Although the Republic of Ireland was neutral and was left largely unscathed during the war, Northern Ireland as part of the UK was not that lucky.
Belfast being the biggest city of Northern Ireland was hit by German bombers 4 times, between the 7th of April and 6th of May 1941.
Northern Ireland was ill prepared for the Luftwaffe’s arrival. Ministers felt it unlikely that the bombers could reach Belfast.
There were only four public air raid shelters in Belfast, and most of the city’s searchlights had been sent back to England. There were plans to evacuate 70,000 children from Belfast, but little over 10% of that number actually left. When an unobserved German plane flew over Belfast to identify targets in November 1940, it saw a city defended by only seven anti-aircraft batteries. By March 1941, Northern Ireland’s minister of public security was close to panic – with some…
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