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18-09-2020, 16:22   #1
Hyus
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Firsthand stories from the mercantile marine during the Emergency?

I've found firsthand accounts/memoirs/interviews from sailors in the British mercantile marine during 1939-45, so what about the men who worked on neutral Irish ships during that period?

I'd really like a chance to read/hear what everyday service was like for the crews of the Irish mercantile marine during the Emergency, but so far I've only been able to find secondary sources without much firsthand detail.


Anything out there that folks could recommend?

Last edited by Hyus; 18-09-2020 at 16:28.
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19-09-2020, 11:08   #2
Captain Havoc
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Originally Posted by Hyus View Post
I've found firsthand accounts/memoirs/interviews from sailors in the British mercantile marine during 1939-45, so what about the men who worked on neutral Irish ships during that period?

I'd really like a chance to read/hear what everyday service was like for the crews of the Irish mercantile marine during the Emergency, but so far I've only been able to find secondary sources without much firsthand detail.


Anything out there that folks could recommend?
I don't know any first-hand accounts but look for the story of the Kerlogue, I'm fairly sure there're first-hand accounts knocking around. I did a piece on this for my national tour guiding course and it's a phenomenal story. The national maritime museum has some of its pieces on display. There was a book written about the Irish mercantile navy in WWII called the long watch by Frank Forde but I have not read it.
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20-09-2020, 16:18   #3
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Probably not the easiest book to get, but 'Irish Shipping - A Fleet History', published in 2013, has an account of the fifteen ships operated by that company during WWII including the Irish Pine which was sunk in 1942 by a U-boat with the loss of all 33 crew members.
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27-09-2020, 16:52   #4
paul71
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Originally Posted by Captain Havoc View Post
I don't know any first-hand accounts but look for the story of the Kerlogue, I'm fairly sure there're first-hand accounts knocking around. I did a piece on this for my national tour guiding course and it's a phenomenal story. The national maritime museum has some of its pieces on display. There was a book written about the Irish mercantile navy in WWII called the long watch by Frank Forde but I have not read it.
I heard that story years ago, the neutral ship attacked by both sides and rescued by both sides. Almost like Finlands story in WW2
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27-09-2020, 17:00   #5
Dial Hard
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Slightly off-topic I know but I *loathe* the term "Emergency" to refer to World War 2. It makes it sound like a three-day blackout rather than the single biggest conflict this planet has ever seen.

I had a particular History professor (and raging Dev-phile) who literally refused to refer to WW2 as anything else throughout the year I had her. I'm pretty sure it gave me a permanent reflexive tic.
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27-09-2020, 17:49   #6
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Calling it the Emergency is how Irish people refered to be period and is reflective of the local history at the time. While I'd not call it that when talking about WW2 in the wider world, relatives who had served in the Irish Army duing that time would have used used that term.
As well, local variations in naming a conflict are common. For instance, Russia call WW2, "The Great Patriotic War".
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27-09-2020, 18:02   #7
Dial Hard
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Yes I'm aware of the etymology, thanks. I still think it's reductive and misplaced.
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27-09-2020, 19:51   #8
Hyus
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As someone who's family lived under Nazi occupation and the middle of the warzone, I have no trouble with folks here calling it "the Emergency". It reflects the position Ireland was in at the time and follows the naming conventions of the period. Anyway, regardless of what folks call it, that's not what I came here to discuss. I'm just interested in the mercantile marine during that period
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29-09-2020, 20:38   #9
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well, when you think that that bit of bother in Norn Iron was called "The Troubles" as if the Irish had collectively lost a wallet or stubbed a toe. If 3,000 dead can't generate a stronger name for thirty years of war,i dont know what can.
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