Monday, November 15, 2010

Irish Army of the 1930s

Irish army blog pics

Troops of the Irish Free State on maneuvres in the 1930s.
Note the German inspired, British produced Vickers helmet.


My knowledge of the history of the Irish Army is slim and limited mainly to my own efforts defending the nation against the paramilitary wing of the Wicklow Ramblers Association in the late 1990s.

You'll find an article from the Defence Forces website here.

Eunan O'Halpin's "The Irish State and its Enemies since 1922" is generally considered to be the best foundation on the subject and it's well worth a read. His introduction to "MI5 and Ireland 1939-1945: The Official History" is worth the price of entry alone.

While the above books are extremely interesting, they probably lack the uniform detail that wargamers crave. Donal MacCarron's Osprey on the subject is by necessity impressionistic as it covers a great deal of ground, but is well worth a look. You'll find some information on our own home grown fascists, a pretty sorry lot I think you'll agree*, here.

I'm not aware of any manufacturer that makes Irish troops for the period in any scale. I would recommend using German troops from the last years of the Great War, possibly with headswops for the officers who had a rather more British cut to them. Vehicles would be a mix of British Great War and Interwar types.

*I had a teacher in school who put down the abscence of any credible right wing movement in Ireland in the 1930s to Irish peoples lack of interest or ability in political extremism. It was a statement that made me choke on my cornflakes even at the tender age of 11. I think a far more likely explanation for the poor showing of the Blue Shirts was that they came late to an already crowded market.

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