World War II

M - Z

McMahon, Paul. British Spies and Irish Rebels: British Intelligence and Ireland, 1916-1945. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer, 2008.

O'Halpin, I&NS 23.5/fn.15 (Oct. 2008), says that this work "provides an admirably researched survey of Anglo-Irish and Belfast/London security relations up to 1945." In Dublin Review of Books 8 (Winter 2008-09), O'Halpin notes that his "conclusion on finishing this excellent study is that the most striking gap in British intelligence on Ireland, from the early twentieth century to the present day, is not on the republican movement or the Irish state, but on Ulster loyalism." For Deirdre McMahon, Irish Times, 23 Aug. 2008, the author "writes lucidly and sensibly on a subject that often attracts fevered treatment, and he makes excellent use of recently released intelligence material in both Irish and British archives."

Murphy, David ‘ “I was terribly frightened at times” : Irish men and women in the French Resistance and F Section of SOE, 1940-5’. In Genet-Rouffiac, Nathalie & Murphy, David [Editors]. Franco-Irish Military Connections, 1590-1945. Dublin : Four Courts Press, 2009 : 269-294.

O'Donoghue, David.

1. The Devil's Deal: The IRA, Nazi Germany, and the Double Life of Jim O'Donovan. Dublin: New Island, 2010.

Power, Agenda: Sunday Business Post (Dublin), 2 Jan. 2011, finds this biography of O'Donovan, bombmaker and "chief liaison between the IRA and Nazi Germany," to be "thoroughly researched and cleanly written" O'Donovan "made four visits to the continent to meet Nazi agents." For de Bréadún, Irish Times, 11 Dec. 2010, the author has combined "academic rigour with a racy, readable narrative." O'Donovan drew up the "S-Plan" for the "bombing campaign against installations and public utilities in England" which began in January 1939.

2. "New Evidence on IRA/Nazi Links." History Ireland 19, no. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 2011): 36-39.

This article traces some of the IRA and Nazi contacts, including those of Jim O'Donovan.

O'Donoghue, David. Hitler's Irish Voices: The Story of German Radio's Wartime Irish Service. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1998.

From publisher: "From December 1939 to May 1945, German Radio broadcast Nazi propaganda to neutral Ireland." It was "a nightly bi-lingual service in Irish and English." The man behind the broadcasts was Dr. Adolf Mahr, former director of the Irish National Museum, who had "returned to Berlin at the start of war and spent the war years running the Irish desk at the German Foreign Office, as well as creating German Radio's Irish service, known as Irland-Redaktion." See also, Gerry Mullins, Dublin Nazi No. 1: The Life of Adolf Mahr (Dublin: Liberties Press, 2007).

O'Donoghue, David. "Neutral Ireland's Secret War." Sunday Business Post, 31 Dec. 2006. [From friend in Ireland]

With the outbreak of war, the 50-strong Nazi group that had existed in pre-war Ireland approached Eamon de Valera "to seek safe passage through Britain to reach home." He "was only too happy to oblige, getting Westminster's permission for their return home." They "sailed aboard the mail boat Cambria … on September 11, 1939, and eventually made it across the channel. But their departure left a serious intelligence gap for the Nazis in neutral Ireland, one they would try to fill by dispatching no fewer than 12 agents here in the 1939-to-1943 period."

O'Drisceoil, Donal.

1. Censorship in Ireland, 1939-1945: Neutrality, Politics and Society. Cork: Cork University Press, 1996.

Clark comment: The Controller of Censorship was under the Army Chief of Staff (Intelligence) and worked with both Military Intelligence and the Security Section of the National Police Force of Ireland. The files for 1939-1945 are held by the Defence Forces' Military Archives Branch, Dublin.

2. "Censorship as Propaganda: The Neutralisation of Irish Public Opinion during the Second World War." In Ireland and the Second World War: Politics, Society and Remembrance, eds. Brian Girvin and Geoffrey Roberts, 151-164. Dublin: Four Courts, 2000.

3. "'Moral neutrality': Censorship in Emergency Ireland." History Ireland 4, no. 2 (1996): 46-50.

O'Halpin, Eunan [click for O'Halpin's numerous publications].

O'Neill, Michael S. '''For the Preservation of the Slate' : Irish Domestic Security, Legislation, 1939-40." The History Review: Journal of the UCD History Society 13 (2002): 86-92.

Quigley, Martin S. A U.S. Spy in Ireland. Dublin: Marino, 1999.

"Martin S. Quigley, an executive with movie-industry trade publications who used his ties to the film world as cover for espionage in Europe during World War II, died" at the age of 93 on 5 February 2011. Adam Bernstein, "Martin Quigley, Who Used Film Work as Cover for World War II Espionage, Dies," Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2011.

From back cover: The author was sent undercover to Ireland by OSS in 1943. He expresses the view that the Irish government, rather than being pro-German, as has sometimes been portrayed, instead tacitly supported the Allies, while maintaining a semblance of neutrality.

Scannell, James.

