#OTD in 1941 – 15/16: In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Luftwaffe attacked Belfast, killing one thousand people.

Belfast was poorly prepared for the blitz compared with cities in Britain, few children had been evacuated, air raid shelters were sparse and defensive arrangements weak. Yet the Harland and Wolff ship building yards and Northern Ireland’s strategic role in the battle of the Atlantic made it a likely target. When German bombers struck on […]

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#OTD in 1941 – A Luftwaffe bomb kills 13 people in Belfast.

The British government appeals to Éamon de Valera for help and he authorises fire brigades from Dublin, Dundalk, Drogheda and Dún Laoghaire to give assistance. On the evening of 7 April 1941, Fifteen German bombers believed to have been from the Kampfgruppe 26 path finder’s left their airfield in Northern Holland near the town of […]

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#OTD in 1939 – In one of the more intriguing episodes of World War II, German U-Boat 35 under the command of Kapitan Werner Lott disembarked 28 men at Dingle, Co Kerry from the Greek cargo ship Diamantis.

About 15.40 hours on 3 Oct, 1939, the Diamantis was torpedoed by U-35 and sank 40 miles west of the Scilly Islands. Because the lifeboats were not suited for use in the bad weather, Lott decided to take all crew members aboard and landed them the next day at Dingle, Co Kerry. On a stormy […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Twenty miles off the coast of Donegal, the luxury Cunard liner Queen Mary – converted into a troop carrier for the war smashes into her escort ship, the British cruiser Curaçao.

The Curaçao which had connected with the Queen Mary to escort her for the final two hundred miles to the port of Greenock, Scotland sinks with the loss of 338 men. As were his orders, Captain Cyril of the Queen Mary which was carrying an estimated 15,000 US troops does not stop to mount a […]

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#OTD in 1941 – German bombs fall on North Strand, Dublin; 34 people are killed and 90 are injured.

On the night of 31 May 1941, four high-explosive bombs were dropped by German aircraft on the North Strand area of Dublin City. The casualties were many: 28 dead and 90 injured, with 300 houses damaged or destroyed. This bombing was interpreted either as a deliberate ploy by Hitler’s government to force neutral Ireland into […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Winston Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

Few outside of Ireland could understand the neutral stance of the Irish Free State during the war. Churchill most certainly did not when he said: “Owing to the action of Mr de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of Southern Irishmen who hastened to the battle-front to prove their […]

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#OTD in 1945 – In a radio broadcast, Churchill accuses De Valera’s government of frolicking with the Germans and Japanese.

In his Victory in Europe speech, Winston Churchill slams Éamon de Valera and his war-time policy. (To add fuel to an already bitter relationship, de Valera had not distinguished himself or Ireland’s reputation when he offered condolences to Germany on the death of Hitler.) “(By the dawn of 1941), The sense of envelopment, which might […]

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#OTD in 1941 – 15/16: In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Luftwaffe attacked Belfast, killing one thousand people.

Belfast was poorly prepared for the blitz compared with cities in Britain, few children had been evacuated, air raid shelters were sparse and defensive arrangements weak. Yet the Harland and Wolff ship building yards and Northern Ireland’s strategic role in the battle of the Atlantic made it a likely target. When German bombers struck on […]

Read More

#OTD in 1941 – A Luftwaffe bomb kills 13 people in Belfast.

The British government appeals to Éamon de Valera for help and he authorises fire brigades from Dublin, Dundalk, Drogheda and Dún Laoghaire to give assistance. On the evening of 7 April 1941, Fifteen German bombers believed to have been from the Kampfgruppe 26 path finder’s left their airfield in Northern Holland near the town of […]

Read More

#OTD in 1939 – In one of the more intriguing episodes of World War II, German U-Boat 35 under the command of Kapitan Werner Lott disembarked 28 men at Dingle, Co Kerry from the Greek cargo ship Diamantis.

About 15.40 hours on 3 Oct, 1939, the Diamantis was torpedoed by U-35 and sank 40 miles west of the Scilly Islands. Because the lifeboats were not suited for use in the bad weather, Lott decided to take all crew members aboard and landed them the next day at Dingle, Co Kerry. On a stormy […]

Read More