Asked in
World War 2
History of Ireland

How did de Valera maintain Eire's neutrality during World War 2?

Answer

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May 22, 2009 2:17PM

I suspect that this was principally due to Eire not being perceived as stategically important to the Nazi government. Accordingly, the Eire Government had no need to buy into a fight which it perceived was of no benefit to its people. It would however be naive in my view to place no weight on the deep level of antagonism still then held by many republicans against the British in response to their failed and disastrous colonial policies in Ireland. Before the 1916 Easter Rising, Germany had supported the Republican aim for independance and de Valera did not want to return this favour by agreeing to support Britain in their war against Germany.