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Thread: O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain/ Role of Axis Powers in Civil War

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    Senior Member Fraxinus Excelsior's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain/ Role of Axis Powers in Civil War

    This is an interesting article chronicling the story of General Eion O'Duffy and the Irish Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.

    http://members.lycos.co.uk/spanishcivilwar/SI1960B.htm

    Schools don't usually teach about the international volunteers in the Spanish Civil War unless their preaching about the "heroic" republican "international brigades", and/or villanizing the volunteers who fought for the Nationalist cause.

    For some brief info on O'Duffy and the Blue Shirt Movement:

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPblue.htm



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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    I don't recall learning much if anything about O"Duffy in school, i had to find out for myself when i was in my late teens and even then that wasn't an easy task, thanks for the links!


    Hails

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    Senior Member Fraxinus Excelsior's Avatar
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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    Quote Originally Posted by WarMaiden
    I don't recall learning much if anything about O"Duffy in school, i had to find out for myself when i was in my late teens and even then that wasn't an easy task, thanks for the links!


    Hails
    Hails back at ya!

    Being a by-product of the US education system, I also had to pursue the topic myself.

    You can't find books on O'Duffy, or anyone else who wasn't republican for that matter, in this country's schools or libraries.

    I presume it's the same every where else. If not, someone please correct me.


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    Mad Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    Quote Originally Posted by WarMaiden
    I don't recall learning much if anything about O"Duffy in school, i had to find out for myself when i was in my late teens and even then that wasn't an easy task, thanks for the links!


    Hails
    Of course you learn everything about Martin Luther King or Malcolm X!
    It is traumatic for a decent white man or woman to live in multi culti enviroment!!!!
    Last edited by Moody; Monday, April 26th, 2004 at 06:08 PM. Reason: spelling
    ME NE FREGO

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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    Quote Originally Posted by magilla gorilla

    Being a by-product of the US education system, I also had to pursue the topic myself.

    You can't find books on O'Duffy, or anyone else who wasn't republican for that matter, in this country's schools or libraries.

    I presume it's the same every where else. If not, someone please correct me.

    General O Duffy was a Republican, an Irish Republican, not a Republican as
    you have in the US.
    In Ireland when I was at school we did learn about O Duffy and the Blueshirts.
    Books on O Duffy are easy to find in the larger bookstores in Dublin.

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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    Yes, several good articles can be found on General O'Duffy:


    http://www.geocities.com/irishnation...fthecross.html


    Under the banner of the Cross; Irish volunteers fighting for Franco

    It has been sixty five years since the end of the Spanish civil war, and since its end very little has been written about the Irish volunteers who fought for a free and nationalist Spain.

    They have been effectively robbed of their place in Irish and European history, and if they are mentioned at all it is to be ridiculed and their contribution dismissed as irrelevant.

    Francos Irish brigade went to fight and die in defence of Christian civilisation against the satanic hordes of Marxists, agnostics, atheists, freemasons and Jews. Many groups of the European right were united by the nationalist cause into the champions of the cross of Christ.

    Word reached Ireland about the anti-clerical violence, rape and murder, by the end of which,12 bishops,4000 priests,2000 monks and 300 nuns, who were entirely innocent of any complicity in class oppression, would lie dead and mutilated, inspired by what monsignor sexton, dean of cork called "....a gang of murderous Jews in Moscow". Irish Catholics where outraged.

    August 1936 saw the formation of the Irish Christian front, one meeting in cork in September was attended by 40,000 people, they crossed their hands above their heads and pledged loyalty to the ICF and Franco.

    Their declared aims were to oppose communism, support Franco and raise funds for the nationalist people of Spain. The ICF leadership composed of catholic action supporters, anti-communist activists and fascist sympathisers. It was proposed to Eoin o Duffy leader of the Army Comrades Association, better known as the 'Blueshirts'(the ACA never called themselves the blueshirts but that was the name of their newspaper, they were avidly catholic,anti-communist and committed to the reunification of Ireland)to form an Irish brigade to aid Spain in her darkest hour. Within 2 weeks o Duffy claimed to have received between 2000-7000 applications to join from all over Ireland, Britain and the USA.

    Plans were made for the transportation of the first batch of volunteers to Spain. The newly formed brigade was confronted by problems from the start and despite the fact that the vast majority of Irish people supported Franco,Eamonn de valera signed up to the 'non-intervention agreement' which was the brain child of the French prime minister 'Leon blum' who was himself a freemason ,a Jew and a communist.

