Appearing at auction this week at Mullock’s Auctions in Shropshire is a surviving copy of the planning documents prepared for a German invasion of Ireland.
As part of the planning for the invasion of Britain in 1940 the Department for War Maps and Surveying of the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH), German Army High Command, produced a series of military and geographical assessments to assist with planning the invasion. The OKH also produced a detailed assessment to assist with plans for Operation Green, the invasion of neutral Ireland. Entitled Militärgeographische Angaben über Irland, Military and Geographical Assessment of Ireland and labelled “Only for internal use”, the first edition of the document was completed on 30 September 1940. David Archer Maps have catalogued the contents of the assessment as three illustrated books and seven folding maps giving an overview of the geographical and industrial background of Ireland useful to an invading force. Maps included electricity power supply, railways with index of stations, radio installations, telephone and telegraph offices and a road map, emphasising traffic difficulties. There was also a book of 25 town plans with detailed maps of Dublin and Belfast. Another book contained photographs and descriptions of the coast, with sketch diagrams to identify locations from offshore.
Notably planning for the invasion continued after the abandonment of the invasion of Britain as a book with maps describing the West and North Coast (Mizen Head to Malin Head) was completed for a later edition completed on 15 October 1941. Although Ireland was a neutral state the documents demonstrate that the German High Command considered an invasion a real possibility and assigned considerable resources to the task of planning. The detailed mapping and photography of Ireland’s towns and cities and vital infrastructure, like the Ardnacrusha hydro-electric power plant (above), indicate just how close Ireland came to becoming a battlefield.
See more images from the document published by the Daily Mail.
Cite this post as:
Mount, C. 2012. German Army documents indicate serious planning for a WWII invasion of Ireland. The Charles Mount Blog, 27 September 2012. http://charles-mount.ie/wp/?p=943