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Ireland and Poland - ways of struggling for independence


Ziemowit 10 | 2,797    
27 Jul 2016  #1

"Ireland regained her independence through centuries of armed conflict culiminating in the War of Independence, whilst Poland got hers by a fluke, thanks to the First World War." said Atch in one of the threads. Is it true or not?

Atch 14 | 2,173    
27 Jul 2016  #2

Oh Ziemowit, you're a naughty one and no mistake! I was just yanking your chain you know. I regard you as a 'friend' in this virtual world.

You know quite well that if you want to learn about Irish history (or Polish history) this forum is not the place to do it.
Veles - | 164    
27 Jul 2016  #3

I am not very acquainted with the history of Irish fights for independence BEFORE the War of Independence. But the main difference between Poland and Ireland here is that Ireland fought for it only with one enemy - Great Britain. Poland had three enemies, and during our uprisings Poles had to deal with all these occupants. Polish uprisings were not successful, while Irish were.
Ironside 46 | 8,658    
27 Jul 2016  #4

Is it true or not?

Geez man let it go. What do you need it for?

Polish uprisings were not successful, while Irish were.

In what world? Was it in a different dimension?
Veles - | 164    
27 Jul 2016  #5

I mean: Polish uprisings were not successful, while Irish war of independence was.

Is it understandable now, or do you live in a fantasy world, where Poles have conquered Siberia, Ireland was inhabited by elves, and Scandinavia is Asian peninsula?
Grzegorz_ 52 | 6,190    
27 Jul 2016  #6

I mean: Polish uprisings were not successful, while Irish war of independence was.

Greater Poland Uprising alone was bigger than their whole war and definitely successful. Besides, their success most likely had much more to do with having colonies in Europe not being PC anymore. I'm sure British could easily take it down If they really wanted.
Veles - | 164    
27 Jul 2016  #7

Greater Poland Uprising took place when independent Poland already existed.
Atch 14 | 2,173    
27 Jul 2016  #8

If by 'their whole war' you mean the War of Independence, then you need to clarify what you mean by 'bigger'. Do you mean more troops were involved?? That's a very simplistic view.

In time scale, the Polish uprising of 1919 took place over a period of about three months and was fought, if I'm correct, by Polish soldiers. The Irish war was fought over a period of two and a half years and was in preparation for some time before that as it was comprised of civilians who had to be trained and armed. These civilian volunteers comprised a force of around 15,000 against a professional British force of over 35,000. A very small nation with no army of their own, against the British army and police force....it was very courageous and a very valid victory.
OP Ziemowit 10 | 2,797    
27 Jul 2016  #9

.it was very courageous and a very valid victory.

I think all due tribute should be paid to the Irish uprisers irrespectively if the Irish Uprising was small or big. The victory in such uprisings very much depend on the international situation at the moment. Germany was somewhat "restricted" by the allies during the Powstanie Wielkopolskie. On the other hand, it wasn't fought by the regular Polish army. But many of the indigenous Greater Poland uprisers were trained as soldiers in the German army before that and later on they formed the best forces (much appraised byJózef Piłsudski) of the regular Polish Army in the war Poland fought against the Soviet Russia in1920. So true, histories behind uprisings are usually not simplistic at all...
Atch 14 | 2,173    
27 Jul 2016  #10

very much depend on the international situation at the moment.

Totally agree with that Ziemowit. There's always an element of luck. In the case of Ireland, Britain was suffering the aftermath of the First World War and I think they had very little appetite for any further conflict. Public opinion would have been very much in the nature of 'oh just let the Irish have their silly old country back, we've had enough wars'. Public opinion had some influence in Britain, with it being broadly a democracy, even back then. Also the whole of Europe was changing, empires disappearing, monarchies falling. It was a time of great change and it was Ireland's moment.

I do think though that even so, what sets Ireland apart, was that even after more than seven hundred years of continuous occupation and a number of wars and uprisings, the will to be 'a nation once again' was still so strong in the ordinary people, that they could be motivated to fight in that way, that there was still the spirit and belief that it was possible to be free.
DanDerry - | 1    
14 Apr 2018  #11

Ireland regained her independence

Ireland is still occupied.
peterweg 36 | 2,354    
14 Apr 2018  #12

.it was very courageous and a very valid victory.

Followed by a civil war that killed twice as many people.

Ireland is still occupied.

Not exactly, After 400 years people become indigenous.
Atch 14 | 2,173    
15 Apr 2018  #13

Do you mean the civil war of 1922 or the civil war in the North of Ireland? Because neither has killed as many as the wars and rebellions of 750 years of British occupation.

And no, people don't necessarily become indigenous after 400 years - by 400 years I presume you mean the Plantation of Ulster? Many of the descendants of the planters do not consider themselves to be Irish in the sense that you mean it, they see their heritage and culture as quite separate and distinct and they want to keep it that way.
peterweg 36 | 2,354    
15 Apr 2018  #14

rebellions of 750 years of British occupation.

You were talking about the 1918 rebellion, were you not?

And what exactly is British? It would include the Irish, Scots, English and Welsh. Because Britain includes the Greater and Lesser Britain as well all the other Islands that make up the British Isles.

