21 July 2010

Perhaps why it was a good idea for Eire to be neutral in 1939

I've always felt that Ireland's neutrality during WWII was right but then wrong. In 1939 it was almost certainly the right call. Leaving aside any other considerations the country had a pitiful military capability at the time.

This represents the hardware that Ireland had to defend itself on outbreak of war

Defending the Seas

The Muirchu with one 12 Pounder naval gun

The Fort Rannoch, again with a 12 pounder naval gun

Two Vosper MTBs
Land strikeforce

Two Swedish Landsverk L60 tanks

One Vickers Mark II Medium tank

The army also had just four anti aircraft guns and four anti tank rifles (useless against even light tanks)

In the skies

The Irish Army Air Corp's strike capability consisted of three Gloster Gladiators. The Corps did also have Lysanders, Ansons and a number of Walrus seaplanes but these would have been ineffectual in an offensive role

The purpose of this post is not to sneer at the Irish military but to give a small indication of what military hardware it had at the start of WWIIand a small contributing factor to staying neutral


susan said...

I wish that was the level of armaments everybody had today.

jams o donnell said...

Now that would be a good idea Susan

Claude said...

Maybe Ireland, as a country, was neutral, Jams. But a lot of Irishmen ran to England and enrolled in any of the Armed Forces which would take them. My ex-husband's father, who had been born in Dublin, moved to England at a mature age to fight in WW2. He got plenty of medals to prove it. He was very proud of it. He sent them to his first grandson (my older son). He never returned to Ireland.

jams o donnell said...

Agreed Claude but then my dad was one of those who did the same!