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In Time of War: Ireland, Ulster and the Price of Neutrality 1939-45 Hardcover – Import, 1983

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0233975144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0233975146
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By rpc@iname.com on September 29, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book deals with Irish neutrality during the second world war. There are many myths attached to Irish neutrallity, stories of the IRA refeulling U-boats and threats of aggression from Britian. This book goes to the source and destroys the rumours, and holds up the facts. It also goes deeply into the political undercurrents that kept Ireland out of the second world war. Ireland held (in the first half of WWII) an extremely important strategic position. The british had abandonned three navy ports (against the advice of Winston Churchill) which would have protected the atlantic convoys against the german u-boats in 1938. Had these ports not been abandonned it is probable that the Irish could not have been neutral. The british only threatened to Invade the "Irish Free state" if they were being starved out by the U boat blockade, and would only have done this to re take the strategic ports. Interestingly the IRA were hunted down on both sides of the partition and several were hung in Dubblin during WWII. The IRA in NI were pro nazi, but there is no evidence for them helping in any significant way the Nazis. For students of Irish history this would make a very good begining point, the 1940's and WWII are not too distant in history and it looks back in enough detail to give the causes for the actions in the first half of the 1940's and sets the scene for the Irish declaration of the republic in 1947, and the subsequent absorbtion of NI into the UK in 1949. Another interesting fact is how the german bombings of Dubblin and Belfast had an enormous effect on the population there. Although light in comparison to the treatment dealt out to English cities the population of belfast was terrified into sleeping outside in the countryside.Read more ›
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Albert Doyle on September 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an invaluable book for anyone interested in the subject of Irish neutrality during WW II. Fisk, the great British journalist reported for the London Times from Belfast from 1972 to 1975 and has a PhD from Dublin's Trinity University so he knows something about Ireland although the book also reveals his lack of understanding of and sympathy for Catholic Ireland and, oddly, its people, who play little part in the book, probably because Fisk himself is a "little Brit" who at the time he wrote the book anyway apparently thought all moral righteousness was on the allied side (although he mentions allied firestorm civilian bombings of Dresden, Hamburg etc. only in very, very brief passing, seemingly believes all the Nuremburg atrocity stories even though many have now been discreetly discredited and dropped, and seems to think the Spanish civil war involved noble good guys who lost fighting "fascism" -- in other words he seems to have been been somewhat of a lefty). His more recent writings seem to take a more balanced and negative view of our recent warfare and its ugly details.

He also seems from time to time not able to make up his mind about the interpretation of events. Example: In summing up De Valera's stubborn and successful defense of neutrality which kept Ireland's people out of the horrors of the war he calls it "the abnormal nature of the political path De Valera had chosen to follow" at one point, then shortly later in criticizing Churchill's misunderstanding of the Irish viewpoint he says, "the Irish were in the very process of regaining their soul -- their political independence -- by remaining neutral". The book is replete with this kind of thing.
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