Blitz: the night death rained down on city
I was only four years of age during the Blitz and I can remember going to sleep in the fields at the top of Benview Park. The drone of the planes, the flashes of the guns, the sound of the bombs. The 'all clear', going home and our house still standing. A man coming to our house looking for his father. Another man telling my mother that the fires at the shipyard were the welders welding - no doubt to not to frighten my mother. I remember going to Sunningdale and seeing the result of the bombing. All of this happened a long time ago, but it stays fresh in my memory. Makes one think about the memories of those brought up during the more recent Troubles.
Have heard about the IRA using torches, which was a silly move as the German bombers weren't very selective about whom they bombed. Our family, from close to the docks and from the York Road, were evacuated to Ballycarry. I hadn't yet come into the world in 1941, but I do know that the York Road area was badly hit - as was a fair bit of east Belfast including, of course, The Oval.
'Have heard about the IRA using torches, which was a silly move as the German bombers weren't very selective about whom they bombed': are you for real? You honestly believe the IRA were able to direct German aircraft onto the docks using torches? Yet they were unable to land a single German agent in Ireland and avoid detection or land a single weapon from Germany? The Germans were sending a radio signal from bases in France and Germany which the bombers were able to follow - as they did when bombing all British cities.
In an otherwise blacked-out city, a few torches on a hill side could provide a useful navigation point. I still ask the question: did Sinn Fein place IRA men on the hills with torches to assist with the bombing? We know they sent Sean Russell to Germany to collaborate with the Nazis, so why would they not be happy to help the Germans carry out the very bombing raids for them that Russell was being trained to do?