For Britain the Second World War exists in popular memory as a time of heroic sacrifice, survival and ultimate victory over Fascism. In the Irish state the years 1939-45 are still remembered simply as 'the Emergency'. Éire was one of many small states which in 1939 chose not to say out of the war but one of the few able to maintain its non-belligerency as a policy.
How much this owed to Britain's military resolve or to the political skills of Éamon de Valera is a key question which this new book explores. It also examines the tensions Éire's policy created in its relations with Winston Churchill and with the United States. The author also explores propaganda, censorship and Irish state security and the degree to which it involves secret co-operation with Britain. Disturbing issues are also raised like the IRA's relationship to Nazi Germany and ambivalent Irish attitudes to the Holocaust.
Drawing upon both published and unpublished sources, this book illustrates the war's impact on people on both sides of the border and shows how it failed to resolve sectarian problems in Northern Ireland while raising higher the barriers of misunderstanding between it and the Irish state across it border.
About the Author
Ian S. Wood is Former Lecturer in History at the Napier University, Edinburgh
Table of Contents
1 The Origins of Éire's Neutrality 1
2 Éire's Emergency, Britain's War 22
3 Éire: Crisis and Survival 48
4 Security, Censorship and Propaganda 67
5 Fanatic Hearts: the IRA, 1939-45 101
6 Éire in the Emergency and the Irish in Britain 141
7 Northern Ireland at War 171
8 Emergency, War and their Aftermath 196