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What if Ireland had not been neutral during WW2?

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Comments

  • #2
    rock22 wrote: »
    Dev spoke against Mussolini in the league of nations and wanted the large countries of the world to take action after the invasion of Ethiopia. When they failed to, Dev lost trust in the large powers ever doing anything to aid the small nations, hence his strong position on neutrality.

    There was no likelihood of Dev aligning with the Axis.

    Despite pleas from the UK, and earlier France, the US remained resolutely neutral even after Pearl Harbour. It only entered the war in Europe after Hitler declared war on it. Hitler never declared war on Ireland in the same way.

    It is also not likely that there would have been any popular support for entering the war amongst the general population here.

    Of course not the Axis were dirtbags, I'm currently doing research on Poland's border changes and by god those people knew what suffering was. We were blessed not to be involved in the madness.


  • #2


    Markcheese wrote: »
    I doubt Colin's or anyone else would have led Ireland into the war early on , we had feic all to gain and lots to loose...
    We could have entered when it was fairly obvious that the Germans weren't going to win , but I don't think our assistance was a big deal by then ...and I don't think there's have been much change ,
    Even If there'd been a facist style coup/take over in the late 20s / 30s I reckon we'd have stayed neutral during the war , although there could well have been a forced regieme change at the wars end ...

    It's a interesting question but I doubt there would have been a regime change in a Fascist Ireland as long as it didn't take up arms against the allies during the war, we probably would have got the same reaction Francos dictatorship got after the war ended.


  • #2


    It's a interesting question but I doubt there would have been a regime change in a Fascist Ireland as long as it didn't take up arms against the allies during the war, we probably would have got the same reaction Francos dictatorship got after the war ended.
    This. Fascist or quasi-fascist regimes which remained neutral during the war survived for decades afterwards in Spain and Portugal


  • #2


    Post war Ireland would be part of NATO might have joined the EEC sooner enjoyed the benefits of the Marshall plan abandoning economic isolation industrializing during WW2 and benefitting from the post war boom without the plague of emigration. American and British air ground and nuclear forces would have been based here.

    NATO possibly yes, but I doubt it would have pushed up EEC accession. Denmark were a founding member of NATO in 1949, however they only joined the EEC with us and the UK in 1973. Mainly due to fact that the Danes were like us heavily dependent on UK as an export market. If anything they were one of our main competitors for alot of agricultural exports to UK during the period.

    Like us they applied to join in 1961 (along with UK), when de Gaulle veto UK accession, both us and Denmark withdrew our applications to join the EEC.


  • #2


    rock22 wrote: »
    Dev spoke against Mussolini in the league of nations and wanted the large countries of the world to take action after the invasion of Ethiopia. When they failed to, Dev lost trust in the large powers ever doing anything to aid the small nations, hence his strong position on neutrality.
    I think it was more the case that DeValera didn't want to be dragged into a war, relying on a totally inadequate Irish army & navy, that would inevitably have to seek protection from Great Britain. It isn't that he felt anxious about Britain's willingness to 'step in', it's that this would have made a joke of our fledgling independence.

    I doubt Abyssinia was much on his mind at all.


  • #2


    dubhthach wrote: »
    NATO possibly yes, but I doubt it would have pushed up EEC accession. Denmark were a founding member of NATO in 1949, however they only joined the EEC with us and the UK in 1973. Mainly due to fact that the Danes were like us heavily dependent on UK as an export market. If anything they were one of our main competitors for alot of agricultural exports to UK during the period.

    Like us they applied to join in 1961 (along with UK), when de Gaulle veto UK accession, both us and Denmark withdrew our applications to join the EEC.
    Worth pointing out that, like ourselves, Denmark was neutral during the war. This didn't stop them from being invaded and occupied by Germany but, unlike Norway or the Netherlands, say, who were occupied at the same time, they didn't then become belligerents with a government-in-exile co-ordinating resistance to the occupation; the King and the government remained in Copenhagen and continued to govern Denmark, formally neutral in the war but co-operating grudgingly with the German occupation.

