Thursday, August 26, 2010

70 Years Ago Today 26/8/10

Britain: Portsmouth is heavily bombed.

Germany: The RAF makes its first bombing raid on Berlin.

Chad: Charles De Gaulle, leader of the Free French receives a big boost in the battle for the French colonies when the French Army in Chad pledge their allegiance to his movement, rather than that of the collaborating regime in Vichy, Southern France. At this stage, about half of France's colonies in Africa half vowed to support De Gaulle. In some cases there have been bitter and violent struggles in the colonies between Free French and Vichy officials and Army personnel.

Ireland: The war has come to Ireland. On this day 70 years ago four Luftwaffe planes bombed the rural village of Campile in Co Wexford. The Village was badly damaged. Three young women, two of them sisters were killed while working in the village creamery. Unlike later more devastating raids such as that on the North Strand in Dublin, the German claim that on this occasion they were lost seems unlikely to be true as this raid took place in broad daylight even though it is conceivable the Germans thought they were bombing Wales not Wexford. There are some wild theories as to why this village was bombed. Some of these can clearly be discounted, such as the claims that boxes of the butter made at this creamery were found by the Germans on the beaches of Dunkirk after the recent British evacuation there. And that the Germans bombed the creamery deliberately to remind the Irish that as neutrals, they were not supposed to be supplying one side. The truth will never be known but it is quite possible that the raid was a reminder from Hitler to De Valera what Germany would be capable of doing to Ireland in the event that we abandoned our neutrality.

The quiet village of Campile in South West Ireland was bombed by the Germans 70 years ago today.

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