistence put down brutally, and the arteries out of the city secure, the rest of the county is now in their sights.

    As per Barbarossa, the Germans would split into different army groups to take the major cites and towns of Ireland all in one swoop and would use our network of motorways out of Dublin to acheive this.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf


    The Germans had almost no amphibious assault capability. So they have to use a port, or drop by air.

    If you change the equipment they have in WWII, you might as well have Ireland borrow a tactical nuke. A bit like the UK getting the latest-est Sidewinders for the Falklands. So I would avoid changing the equipment both sides have. That would ruin the fun of this top trumps.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,357 ✭✭✭Beano


    beauf wrote: »
    The Germans had almost no amphibious assault capability. So they have to use a port, or drop by air.

    If you change the equipment they have in WWII, you might as well have Ireland borrow a tactical nuke. A bit like the UK getting the latest-est Sidewinders for the Falklands. So I would avoid changing the equipment both sides have. That would ruin the fun of this top trumps.

    well they did have river barges that they planned to use for SeaLion. I suppose they could have towed them to ireland and then embarked the troops into them from troopships. they would not have worked for SeaLion because of the naval threat of the Royal Navy but they wouldnt have that worry with the Irish navy. Whether shallow draft river barges would make the trip to Ireland though is not one i can answer. In calm weather possibly but any kind of rough sea would sink them i imagine.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 288 ✭✭ken76


    Would irish navy ships be effective in anyway, how would they be best used? Would irish modern machine guns also not be better?


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