1. "Captain Herman Goertz: Activities of a German Secret Agent During WW2 in Ireland." [Precis of a talk given on 10 Aug. 2004 at meeting of the Genealogical Society of Ireland] Genealogical Society of Ireland 5, no. 4 (Winter 2004): 207-217.

Parachuted into Ireland in May 1940, Goertz was arrested in November 1941 and interned through the remainder of the war. Facing deportation, he committed suicide in May 1947.

2. "German Espionage in South County Dublin." Dublin Historical Record 55 (2002): 88-101.

Stephan, Enno. Geheimauftrag Irland. Deutsche Agenten im irischen Untergrundkampf 1939-1945. Hamburg: Gerhard Stalling Verlag, 1961. Spies in Ireland. Tr., Arthur Davidson. London: Macdonald, 1963. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1965.

Turi, John. England's Greatest Spy: Eamon De Valera.  London: Stacey International, 2009.

As expected, this work caused considerable controversy. For prepublication feature articles on the book, see Spain, Irish Independent, 26 Oct. 2009, and Dwyer, Irish Examiner, 31 Oct. 2009.

De Valera biographer Tim Pat Coogan, Irish Independent, 28 Nov. 2009, says that he "put down the book with a feeling of fervent hope that people like Turi are not currently employed in supplying intelligence reports to the White House.... This selective use of quotations [from the reviewer's biography of de Valera], an occupational hazard for historians, contributes not to truth but to bad history.... I have never found a scrap of evidence to support the contention that Eamon de Valera was a British spy and Turi has not produced any either."

McCarthy, Sunday Independent, 15 Nov. 2009, notes that "De Valera was never short of enemies over the course of his long life.... And now an American writer suggests he was really a British spy.... The absurdity of this thesis should not, however, obscure de Valera's very profound Anglophile streak.... Dev wasn't turned by the British spooks, but he was charmed by her parliamentary genius and by what Burke once called her liberal descent."

Peake, Studies 54.4 (Dec. 2010), notes that the documents that might prove the author's case "remain locked in the British archives. Thus the title claims a bit more than the book proves -- cause and effect remain obscure when espionage is considered." For a review of what Irish historians have said about Turi's thesis, see Shortall, Sunday Times, 1 Nov. 2009.

Walsh, Maurice. G2: In Defence of Ireland: Irish Military Intelligence 1918–45. Cork: Collins, 2010.

From publisher: "Michael Collins was the first Director of Intelligence and during the War of Independence, the IRA succeeded ... in the intelligence war against the British army and the Royal Irish Constabulary." During World War II, "G2 was involved in counter-espionage, propaganda and maintaining Ireland's pro-Allied neutrality.... The work of cryptologist Dr. Richard Hayes was essential to the war effort as it ensured German codes were decrypted for the Director of G2 and then passed to London."

Augusteijn, History Ireland 18.3 (May-Jun. 2010), is not impressed with this book. The author "does not really engage with modern scholarship" in discussing the period of the Anglo-Irish War" and "[t]he chapter on the interbellum also lacks substance." The reviewer sees Walsh as much too partisan in his conclusions. In addition, "the book would have benefited from a substantial amount of editing. It lacks coherence," and "[i]t is inconsistently footnoted."

For the reviewer in Books Ireland (Summer 2010), that the author comes to his subject from the inside may have been a hindrance given "Army loyalties, mess anecdotes and a nervous overreliance on established historians." Walsh's "account is badly structured, repetitious and clumsily written." Nevertheless, "[w]hat becomes clear is that some leading officers had little or no proper military education and allowed anglophobia to influence their actions."

White, Timothy J., and Andrew J. Riley. "Irish Neutrality in World War II: a Review Essay." Irish Studies in International Affairs 19 (2008): 143–150.

Reviews of: Brian Girvin, The Emergency: Neutral Ireland 1939-45 (London: Macmillan, 2006); Eunan O'Halpin, Spying on Ireland: British Intelligence and Irish Neutrality during the Second World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); Michael Kennedy, Guarding Neutral Ireland: The Coast Watching Service and Military Intelligence, 1939-1945 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008); and Clair Wills, That Neutral Island: A Cultural History of Ireland during the Second World War (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2007).

Wills, Clair. That Neutral Island: A Cultural History of Ireland during the Second World War. Cambridge: Belknap, 2007.

White and Riley, Irish Studies in International Affairs 19 (2008), note that the author "is very understanding of the Irish position as an imperfect but effective national strategy. However, she is not devoid of criticism. She admits that neutrality allowed the government to consolidate a considerable amount of power, but even this served to keep dissent under control and helped forge a sense of civic responsibility among citizens."

Wood, Ian S. Britain, Ireland and the Second World War. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2010.

Dwyer, History Ireland 19.1 (Jan.-Feb. 2011), finds that while this book "provides many useful insights into what was happening in Ireland, it fails to show that so-called neutrality was really just a convenient myth that allowed the country to stay out of the conflict while secretly helping the Allies."

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