    The first plan for embarkation to Spain was cancelled by Franco, several small groups of volunteers made their way to Salamanca via Liverpool. Another troopship was organised as soon as possible. Fearing a threat to Irish neutrality de Valera banned Irish citizens from going to Spain and it was only through the intervention of Irish catholic bishop, dr Browne that the brigade was able to embark on their voyage to Spain. On hearing that an Irish brigade was on its way a capuchin in a monastery in the Pyrenees said many of the fathers wept with joy on hearing that Ireland wished to help the cause of the faith in Spain.

    "....the very fact that a group of Irish men volunteered their services to help Spain in her hour of peril against the forces of darkness could not fail to have very favourable reactions all over the world"

    Eoin o Duffy.

    In all about 1500 English, Irish, French, Belgian Catholics, White Russians and Romanians went to Spain. All would become the wars forgotten fighters. Between 650 - 700 of those being Irish and of the dozen or so British citizens who fought for Franco, most were at least half Irish. Not forgetting the 100,000 German, Italian and Portuguese uniformed troops and military specialists sent by their Governments. Some of the Foreign Volunteers had fought against the Bolsheviks in the Russian civil war, others in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, later in the Russo - Finnish war and on the Eastern Front in the Second World War.

    The Irish Volunteers were devote Catholics and mostly from a rural background. They had seen the war as a straight forward struggle between Christ and Anti - Christ. Some had no military training, their first weapon was the cross, and others had seen active service with or against the British Army and in some cases both. O Duffy he was a former I.R.A. Commander and former Chief of Police.

    The Catholic community of Ulster and in particular West Belfast sent a strong contingent. Bill Geraghty who had opposed the Blue Shirts and was a supporter of De Valeras Fianna Fail joined. John Conway from Dublin a young man of socialist inclinations joined the Brigade because of the outrage he felt at the Religious persecution in Spain. Denis Reynolds from Carlow who volunteered was later to become a Fine Gael Councillor. One teenager wrote to his mother from Spain "what I have done is for Our Lord and if I die it will only be for the best". The fact is that the majority of Irish Volunteers were genuinely motivated by the belief that they were in a crusade against Satan and Communism and the Talmudic blood letting that was the Spanish Civil War.

    Ex - I.R.A. man Frank Ryan led the Irish in the International Brigade, he was opposed by the then I.R.A. Chief of Staff Tom Barry. Barry was a hero of the Irish War of Independence, who was against sending I.R.A. members to aid the Spanish Republic and any members who wanted to aid the Communist had to resign from the I.R.A. Barry later showed support for Germany and Ryan was later to travel to Ireland a German U - Boat with the then Chief of Staff Sean Russell who sadly died en - route. A former British Army Officer and member of the International Brigade was the Jewish Captain Nathan who as a member of the murderous Black and Tans, the most hated force of British Military presence in Ireland and personally responsible for the murder of two prominent Limerick Sinn Feiners in 1920. He did not deny his misdemeanours during the 'Tan War'. He volunteered for Spain as a Jew but also because he said Fascism was the common enemy of mankind Jew or Gentile. Obviously he didn?t care if the Catholics he killed were Irish or Spanish.

    When the Irish Volunteers ship finally pulled into the Spanish dock their voices rang out over the harbour singing the Hymn 'Faith of Our Fathers' and once travelling through Spain by train one reporter observed "lads bunched at every window, with arms stretched in the Fascist salute". No further ships were permitted to leave Ireland for Spain, leaving another zoo behind.

    Later on in the war St. Marys pro - Cathedral sent a 20 strong Irish Pipe Band to fight and build morale. The full name of the Band was 'Saint Marys Anti - Communist Pipe Band'. The male parishioners of St. Marys were active in street warfare against Communists and Socialists.

    Most of the Volunteers were Anti - Muslim on both Religious and Racial grounds and saw Francos Moroccan troops as obedient servants of a Christian Ruler.

    The Irish Brigade was integrated into the Spanish Foreign Legion as the 'XU Bandera Irlandesa Del Terco' and it was to have its first casualties in an unfortunate and tragic blunder in what is known today as 'Friendly Fire'. The XU Bandera was in attack formation near Ciempozvelos when they came upon a Battalion of Flangists from the Canary Islands. Three of the Bandera advanced with two Spanish interpreters. They saluted with a statement which included the words 'Bandera Irlandesa Del Tercio' without reply the other Commander drew his revolver and opened fire, mistaking them for Red International Brigadiers. Both sides opened fire and both of the Spanish interpreters were killed. Dan Chute died as did Tom Hyde a former I.R.A. member from Middletown County Cork. Another man called O Sullivan also died as a result of injures.

    It is believed 13 Flangist died in the incident. Between the shelling and sniping the XU Bandera tried to settle into the normal mundane activities of Army life. It was during this time that Tom Mc Mullen was hit by a snipers bullet shattering his leg which was later amputated.

