The repeated claims that America declared against Germany during WW1 because her citizens and ships had been attacked by German U-boats is not accurate. Though the U-boats were restrained as a result of American diplomatic protests, America did not enter the war at that time and when they did, it was for different reasons. This has not been the first nor the last time that war was pursued for reasons that were not stated. This type of media management has of course reached heights of a totally new sophistication today.
Firstly I’d like to look at Howth Head LOP in the general context of the Coast Watching Service and talk about what the service was and how the Howth post operated within that structure. Then I’d like to focus on the post in day-to-day operation during a particular period of the Second World War, a period usually ignored by historians of the Battle of the Atlantic.
This paper is an early version of the introduction to the Guarding Neutral Ireland:
the coastwatching service and military intelligence 1939-45 (Four Courts Press, 2008)
Eddie Bourke Dainty The early years of the Irish Free State from January 1922 were a time of turmoil after the war of Independence ceased with the Truce in July 1921. The British army commenced their withdrawal and the Free…
The Kerlogue is seen as exemplar of neutral Irish ships during World War II. She was very small. She was attacked by both sides and rescued both sides. The Wild Rose of Liverpool was crippled and sinking following an attack on her convoy. Kerlogue, not only saved the crew, but took the much larger Wild Rose in tow, installed her own pumps and saved the ship. Following the sinking of Z72, Kerlogue which was only 43m long rescued 168 Germans. They were interned in the curragh.
These troop ships were lost on their way to the Napoleonic Wars. Over 400 bodies washed up on an urban shore. Allegations that they were trapped below while the crew escaped. This sad incident was an impetus to the construction of Dún Laoghaire Harbour
The torpedoing of the Blue Star Line’s 15,000-ton luxury liner Arandora Star off Bloody Foreland, Donegal on 2 July 1940 is one of the hidden histories of Second World War Ireland. Though the sinking was reported in the local press in Mayo and Donegal, where it is still remembered, it never made it into the national consciousness due to wartime censorship.