WWII northern - Niamh Faughnan Cunningham 05923751 EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR ON THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRELAND

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Niamh Faughnan Cunningham 05923751 EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR ON THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRELAND Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, was directly involved in World War Two. Even before the outbreak of the war, the London and Belfast governments had drawn up plans to deal with air raids, rationing, obtaining supplies and the direction of factories into war production. Northern Ireland proved to be of strategic importance to Britain, especially as the South refused to let Britain use its ports. After the fall of France, Britain was forced to conduct much of its Atlantic trade by northern sea routes, which increased the significance of Northern Ireland. The war had important political, social and economic effects on Northern Irish society both during and after the war. Consequences of the war included; mass employment, prosperity, leadership changes, and ultimately closer ties with Britain. In the opinion of many of the British politicians, the strategic position of Northern of Ireland was its key contribution to the war. In 1939 the neutral South had refused to let Britain use its ports. Britain instead made use of the naval bases at Belfast, Derry and Larne. When France fell to the Germans in 1940 these naval bases became of immense importance, Germany now controlled most of the continent. Britain was forced into taking northern sea routes to conduct its Atlantic trade. These ships carried essential supplies from the US. The airbases at Foyle and Erne proved also to be useful in the British mission. From these bases planes scoured the sea looking for enemy destroyers and submarines. It was Northern Ireland where the American troops arrived in their thousands in 1941 and where the main training for the Normandy invasions took place. John Blake adds that the provision of Northern Ireland bases for American troops, ships and aircraft was a matter of arrangement between the British and United States governments. The Prime Minister was informed of this plan only a fortnight before the first American troops were due for arrival. 1 This example proves John Blake’s argument that no system of devolution can withstand for long the impact of total war. He asserts that the Northern Irish administration became little more than a machine carrying out policies decided upon in Westminster and Whitehall during the war. 2 The economy boomed during the war largely due to wartime industry and agriculture. Production of anti- aircraft shells began in 1938 along with expansion of various branches of the armed forces. From 1939- 1945 150 warships and 123 merchant ships were produced in Northern Ireland. Aircraft and engineering firms built 1,500 heavy bombers and over 500 tanks. New industries also developed away from Belfast. For example, torpedoes were built in Antrim, parachutes in Carrigfergus and aircraft ball
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course HISTORY Ireland 18 taught by Professor Drmurphy during the Spring '08 term at Trinity College Dublin.

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WWII northern - Niamh Faughnan Cunningham 05923751 EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR ON THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRELAND

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