    Later during the Battle of Jarma Valley during an advance the XU Bandera came under heavy shellfire, one man was killed outright with nine others injured. Three of which died the following week. Two of the dead Mac Sweeney and Horan were childhood friends from the same street in Tralee. In all four men from Tralee would die fighting with the XU Bandera. Franco expressed 'Deep Sympathy for the Irish losses' on the Jarma Front.

    By the time the XU Bandera left Spain it had been plagued by military incompetence official blunders and episodes of farce. It was clear that the Irish Brigade was poorly led. O Duffy was rarely with his men spending most of his time at the Spanish HQ or driving from post to post. When the Irish Brigade / XU Bandera finally left Caceres to sail for home over twenty Bandera Volunteers lay in graves on Sacred Spanish soil. Twenty more were not fit to travel, some of which died. Over a dozen elected to stay and fight until the end of the fight. Ex - Priest and strong Anti - Semite Tom Grunning stayed, he later ended up in Germany working for the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin and was believed to be friends with British Frei Corps leader John Amery, who was hanged by the British for treason after the war.

    Nagle, Fitzpatrick and Peter Lawler stayed. Sergeant Major Michael Weyners (who went to Spain with two of his brothers), Sergeants Tom Jones and Michael Cadwell (an ex - Protestant who had converted to Catholicism at the front) joined the Spanish Foreign Legion. Michael Weyners later died during the fiercely contested Battle of Brunete. At least six Privates stayed Jeremiah Mc Carty, James Madden, Denis O Dea, Andrew O Toole. Daith Higgins and Austin O Reilly died within one month of each other in the last major campaign of the war in the desperate struggle on the Ebro, October 1938. O Reilly was a member of the Spanish elite 'Prima Bandera' when he died. Gabriel Lee was killed by shellfire during the titalica attack. Peter Kavanagh joined the Nationalist Air Force as he had spent time in the British Royal Air Force. In the 1938 Foreign Legion muster of Foreign Volunteers in Spain there are five Legionnaires identified as Irish, three of them from the XU Bandera.

    The Irish Brigade / XU Bandera are ridiculed and criticised for their lack of action during the Spanish Civil War and that they 'never fired a shot in anger and came back with more men than they left with'.

    Both these statements are untrue. How many useless deaths are enough to secure the prestige of a fighting unit? Tight censorship has muted the impact they had in Spain and it has suited all Irish Political Parties since to forget their sacrifice.

    "The Spaniards were filled with admiration for the bravery and courage of the Irish troops. Indeed the quality of the men was superb. They were truly inspired with the ideal of fighting for their faith.... with better officers could have made a fine Battalion... but they had no chance with the leadership O Duffy gave them".

    Peter Kemp, British Volunteer in Spain.

    "Our Volunteers were not mere adventurers. Over 90% were true crusaders who left behind comfortable homes .... they were not mercenary soldiers, everyone returned poorer in the worlds goods".

    Eoin O Duffy

    Grant them eternal rest o Lord
    May perpetual light shine upon them
    Through the mercy of Our Lord may they rest in peace.
    The minstrel boy to the war is gone
    In the ranks of the dead you will find him
    His fathers sword he has girded on
    And his wild harp slung behind him


    Thomas Moore.

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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    I'm interesting about this subject and about Irish volunteers in Wermacht(Heer,Luftwaffe,Kriegmarine,Waff en SS) any suggestions (sites and books)?
    ME NE FREGO

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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    Quote Originally Posted by panzerjager
    Of course you learn everything about Martin Luther King or Malcolm X!
    Actually i don't think i did, i think i learnt about their existence via American TV!

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    Senior Member Fraxinus Excelsior's Avatar
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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dagda
    General O Duffy was a Republican, an Irish Republican, not a Republican as
    you have in the US.
    In Ireland when I was at school we did learn about O Duffy and the Blueshirts.
    Books on O Duffy are easy to find in the larger bookstores in Dublin.
    Although my knowledge of Irish politics is far-from immense, I am quite aware of the differences between US Republicans and Irish Republicans.

    Didn't Gen. O'Duffy attempt to gain the IRA's support for Germany in WWII?

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    Senior Member The Dagda's Avatar
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    Post Re: General Eion O'Duffy's Irish Brigade in Spain

    Quote Originally Posted by magilla gorilla
    Although my knowledge of Irish politics is far-from immense, I am quite aware of the differences between US Republicans and Irish Republicans.

    Didn't Gen. O'Duffy attempt to gain the IRA's support for Germany in WWII?
    General O'Duffy was contacted by a German agent and he put that agent in
    contact with the IRA .
    O Duffy offered his services to President DeValera when the war broke out, but DeValera said he had no use for him.

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