Posts Tagged ‘Belfast Blitz’

Heinkel III German bomber.

An unusual one this, a piece from the wreckage of a Heinkel III German bomber. The Heinkel’s were the mainstay of the German bomber squadrons during the Blitz and several crash landed in the Irish Free State, resulting in their crews being interned in the Curragh. Some German bombers did not survive such crashes, and a number of men found their final resting place in the German war cemetery in Glencree.

This piece was salvaged in 1944 at Baldonnell Airdrome by a young Irish army officer and remains in the possession of his family. It was loaned to my father for a project he is working on, in relation to the 70th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz in April.

The piece comes from the planes fuselage and has markings which indicate that it was part of the housing of one of the planes M.G 15 machine guns.

German Kampfgeschwader (A unit of the Luftwaffe) flying out of airfields in France and the low countries carried out the raids over southern and western England and Ireland. The attacks on Belfast on April 15 and May 5 inflicted huge casualties and according to Luftwaffe records involved up to 180 aircraft. Dublin was bombed too, not just at North Strand but also at Dolphin’s Barn and the South Circular Road. More information on the the lesser known Dolphin’s Barn and South Circular Road bombings can be found in Eoin C. Bairéad’s The Bombing of Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin, 1941. This work has only just been released as part of the Maynooth Studies in Local History series.


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