What was the worst atrocity on Irish soil of the 20th century? What comes to mind? Omagh? Dublin bombings 1974? One of the Bloody Sundays?
"Easter eggs for Belfast" - thus warned/threatened our compatriot, William Joyce, aka Lord Haw Haw, in a broadcast from Hamburg made shortly before the April/May 1941 bombings of Belfast by the Luftwaffe. The scale of the death and destruction far outranks that of any other atrocity in Ireland of the 20th century - in the worst raid, on Easter Tuesday, 15th April 1941, over 900 were killed and 100,000 were made homeless. These bald facts are well known and yet we(southerner's and northern nationalists) seem to suffer from amnesia concerning these raids when we consider the darker moments of Irish history. I engaged earlier today in a silly argument as to which was the worst ever bombing in Ireland - Omagh, Dublin/Monaghan or the North Strand Bombing of 1941? Both I and my opponents failed to even consider the Belfast Blitz. All other atrocities whether by republicans, loyalists, British Army or Free Staters pale into insignificance when put against these German attacks.
Lord Haw Haw's collaboration was the traitorous action of one individual but was there any IRA involvement in helping to plan or assess the impact of the German raids? IRA collaboration with the Germans is well established with regard to plans Green and Kathleen etc but the evidence of active support for this mass bombing of Belfast is less clear. Another question for consideration is did the trauma of this devastation result in any re-evaluation of Republican policy of cooperation with Germany?