    The notion that Ireland was unusual in preferring neutrality, and that this was caused either by spinelessness or by hostility to the UK, is one cherished by the more stupid kind of British nationalist, but it's balls. A great many European countries adopted a policy of neutrality, and persisted in it until actually attacked or invaded by one belligerent or another - Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Greece, Yugoslavia, doubtless others. (And of course this was also the policy pursued by the United States.) Ireland's policy regarding participation in the war was pretty much the standard policy of smaller European states. We were simply fortunate in that our geographical position meant that none of the belligerents felt the need to attack us.


  • #2


    I think it was more the case that DeValera didn't want to be dragged into a war, relying on a totally inadequate Irish army & navy, that would inevitably have to seek protection from Great Britain. It isn't that he felt anxious about Britain's willingness to 'step in', it's that this would have made a joke of our fledgling independence.

    I doubt Abyssinia was much on his mind at all.

    See League of nations bill

    Perhaps you should read up on the period before dismissing my post


  • #2


    rock22 wrote: »
    See League of nations bill

    Perhaps you should read up on the period before dismissing my post
    I'm not contesting DeValera's concern for the integrity of small states, more your claim that Abyssinia was in any way central to his influence on Irish neutrality.

    Take your statement "Dev lost trust in the large powers ever doing anything to aid the small nations, hence his strong position on neutrality"

    That's really a stretch.


  • #2


    You said
    I think it was more the case that DeValera didn't want to be dragged into a war, relying on a totally inadequate Irish army & navy, that would inevitably have to seek protection from Great Britain. It isn't that he felt anxious about Britain's willingness to 'step in', it's that this would have made a joke of our fledgling independence.

    I doubt Abyssinia was much on his mind at all.


    All the evidence suggest otherwise, his internationalism and his support for international interventions via the League of Nations. The Abyssinian crisis was the point at which it became apparent that the 'great powers' were only interested in their own imperial ambitions and that nothing should be expected from them. And he was proved right. His address to the league of nations make it clear he was in favour of agreed international intervention in principle. Nothing in the lead up to WW2 would have served to change his mind. I also believe that his position was widely understood and shared by most of the political thinkers in Ireland at the time , (? with the exception of Duffy).
    Had the great powers used the league of Nations to address the German aggression then Ireland would almost certainly have been to the forefront in that intervention . But Ireland was not willing to align with one or other belligerent in order to aid their imperial ambitions around balance of power. etc.

    The change in position and sentiment of Ireland , ( or de Valera) , is clear up to and then after the Abyssinian crisis. It was a turning point and , luckily for us, ensured we remained neutral when the conflict inevitably


  • #2


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Worth pointing out that, like ourselves, Denmark was neutral during the war. This didn't stop them from being invaded and occupied by Germany but, unlike Norway or the Netherlands, say, who were occupied at the same time, they didn't then become belligerents with a government-in-exile co-ordinating resistance to the occupation; the King and the government remained in Copenhagen and continued to govern Denmark, formally neutral in the war but co-operating grudgingly with the German occupation.

    The notion that Ireland was unusual in preferring neutrality, and that this was caused either by spinelessness or by hostility to the UK, is one cherished by the more stupid kind of British nationalist, but it's balls. A great many European countries adopted a policy of neutrality, and persisted in it until actually attacked or invaded by one belligerent or another - Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Greece, Yugoslavia, doubtless others. (And of course this was also the policy pursued by the United States.) Ireland's policy regarding participation in the war was pretty much the standard policy of smaller European states. We were simply fortunate in that our geographical position meant that none of the belligerents felt the need to attack us.

    My point was purely about EEC membership in post war scenario, and not about Neutrality. Again if we had entered war and then post-war been a founding member of NATO in 1949, it's still probable we wouldn't have joined the then EEC until 1973, just like situation with Denmark.

    Likewise in scenario where we stayed Neutral but then join NATO in 1949 (something Gov. decided against as it would entail recognising position of Northern Ireland as integral part of the UK), we would still not have ended up in the EEC until 1973.

    The issue here been that like Denmark our accession was tied to whether the UK applied or not given it's position as the dominant trading partner for both countries.


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