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Copy of secret Nazi plan to invade Ireland sold at auction


Military study: Hitler drew up plans to invade Ireland in 1941. Credit: British Pathe PLC

Military study: Hitler drew up plans to invade Ireland in 1941. Credit: British Pathe PLC

Military study: Hitler drew up plans to invade Ireland in 1941. Credit: British Pathe PLC

 A surviving copy of Hitler’s secret plans to invade Ireland during WW2 has been sold at auction for €1,100 (£940).

The Nazi intelligence handbook, sold by Purcell Auctioneers, was described as an “exceptionally rare and detailed military study of the geographical and topographical features of the west of Ireland from Mizen Head to Malin Head”.

It was produced by the Nazi German Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, and was designed to provide detailed information for their forces in the event of a military invasion of Ireland, called “Operation Green” (Unternehmen Grün).

Operation Green was thought to have a number of objectives, including to draw off British Army troops stationed in Northern Ireland who might otherwise be sent to aid the defence of Britain, to deny Ireland as a staging point/refuge to British troops, to provide a staging post to Luftwaffe forces in subduing northern Britain, and to serve as a naval and aircraft staging area to intercept American shipping.

It includes illustrations, photos and maps of Ireland, concentrating on bridges, landmarks and industrial centres.

These highly secret documents are “of the utmost rarity” according to Purcell Auctioneers. Although lacking the first 19 pages, the chilling plans for Irish invasion sold for well above double the estimated value.

The cover page reads: “Only for internal use! Military – Geographic Information about Ireland. West and North Coast (from Mizen Head to Malin Head). Completed on October 15, 1941. General Staff of the Army. Department for War Maps and Surveying. Berlin 1941”

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The handbook is part of a full assessment of the regions around the British Isles which was prepared by the military, with a view toward invasion.

The complete Ireland invasion plans contained 144 Ordnance Survey maps of Irish towns, marked with what Nazis considered targets for invasion, as well as almost 1,500 photographs.

Maps included electricity power supply, railways with index of stations, radio installations, telephone and telegraph offices and a road map, emphasising traffic difficulties.

The plans also contained photographs and descriptions of the coast, with sketch diagrams to identify locations from offshore.

The particular handbook sold yesterday at auction was prepared in 1941, a year after plans to invade Britain had been abandoned. Ireland was a neutral state during WW2, and allowed German U-boats and submarines into its waters.

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