Fascinating AIDA



You can count on us.

We lied.

Sibling of Daedalus writes:

Further to your WWI tank competition, a copy of a propaganda poster circulated by the American-Irish Defense Association, an organisation set up in 1940 to argue for American support for Irish participation in the defence of the Atlantic and the British Isles.

Controlled by the British Special Operations Executive, AIDA, as it was known, became the source of mockery in the pro-neutrality paper the Irish World after it published a propaganda paper referring to ‘the Irish Free State’ ‘which hasn’t been for some years’.

A 1941 cable subsequently sent by AIDA to Eamon de Valera calling on him to protect ‘the Atlantic lifeline of civilization’ did not result in any change in neutrality. It seems that America, after all, could not count on the Irish. Nice poster though!

Pic via Ebay

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4 thoughts on “Fascinating AIDA

  1. Louis Lefronde

    At the height of the Battle of the Atlantic there was a very real possibility that the war would be lost as the Wolf Packs of the Kriegsmarine were getting the upper hand sinking merchant vessels either in convoys or on solo runs.

    When the war broke out, which was eminently foreseeable – Ireland was totally unprepared, a legacy of bad government especially when it came to the provision of merchant shipping. It seems ‘the idiots that be’ (the government) had continuously abrogated their responsibility for investing in shipping resources in the lead up to the war, near suicidal and utterly daft for an island nation.

    While De Valera and his Government were busy playing with themselves in office, the real fate of the country was being played out on our Western approaches. Rather belatedly, did the Government realise how important shipping was, and perhaps just in the nick of time ‘rectified the position’ with the establishment of Irish in March 1941 at the height of the Battle of the Atlantic.

    Any objective historian looking at World War 2 can say that Ireland survived ‘The Emergency’ – it did – but only thanks to RAF, and more particularly the Royal Navy. But real credit must be given to the incredibly brave men who went to sea either in the convoys or as part of Irish Shipping.

    Perhaps when the dire straits of the Battle of the Atlantic is taken into account, one could understand why the British urgently needed Ireland’s support – but it never came, and the rest is history.

    1. kurtz


      Britains role in keeping Ireland from starving during the war has been conveniently forgotten by most unfortunately.

      And the typical lack of forward thinking by the pre-war government in establishing a strong merchant, fishing and naval fleets has pretty much stunted any industrial growth in Ireland since. As an island nation on the edge of the Atlantic, Ireland could have thrived as a hub for international shipping.

  2. shitferbrains

    Whatabout….de Valeras panic stricken xmas broadcast in 1941 begging for arms from America ?

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