Remembering great Italian escape of 1943-44

Tens of thousands of Allied prisoners of war fled from camps in Italy following the announcement of the armistice that took Rome out of the war in September 1943. Their story and the role played in it by Italians who provided them with food and shelter is being preserved in the work of the Monte…

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How Operation Husky in July 1943 made Overlord possible in June 1944

Allied commanders of Operation Husky in Tunisia in 1943. Commander-in-chief General Dwight Eisenhower (left), Air Commander-in-chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (second left) and  General Montgomery (not in the picture) were commanders in Operation Overlord.  General Harold Alexander, land forces commander in Husky (second right), remained in Italy. (© IWM CNA 1075) AT a…

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The December 1941 Arcadia conference and the Irish Brigade

On 13 December 1941, a Royal Navy convoy comprising the battleship HMS Duke of York and three destroyers set sail for America from the River Clyde. The Duke of York was taking UK prime minister Winston Churchill on a tryst with destiny in Washington and a conference with US president Roosevelt. America had been Britain’s…

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Catania conference to commemorate Sicily campaign

A two-day conference is to be held in Catania next summer to mark the 80th anniversary of Allied landings in Sicily in July 1943. It will be one of a series of events on the island that will highlight a turning point in the history of Italy and Europe. The Sicily 1943: Peace, Security &…

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The Irishmen who fought at Cassino

More than 100,000 men from the island of Ireland served with the Allied Forces during the Second World War. When the 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade was formed in early 1942, a significant number of the men serving within its three constituent infantry battalions were either Irish born or had direct ancestry connections to Ireland. Brigadier…

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London Irishman Charles Ward remembers the events of 1939

On 18 October 1939, three 20-year old men reported to Liverpool Street train station to respond to call up papers for them to join the British Army. They were met on the station concourse that morning by Captain Colin Gibbs, then Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR), who duly witnessed the attestation…

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Sicilian campaign overview

Brigadier Nelson Russell provided a succinct overview account of the Sicilian Campaign and how the Irish Brigade affected its outcome: “The British 8th Army was to land on the beaches on the east coast of the island, south of Syracuse, capture Syracuse, and so have a port; then drive the enemy from the Catania Plain,…

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Sicily pilgrimage for Irish Brigade website

On the 71st anniversary of their father’s journey through Sicily, the Irish Brigade web site co founders, Edmund and Richard O’Sullivan recent visited the island to trace his war time route from Cassibile to Patti. They were absolutely delighted to have been joined on their trip by Duncan McNally and David Hamilton, whose own fathers, Major…

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