Britain is a geographic term, it would be more accurate to refer to the English and the Scottish, but now we get into tribes rather the them Brits and us. But it looks like the Brits (Dal Riata) invaded Ireland 1300 years ago, according to this map

Tribes

I suggest you stick to the more recent past,
delphiandomine 86 | 16,229    
15 Apr 2018  #15

No, the Kingdom of Dal Riata expanded further into modern day Scotland, rather than the other way. They ended up merging with the local tribes, though no-one is quite sure how it actually came about.
Crow 143 | 6,600    
15 Apr 2018  #16

Ireland and Poland - ways of struggling for independence

Both have to escape to England.
Atch 14 | 2,173    
16 Apr 2018  #17

You were talking about the 1918 rebellion, were you not?

There was no 1918 rebellion. I think you mean the 1916 Easter Rising which was unsuccessful. I was talking about the War of Independence which was from 1919 to 1921.

British does not inlcude the Irish.The only people who are both Irish and British are the citizens of Northern Ireland who have dual citizenship.

Britain is a geographic term, it would be more accurate to refer to the English

Britain is more than a geographic term. It's also political. In Ireland when referring to the colonisation of Ireland we generally talk about 'the English' or 'the Brits'. So we use both. We were colonized initially by the Olde English (the Normans), then the English, then of course we were part of the British empire and Commonwealth. So we run the gamut of occupation by 'Britain' in all its incarnations.

But it looks like the Brits (Dal Riata)

The Dal Riada were Irish, not Britons, or at least of Irish descent. Their language derived from Irish because the Irish had settled that part of Scotland centuries previously. The Dal Riada were not 'foreign' invaders but were more like Pol-Ams coming back to Poland :)) There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the north of Ireland and Scotland and despite fighting and disputes, the two communities shared a connection, which is why you see strange cultural phenomena such as laments in Irish Gaelic for Scottish misfortunes; their woes were ours. The later planters whose descendants live in Northern Ireland today were lowland Scots, not of the Gaelic tradition.
delphiandomine 86 | 16,229    
16 Apr 2018  #18

Atch, out of interest, what do you call the British Isles? I'm guessing you don't use that name....

Interestingly, I'm not sure I'd say that the 1916 Easter Rising was unsuccessful in the long run. It forced the British to abandon the idea of conscripting the Irish for the time being, and arguably, the women that took part in the events (especially that incredibly interesting character Constance Markievicz) were an inspiration.

There's an interesting parallel in the way that the Easter Rising and Warsaw Uprising are commemorated, though.
Crow 143 | 6,600    
17 Apr 2018  #19

to England

from England.
Atch 14 | 2,173    
17 Apr 2018  #20

Atch, out of interest, what do you call the British Isles?

If you mean me personally, I call them the British Isles, I don't have any problem with that. I just see it as a geographic term. The official term these days is "These Islands" but nobody uses it in ordinary speech. Most Irish people say 'Ireland and England' or 'Ireland and the UK'.

I agree with you about the interpretation of success, yes it was successful in as much as the aftermath was so clumsily handled by the British authorities that it turned public opinion very much against them and in favour of the rebels paving the way for the War of Independence. I think people tend to forget or just not be aware that by that time in Irish history many Irish people accepted being British in the same way as the Scots and the Welsh. They might have preferred to have a sovereign, independent nation but being British citizens was 'normal'.

Regarding conscription, the Brits passed the conscription law in 1918 but it was never enforced. Typical of their insensitivity considering that so many Irish had volunteered and indeed given their lives. Of course there were already a lot of Irish in the British army anyway at the outbreak of war.

the women

Yes, their contribution was huge. In fact if you read the witness statements from the Irish Bureau of Military history there's one from Dan Breen who was a key figure in the War of Independence though his name is not well known perhaps outside Ireland. Breen said that it was his mother who imbued him with the spirit of nationalism and rebellion and that it was the women who kept alive the idea of fighting for independence whilst the men just talked about it over a pint. If you look at many of the men who were leaders of the movement, they had all lost their fathers at an early age and were raised by their mothers including Michael Collins, De Valera and indeed Dan Breen whom I just referred to.

Of course Cumann na mBan was an amazing movement and they were very important in the War of Independence too. They were probably fairly unique at the time in Europe. Michael Collins insisted that if they were going to be members of the Volunteers they had to do the same training as the men, military drill, handle firearms etc. and be ready to fight.

There's an interesting parallel in the way that the Easter Rising and Warsaw Uprising are commemorated, though.

Our commemorations have always been very low key, except for the fiftieth anniversary and the centenary year and the vibe of that was quite gentle if you know what I mean. Of course we don't really commemorate the War of Independence at all.

The one big event relating to the War of Independence was in 2001 when they exhumed the remains of 'The Forgotten Ten' who were executed by the British. They had been buried within the grounds of Mountjoy Prison. They were given a state funeral and re-interred in Glasnevin Cemetery. That was a public holiday and the whole thing was televised. There were tens of thousands of people along the funeral route and the atmosphere in the country was very solemn that day. Seeing that long, long line of hearses go by and crowds applauding, saying thank you to those men who gave their lives for us.



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